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While it may appear the bulk of our efforts are spent driving from one delivery to another, the fact is that what separates Sandhills Delivery Service from other delivery companies isn’t our ability to driver faster or longer than the next delivery company. What separates us is our ability to effectively and professionally communicate with both the Airline Agents and their passengers.
Proper Communication with Agents
Agents routinely have to deal with a disgruntled and sometimes angry passenger every time they take a claim for a delayed piece of luggage. Dealing with frustrated passengers on a daily and sometimes hourly basis can wear on them. If a driver goes in and is frustrated for any reason, he/she may irritate the agent further. Not only are they our customer, but they represent our livelihood and whether they like you or not plays a major role in the number of deliveries they will give you. Always remember an agent can delay sending a bag out until you’re off shift, encourage the passenger to pick up the bag rather than put it out for delivery, or make deliveries difficult by setting expectations with passengers without confirming with you first if you can meet those expectations. Some things you can do that will benefit you greatly are provided below and should be practiced daily. They will result in a better relationship with the airline agents, insuring a positive relationship that benefits the airline and you as a contracted delivery provider.
1. Always show up to work with a positive attitude, in uniform and neatly groomed.
2. Acknowledge the agents by name and ask them how their day is going.
3. Never argue with an agent. If you don’t agree with something they are asking you to do, document on the paperwork the agents name and discuss with your site manager. (NOTE: It is a condition of employment that every driver treats the airline agents professionally and with courtesy and any/all issues be addressed by management, not the contract delivery driver.)
4. Any pricing issues should be documented and discussed with the site manager. Never discuss or request additional compensation for a delivery based on the number of bags, size, weight, etc. with an agent. All these issues should be discussed with your site manager and any adjustments made by him or the payroll department.
Proper Communication with Passengers:
The old saying: “The customer is always right” has never been more true than in our business. Remember, people expect their luggage to arrive when they do and when it doesn’t, many can be very frustrated. What they have in their luggage may have emotional significance ), or just the proper outfit for a funeral, wedding or interview they have traveled for. Additionally, they may have medications they need and not having them will cause stress until they get them back. For these and various other possible scenarios, each passenger’s luggage should be viewed in the same way you would feel if something very important to you was delayed or lost and you weren’t sure you would ever see it again. Once we have a passenger’s luggage, it is imperative that we do the following and always treat the passenger with respect and a sense of urgency to return their property to them as quickly as possible.
1. Contact each passenger within 1 hour of signing for their luggage. Making contact with the passenger is critical. The goal is to let each passenger know that their luggage has arrived and has been turned over to us for delivery.
2. Give them an ETA time and document on the BDO so you are aware of what you committed to them. (if you can’t make it due to unforeseen circumstances, make sure you contact the passenger as soon as you know and reset their expectation.
3. If a passenger starts yelling at you because he/she is frustrated with not having their luggage, let them vent and reassure them you will get it to them as quickly as possible.
4. When arriving at the delivery location, always try to help the passenger with their luggage. If they ask you to bring it in, you should do so but remain by the front door until they have signed for their luggage.
5. Passengers will often ask you why their luggage was lost. Politely explain that we just deliver it and there are many different reasons for delayed luggage so it would be impossible to speculate what caused their luggage to be delayed. Apologize on behalf of the airline and wish them a great evening.
6. If a passenger refuses to sign for their luggage before looking into their luggage, let them. If they refuse to sign for it after reviewing the contents, , politely tell them you will have to return the luggage to the airline where they can pick it up and discuss any missing items with the airline baggage agent. Again, always apologize on behalf of the airline before leaving and wish them a great day.
NEVER argue with a passenger about anything. They may be frustrated because they needed their medications, were here for a funeral/wedding/interview/etc. and their luggage wasn’t delivered in time causing them both unnecessary stress and expense. They are entitled to vent. Remember they are venting at the airlines, not you! Listening and apologizing is always better than arguing with them.