Operations

Being Receptive to Client Criticism Will Improve Your Company

Posted on October 1, 1998 by Tom Mazza, Contributing Editor

Tom Mazza, 1998
Tom Mazza, 1998

It’s one of my biggest problems. I fight it all the time. Hopefully, as I get older, I will get better. It’s my inability to accept constructive criticism. I sometimes take the criticism as a personal attack and react emotionally. A writer gets criticism from management or a reader. An entrepreneur gets criticism from an unhappy client. Being receptive to constructive critical comments from your clients, as well as from your employees, can help your company grow.

First, create an atmosphere and a management style that will encourage your clients to be honest with you. Most clients are not confrontational. They would rather use a different limousine service than have to call you and complain. However, if you consistently solicit feedback from your clients either at the time they make a reservation or via a post-trip survey, they are more likely to provide feedback when there is a problem.

When you do receive a critical call from a client, carefully follow up and document your response. “October 2, 1998: Mr. Jones said there was a full ashtray in the back of Car 21 on an airport transfer. Investigated the problem and breakdown in the cleaning procedures. October 5, 1998: Mr. Jones received a letter of apology and a complimentary upgrade certificate.”

It’s important that Mr. Jones was comfortable enough to call you and elaborate on a problem. Remember, he is doing you a favor.

Second, understand that a criticism of a specific conduct or course of action is not a personal attack. Answer criticism initially by listening carefully and taking notes. Do not make rash statements or promises. Thank the client for calling. Provide the client with a specific call back time. Also, detail to the client how the problem will be resolved. If you are already aware of the problem, such as a client being stranded at the airport, be proactive and call immediately.

Finally, understand that there are two types of employee criticisms. One is a well thought out, reasonable complaint about how things are done at your company. Your employees are entitled to question you. They invest their time and have the right to seek the best possible working conditions. Be patient, unemotional, and provide answers.

The second type of criticism stems from employees who are critical of the industry, not necessarily your company. “I never get a tip from our corporate clients” or, “I hate the fact we are so busy on the weekends.” In these types of scenarios all you can do is listen and be supportive. The hours are dictated by the paying customers.

Consistently delivering quality service is a daily challenge. Successful entrepreneurs use constructive criticism as one tool to help them deliver a high level of service.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Windy City Limousine & Bus Wins "Best Of" Award

The company's diverse fleet and years of experience have earned it many achievements.

Fugitaboutit! Operators Deal With NYC Traffic Woes

Weather and mass transit delays always create additional problems, but 50,000 TNC vehicles ratchet up congestion.

Arkansas Operation Recognized As Small Business of the Year

Pinnacle Car Services, Inc. recieved the accolade from the Greater Bentonville Bella Vista Chamber of Commerce.

How To Make Your Buses Comply With The Latest Rules

eNews Exclusive: Joe Guinn guides operators on the best ways to prepare for the large leap from sedans and SUVs to buses and motorcoaches.

What Is The Future Of The New Luxury Traveler?

There is a growing demand for more human connectedness and meaningful experiences for both adults and children.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment

Submit

Blog

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - May 2017 $12.95 Post International LCT Show Issue COVER STORY: * Best Operators of 2017: Their Winning Secrets Revealed * *



Connect

Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close