I sent the following letter to the quality assurance manager of Dial-A-Ride following a conversation he had with Karen this afternoon.
Karen and I just spoke at length regarding the telephone discussion the two of you had this afternoon. First, please understand that Karen and I appreciate your taking some ownership of yesterday’s incident and doing your best to make some adjustments. We really do appreciate that. Second, we both fully understand that Dial-A-Ride is a shared ride service, that it (like all other systems in the known universe) is imperfect and that, from time to time, there are bound to be problems. When problems do arise, all we ask is that your organization’s staff hold themselves accountable, take ownership and make real, sincere, reasonable best efforts at resolving the issues. As in just about any other business, we expect representatives to take ownership and responsibility of all matters from start to finish. The following basic steps would go a very, very long way toward resolving any issues:
- When there is an error, acknowledge it right away.
- Sincerely apologize.
- Expedite any adjustments as needed to reduce the negative consequences.
- When adjustments just can’t be made, provide a free trip or send some tickets.
- Investigate and provide real answers.
That’s all there is to it. We just would like you guys to do your best to follow those basic five steps. We feel they are pretty much universally good practices across all aspects of life. You mentioned your feeling that the number of e-mails we send and telephone calls we make concerning issues are “excessive” and that we need to understand that “we are not the only passengers”. Karen is in the hospitality industry and I am in the technical customer support industry. Under no circumstances are we permitted to make statements like these when dealing with customer service issues. It would be, at a minimum, considered highly unprofessional. Our supervisors would certainly be speaking with us. We would most certainly be written up or, worse yet, fired for repeated incidents. Please understand that you and other members of your staff will receive fewer e-mails and telephone calls from us when we observe practices of greater accountability,
professionalism, responsibility and taking ownership of issues.