The Stranded Traveler’ Case

A quality service can be defined as one which leaves its users with a smile on the face due to attained satisfaction. In this case, the traveler is dissatisfied with the services offered by that shuttle company because he quietly swears never to use the company again. Several ways clearly show how the shuttle company failed to provide quality services. Firstly, we see the repeated failure of making available the right car for taking the traveler to his hotel. Time management is also another failure. Thirty-five minutes later, there was no car to take the customer to his hotel despite confirming availability in only ten minutes. The company rule that drivers should not drive less than three customers out of the airport is an acceptable policy. As such, it would have been appropriate to take the stranded traveler directly to his hotel rather than stick to the rule.

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The dispatcher’s decisions were inappropriate because he did not consider the customer’s satisfaction before making decisions. For instance, he repeatedly fails to direct the right car to pick the customer even after radioed by two drivers taking different routes. Considering the cold weather, this was a terrific injustice to the stranded traveler. Knowing that he had delayed the traveler, he should have instructed the driver to take him directly to his hotel. On the contrary, he still does the opposite by delaying him more by following their policy that does not allow driving less than three customers out of the airport.

To improve the services of the shuttle company, I would ensure the use of policies that lead to total customer satisfaction. First of all, I will ensure I listen to the views of customers by taking occasional audits from them. Analyzing such information will give a hint on customers’ satisfaction and identify ways to meet their needs. As an example, negative feedbacks due to delays and inappropriate service such as in the case of the stranded traveler can be used to improve the service. Implementation of service quality training should also be practiced from the top-level management down the organization. This would ensure that all shuttle company employees strive to provide quality services to customers by not failing them as in the case of the dispatcher’s inefficiency. Where intentional delays occur, there should be penalties to the employee in question as a way of eliminating inefficiency in the company services. Lastly, I would provide an extra vehicle within the company that can move to any of the common routes upon request. On the dispatcher’s instruction, such vehicles can pick any customer who has not been attended to directly to his destination to avoid serious delays.

The strategy of employee empowerment gives the employees the power to make decisions about their jobs and take responsibility for their outcomes. In this case, employee empowerment has not been effectively employed. The inability of the lady driver to take the frustrated traveler directly to his hotel on her own decision is evidence of a lack of employee empowerment. Instead, she picks the customer and moves out of the airport after asking for instruction from the dispatcher. This leaves the customer dissatisfied with their service and in the long run, loses the customer completely. With employee empowerment, the customer would have been taken to his hotel without further delay. This may have impacted positively on the customer who may opt to try their service a second time. Therefore, employee empowerment should be applied to ensure vital decisions like this one can be handled effectively.

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