Luxury Coach & Transportation

April 2019

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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Page 24 of 51

LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION APRIL 2019 23 own it. Apologize for it, remedy it, and move on. Establishing, ducking, or placing blame doesn't fix the problem. Never look for a way to blame the other party to avoid paying unless you have solid grounds. An example would be if you gave a job to a company with a spot time of 8:15 p.m. when it was really supposed to be 8:15 a.m. For this reason, we recommend all operators use military time such as 08:15 or 20:15 so there is no confusion. Remember, work, review, and fix failures together based upon your relationship. Don't try to assign blame. Is The Relationship Salvageable? You face many considerations when cutting an offending affiliate. Before terminating the relationship, examine the bigger picture: • Do you believe the relationship can be salvaged? • Are there prior incidents or have you heard of others who have experienced a problem? If there is a dispute about what happened, both parties should at- tempt to resolve the dispute through calm communication. It's probably best to discuss a dispute a few days after an incident when you are likely to be more open to two-way discus- sion and resolution. In the heat of anger, we are likely to say things and make decisions we might later regret. Consider the length of the relationship, the volume of business exchanged, the previous service history as well as the previous status of the relationship. Only you can decide if an affiliate relationship should be saved. — ing almost guarantees you will never see the client again. e best method for determining how to properly compensate the client is to ask, "What can we do to make this right?" If their answer is within reason, give it to them. As affiliates, discuss what you needed to give up to satisfy your client and how you can meet in the middle. Remember, relationships are give and take. How Many Mistakes Are Allowed? Marlo Denning, owner of Elegant Limousine in Daytona Beach, Fla., commented on a social media post, "We are all human and make mis- takes." is is very true. But how many mistakes are acceptable? Some might say it depends on the type of mistake made. Large companies like BostonCoach are astute enough to recognize it is impossible to run a fleet of 2,400 vehicles with a staff of 3,600 people without making mis- takes. Lisa Ortega, affiliate manager at Dav El/Boston Coach Chauffeured Transportation Network, has a failure tolerance of .5%. is means they basically allow one failure for every 250 rides. Oops — I Did It Again What happens when you accept the apology for a failure and begin send- ing orders again to an affiliate that previously botched a job and they make another mistake? Unfortu- nately, you must make hard decisions. Excuses and apologies only go so far in a world where impeccable service is not only required, but demanded. It's probably time to cut ties and find a more reliable affiliate. Avoid the Blame Game A common term we hear in business is "Man Up." If you make a mistake, could be far greater than this one botched job. Once the passenger has been picked up, you can begin salvaging the relationship. e client's decision on whether to stay or bail will likely depend on what amends you make. With any luck at all, the incident will not be put on social media for the entire industry to see. While you are likely to be angry, tarnishing a company name on Facebook might be considered unethical and unprofes- sional. Have you ever experienced a failure out of your control? Did you blast about your failure on social me- dia? Probably not, as it would damage your credibility. Affiliate Relationships An affiliate relationship should always be on solid ground and not entered into lightly. An affiliate represents your com- pany, or you represent another company by handling their ride. Relationships involve respect, consideration, and care. You must care about each other and be considerate. You wouldn't put your girl- friend on blast on social media about a relationship problem, so don't do that with a business partner either. Although you are likely to be angry, give the per- son a chance to explain what happened or to apologize. Call as soon as you can after learning of a failure. ose three words, "I am sorry," are an important part of any healthy relationship and go far in repairing damage. How To Compensate A good affiliate relationship involves talking about rates. Affiliates com- monly negotiate prices based on a specific job that might involve multiple vehicles or days. is same conversation should happen after a failure. e most important factor in determining fair compensation is how much will please the client. Without a doubt, the botched ride should be comped. Some operators may believe a ride should be discounted, but not comped. If service goes wrong in a luxury hotel or high-end restaurant, the business generally comps the entire bill. ey are in the hospitality business, as are we. Many operators believe if a passen- ger gets from Point A to Point B, then service has been delivered and they should pay. is petty way of think-

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