Meet Elvis, King of the Road and Customer Service Education Teacher Extraordinaire

Sometimes the best customer service education lessons come from service providers who do all the right things at the right times and in the right ways. One such lesson came to me during a taxi ride. This was no ordinary ride, however.

I had an amazing experience in a brand-new, all-white Mercedes taxi. But it was not the car that impressed me – it was the driver, who clearly understood a thing or two about customer service education.

Martin Lim picked me up in his spotless taxi with current magazines in the back, a selection of CD music, a mobile phone for my use, digital video TV and an Internet-linked palmtop computer mounted on the dashboard. Lim maintains a database of his regular customers and even sends "Thank You" notes by e-mail after the ride.

By the time we reached my destination, I did not want to get out of the car.

Does all this investment pay off? Lim makes four times what an average taxi driver makes in his city. But then he is not a taxi driver. His (self appointed) title is "Provider of Personalized Limousine Service."

He even has a nickname – "Elvis." The name was given by a former customer, and it sticks. After months of loyal taxi travel, this customer bought a car. But he kept Lim's contact information handy.

Now, whenever the former customer finds himself lost on city streets, he calls Lim on the mobile phone and says, "You're the king of the road! Can you help me figure out where I am, and how to get to where I 'm going? "

Key Learning Points

Elvis stood out from the crowd by doing things more, better and different from the rest. He was not just a singer. He was the King. You can be, too. Take a customer service education lesson from the King of the Road to improve your own business.

Action Steps

Give yourself a customer service education by studying what everyone else is doing in your business, and then do something else. Make an extra effort. Get busy. Get famous. Get rich. Get a customer service education that pays off! …

How to Become a Fashion Designer

Is Fashion Your Passion? If you've always dreamed of becoming a successful designer, read on to learn more about how you can realize your dream and become a fashion designer.

The three most fundamental skills required to become a fashion designer are: sewing, drawing, and creativity. You can always learn both drawing and sewing in fashion school (actually, those are typically mandatory classes), but creativity is something you must have in your blood.

Beside the skills listed above, you need the following skills to become successful no matter what your career path is: motivation, determination, and commitment.

If you are serious about becoming a fashion designer, the first and most important step you'll need to take is to enroll in a good fashion design program at an accredited institute. The advantage of going to school is that you'll be taught everything you need to know in a well structured, organized environment. You'll learn the industry standards, how to accomplish required tasks efficiently, get hands on experience with the latest industry technology, and learn exactly what needs to be done to break into the fashion world and how to go about doing it well. Additional benefits include potential internships with well known companies and excellent networking opportunities.

If you're sure you want a career in fashion but are not certain as to which path is right for you, here are a few options to get you thinking: fashion design, accessory design, apparel design, fashion merchandising, fashion marketing and fashion Journalism.

As with any career, a solid plan and a good education are essential. This might be even truer in fashion design, as it is definitely not an easy industry to break into. That should not discourage you however, and if you are discouraged that easily then this probably is not the right career for you. But with hard work, dedication, and a little bit of luck, there's no stopping you from becoming the next Coco Channel or Calvin Klein.

A good first step is to pick a few good fashion schools and get some information from them regarding their programs. This can all be done quite easily now as most schools now have short "information package request" forms right on their websites. They're usually pretty short forms, you fill them out and they mail you an information package which outlines their programs in details. It's definitely worth looking into if you really are serious about getting into the fashion industry. …