A self-audit should include every facet of customer service from the time a caller requests a quote until the time the final bill is processed after service has been completed.
No matter how a request for a quote arrives, you should respond in a timely manner. Do you listen to your employees’ calls? You may want to, even if you only hear one side of the call. Ideally, both sides should be recorded for training purposes. Do you read the responses your employees send by email to RFQs or have a policy on who answers emails and in what time frame? If not, you should develop some guidelines. When a client calls upon you for a quote, it signals he is ready to purchase services. If you force them to wait an extended period, chances are they will use that time to get quotes elsewhere. If another company can provide an immediate quote and is within the budget, the ink on your quote might not even be dry while they are booking somewhere else.
This is the most important part of the sale process. Is all of the information repeated back in phone calls? Do you provide a written confirmation? Do you require your clients to sign documents in our order to secure services? Is this process a hassle for your clients that serves no purpose? If you are having them sign for credit card charges, can’t they do this on the day of the trip? If it is a contract, how do they get it back to you? If they don’t have a fax or a scanner, do they need to mail it or bring it in? The transaction should be as easy as possible. Always put yourself in the shoes of your client and evaluate how you would feel if you were buying something from someone and what steps you had to go through to hand your money over to a company.
The Vehicle Prep
How often do you inspect vehicles that have been “made ready” for client service? Is every little nook and cranny cleaned? Are there storage compartments that have bottle caps in them or gum? Do the ashtray doors close properly? Are there fingerprints, or worse yet, footprints on your mirrored ceiling? The little details can sour a client on the service as it makes them feel unsanitary when the vehicle is not properly cleaned. Are any of the speakers in the vehicle blown and crackling? Take the time to thoroughly inspect every vehicle that goes out on a given audit day.
Nothing could be more important than the delivery of service. How are your chauffeurs driving? Do you ever follow them or show up at a church parking lot to watch their selection of parking, the attention to doors, what they do when they are waiting for the client, etc.? Do you have a client evaluation form that you provide to clients for feedback? If not, you should. You can give it to every client you serve or every 10th client a particular driver serves. However you do it, you need direct client feedback on the quality of service. There’s nothing wrong with picking up the phone and calling the passenger to ask if service was delivered as expected.
Everyone wants to know what the ride costs as soon as it is over. From your affiliates to the employee completing his expense report for reimbursement, everyone wants their final bill sooner than later. Do you send the client a final receipt? How do passengers get their final charges on time? This is another critical area to monitor. A failure here could result in the loss of future business when everything else went well.