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You’ll Have to Call Corporate

You’ll Have to Call Corporate

by Frank Roche on December 9, 2008

in Management

I travel a fair amount. Lately, I’ve been flying to O’Hare Airport, where I pick up a rental car from one of the nationally known brands. I’ve been a member of their loyalty program for over 10 years. The best part is where a customer can go directly to his car — the one he reserved online — and drive away. The car is ready and warmed up. Except for mine. Lots.

The last four times I ended up at this rental car company’s board where the names of their loyalty customers are posted along with their car number, my name isn’t on the board. So, I have to go inside and stand in line. And wait for a car. (Did I mention that I pay them $50 per year for this joy, whereas the smart people who don’t pay $50 also stand in line, just in another building?) I’d had it.

“The last four times I’ve been here, my car’s not listed. What’s the problem?” I said.

“We’re short on cars,” said the attendant.

“Seems like you must have some cars, because there are at least 100 names on that tote board. Just not mine. How could that be? What do I need to do to have my car listed? This is the fourth time.” I said.

“Nothing I can do about it,” said the attendant. “If you want it fixed you’ll have to call Corporate.”

Then my head exploded.

I stood there for a second. Gathered my thoughts. Counted to ten. And thought, “Yeah, I’m going to call Corporate, alright.” And if they don’t fix this on the spot I’m going to get my loyalty program fee back and then I’ll be calling another car rental company.

HR Lesson of the Day: Empower your people. If you’re going to do training, train them on how to make snap decisions and stick with them. If you have a choice of training them on teamwork or operations, go with the latter every time. It’s about business. If you let them say “You’ll have to call Corporate,” you won’t be in a profitable business too much longer.

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