A transportation business owner has to deal with the normal day to day business aspects such as scheduling, finances, and record management. However, they also spend a great deal of time handling conflict. In fact, some of the best business owners are spending more time handling conflicts than actually closing business deals.
There are several sources of conflict and varying ways to handle it:
Because tensions can often run high in a demanding, busy profession, your chauffeurs may quickly become agitated with each other. It may seem that one employee always gets the best tippers, while another employee always gets the sloppy drunks. Although you may not deliberately create their schedules in such a way, employees are guaranteed to notice what their coworkers are doing.
The key to quickly solving and moving on from an employee conflict is to get to the bottom of it and fast. Figure out exactly what is bothering the indignant employee. Reach an agreement that will satisfy all employees involved.
As an employer, it is your responsibility to be fair with each employee. If you are playing favoritism, be aware that coworkers will notice. Morale and motivation will quickly decrease, directly affecting your customer satisfaction and sales. If you are treating each employee fairly and arguments do occur, chances are you can resolve the issue and each employee can continue on without any resentment.
Similar to employee conflicts, disputes are guaranteed to occur between dispatchers and workers. If a dispatcher is not fond of a certain chauffeur, they may enjoy assigning them to customers that do not tip well or are known for leaving the limousine a mess.
You should routinely ensure that the dispatchers are fairly distributing the workload between the chauffeurs. As with employee conflict, quickly identify the problem and attempt to find a resolution.
Any time you deal with the public, you are bound to run into unsatisfied customers from time to time. In fact, an unsatisfied customer has the potential to not only take a great deal of time from your workday, but also to damage your reputation when they share their experience with friends and coworkers. Remember that one satisfied customer will tell 2 or 3 friends, while one unsatisfied customer will tell 10-15 people.
When you are approached by a dissatisfied customer (and you will be), take the time to listen and fully understand the situation. Do everything in your power to right the wrong. Even if the customer is wrong, your company cannot afford to have one angry customer spreading vicious stories. If you offer a refund or even a discounted service, chances are they will respect your understanding.
On a nearly daily basis, you may have to resolve some type of conflict. Whether it is a dissatisfied customer or an employee argument, it is always best to handle it quickly and fairly. Although you may resist taking time out of your day to play mediator, ignoring conflict may only cost you money in the long run.
In fact, you may be losing money because you are unaware of conflicts that are affecting employee morale, productivity, and customer satisfaction. Often times, you are too intimate with your business to identify damaging issues. Consider hiring a professional with years of transportation business experience to identify and offer resolutions for issues that may just be costing your company a great deal of money.