Operations

Office Organization Leads To Optimum Output

Lexi Tucker
Posted on February 16, 2018

Chris Hotham Carroll and Kristen Carroll of The LMC Group hosted the popular roundtable session.
Chris Hotham Carroll and Kristen Carroll of The LMC Group hosted the popular roundtable session.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J — Many heads are better than one when brainstorming more efficient ways to run a luxury ground transportation operation. The “Best Practices for Maximizing Office Productivity” roundtable hosted by Chris Hotham Carroll and Kristen Carroll of The LMC Group at LCT East proved this when attendees dispersed into groups to discuss inbox organization and service recovery methods.

You’ve Got Mail!...But Where Do You Put It?

 “While organizing emails might not be the sexiest topic, it’s a challenge we see everywhere we go,” Carroll said. “Every office we’ve been in has difficulty making sure someone is on top of it, so how do you manage it properly? How do you know when someone has or hasn’t followed up? How do you know three people aren’t working on it at the same time?” Here are a few tips attendees brought up that might help you solve the problem:

Go Paperless

One operator has a central email account (think [email protected]) that receives all reservations. When they get an email, whoever’s handling a particular case will shout out, “I’ve got so-and-so’s request.” As emails come in, they are converted into PDFs. They then use the dynamic stamp function in Adobe Acrobat to mark the document with first check, second check, and final check stamps.

Delegate

  •  Create folders within your Outlook email account to delegate your emails to a specific person or group.
  • Create separate email groups for your chauffeurs, management, dispatchers, and other staff so when you send internal emails you know they will be going to the relevant recipients. This way they don’t clutter the inboxes of people who don’t need the information.
  • To prevent the mass string of emails that occurs when someone asks for a quote, have a form set up on your website with all the information you’ll need from the client: Number of passengers, pick-up and drop-off locations, and anything else you need so you are capturing vital details right when they ask for the first quote.
  • Label by color in Outlook, and then drag into a “completed” bin. Color coding allows you to know who handled the quote so you can follow up with that person if something goes wrong.
  • Some reservation systems let you save the email and attach it to a specific job so you can follow up and do quality control on every run.
  • Send everything through a service such as MailChimp so you can see read receipts and figure out who has opened the email and who hasn’t. Then use a program like Zapier to transfer information into a closed Facebook group so people have two different opportunities to read it.
  •  Once you reach a certain mass of incoming emails, it may exceed what Outlook can handle. Other tools such as Freshdesk will convert your emails to tickets so someone can follow it all the way through until the issue is resolved.

How To Ensure They Still Love You After A Wipe Out

The second part of the roundtable discussion consisted of service recovery and incident tracking methods. Questions such as “How do you compensate when mistakes are made?” and “How do you track the funds associated with doing so?” are just a few of the topics brought up.

  • Remind your staff immediate responses are vital.
  • Use cloud-based programs like Google Docs to track anything not directly related to reservations. This data can be used later for performance reviews.
  • Let the customer know it’s important to you to make things right.
  • Track both internal (customer is unaware) and external incidents (directly affects the customer). Tracking internal incidents will help you track patterns and trends with office staff or chauffeurs so you can retrain them when necessary.
  •  Track lost revenue and/or hard costs. If you miss a reservation, track the revenue you could’ve collected. Hard costs are when money is taken directly out of company’s pocket (sending a gift card, comping a ride, etc.).
  • Create a standard incident report (IR) form. Require it be filled out no later than 48 hours after the incident occurs. Get several hands involved in the process to determine where the core of the problem came from (internal, affiliate, vehicle error, etc.).
  • Let the client know you will gather the facts and be in touch as soon as possible. Don’t think with your heart. Take a deep breath, step back, and look at it from a wider prospective. When you don’t respond with your emotions it helps keep your costs down.
  • Not all clients will be the best fit for your organization. With some incidents that reoccur, there’s a common denominator — the client. Learn when to cut ties.

[email protected]

Related Topics: Atlantic city, business management, customer service, employee management, Harrah's, industry education, LCT-NLA Show East, management, new jersey, offices, staff management

Lexi Tucker Associate Editor
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