Luxury Coach & Transportation

March 2019

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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CUSTOMER SERVICE Keeping a Service Failure Log Mistakes happen, and the more information you can get out of them, the more your company will improve. By Jim A. Luff, LCT contributing editor ILLUSTRATION: KEVIN HAEGELE, LCT ART DIRECTOR E very customer service failure provides a learning oppor- tunity. You can learn a lot by keeping a log and applying changes based on past mistakes. ink of it as a report card for your business. Defining a "service failure" can get rather broad. No- shows caused by human error, mechanical failures, and even slow billing can be considered service failures. Tracking these failures can help identify staff members who are not delivering to expectations or problem vehicles that drain cash from your business. Chris Przybylski with Limo & Bus Compliance, an industry regulatory consulting service, provides analysis on service failures for about 30 transportation clients and examines all factors that hinder a client, such as traffic issues, chauffeur complaints, and slow billing. He reports the average service failure rate of his clients is about two percent. Reading Report Cards You likely remember the excitement or fear of opening your school report card. A report card grades specific courses, and as we all may painfully remember, the grade may not always have been as high as expected in a particular subject. Perhaps you thought you were getting an "A" in English but instead you got a "B-." You knew immediately you had to put a little more effort into your English class. Maintaining a log of failures may provide that same eye-opening experience. You might not be doing as well as you think you are. What Size Companies? You may assume your company is too small to worry about this. If you plan to grow, you should start a log now. e larger your company becomes, the more people who could contrib- ute to service failures. When you get to the size of big-metro companies such as BostonCoach, Windy City Limousine and Bus, Commonwealth Worldwide, and Music Express, as an owner you may not be aware of every service failure on any given day. Having a log allows you to review recorded incidents and adopt new policies, change existing ones, and identify weak areas of your operations. Organizing Your Log Whether you keep your log in a binder, on a spreadsheet, or tracked through reservations software, it should be categorized by types of failure. "Client service failures can be anything, even something out of your control, (such as) bad traffic, the luggage carou- sel took forever, it's hot," says Doug Schwartz, CEO of Executive Limousine in Bellmore, N.Y. As such, your tabs should include mechanical, missed pick-ups, late pick-ups, chauffeur complaints, vehicle interior problems, 30 WWW.LCTMAG.COM LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION MARCH 2019 New York operator Doug Schwartz advocates using multiple categories to classify service failures, since they can range widely. LEVEL OF DETAIL How much information you record in your log is up to you. The more detail you enter, the more data you have for future examination and decision making. At minimum we recommend you keep the following details: • Trip number • Vehicle ID • Chauffeur • Reservationist • Dispatchers involved • Other staff • Affiliate service provider • Date of failure • Type of failure • Summary of incident • Resolution • Cost of resolution • Resolving manager

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