A male passenger was allegedly stabbed to death by a taxi driver operating on the Papine to Half Way Tree route after the two got into an altercation over taxi fare. If this is how we handle challenging situations, are we truly a friendly nation? Or can we even maintain that narrative when evidently our customer service skills keeps diminishing every day? Simply put, this is a true reflection of how poor we are at providing good quality service to those who demand and pay for it, especially in the local transportation sector.
Customer service is the act of taking care of a person’s needs by providing and delivering professional, helpful, high quality service and assistance before, during, and after that person’s requirements are met. Therefore, Jamaican expects nothing less than being given the best service possible when traveling on local taxis and buses. A study by author Ian Linton, shows that good customer service can maximize profitability by 60 – 70% as it increases customer loyalty.
Currently, there are three types of transportation services provided locally:
The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) which is state owned and operates buses in Kingston and St. Andrew and Montego Bay
Private bus and taxi companies (Knutsford Express, Gadgepro, JUTA Tours)
Local taxi operators (Public Passenger Vehicles – PPV and robot taxis)
If I should compare the level and quality of service given by those service providers, undoubtly private operators are more effective and consistent with providing good customer service. Despite being a bit more expensive than the other key players, they seem to value their customers and go the extra mile in making sure they are satisfied before, during and after their ride. Consumers seek value for their money and will always pay more if quality is guaranteed.
Until we are able to change our mentality and employ basic customer service skills for instance patience, calmness and the ability to communicate effectively in every life situation, including the way in which we provide service to our passengers, I am afraid we will continue to operate as a failed state in the customer service arena. Stay tuned for my upcoming blog, where I will look at customer service in the restaurant industry.