Posted by Harry Hertz, the Baldrige Cheermudgeon
I was in Chicago this week. As in many cities, I had the opportunity to take a few taxi rides. Also, as in many cities, there was a placard with useful information posted for you to read to help understand the fare structure. As usual, it included information such as the rate per mile, charges for additional passengers, and the add-on fee for trips to the airport. It also had a fee I had never seen listed before. The fee for cleaning up vomit in a Chicago taxicab is $50.
That made me really curious about why that fee is called out. Is vomiting a common occurrence in Chicago cabs? Do the drivers drive recklessly to encourage that action? (Mine did not.) So, I did a little research and found that this was at the request of drivers, who could not previously force a fee on “hurling” passengers. Furthermore, the same ordinance allowing this fee has been enacted in Austin, TX and Savannah, GA.
Naturally, my next thought was how does this placard entry relate to the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence in the area of customer focus? The only relevant questions I could find were:
- How do you enable customers to seek information and support? How do you enable them to give feedback on your customer support? What are you key means of customer support, including your key communication mechanisms? How do you determine your customers’ key support requirements?
So, what is my message to you? Much as I love Chicago, wouldn’t you rather come to Baltimore, enjoy some delicious Maryland hard shell crabs, and attend the 25th anniversary Quest for Excellence conference on April 7-10, 2013? And not have a “gut-wrenching” experience, but be intellectually stimulated? See you in Baltimore!