Category Archives: Customer Service

What makes a Diner Great?

In some circles, I am known as Diner Bob because of my passion to seek out and enjoy great diner’s around the country.  It stems from my growing up in New Jersey, the capital of Diners in America in my opinion, and living in Sterling, Worcester County, Massachusetts for 30 years. Worcester is the home of the Worcester Lunch Car Company which produced more than 600 Diners between 1906 and 1957.

Nautilus Diner

Nautilus Diner, Madison, NJ

I had the opportunity to eat breakfast a few times at one of my all time favorites this past week in Madison, New Jersey. The Nautilus has been around since as long as I can remember. I grew up only a few miles away. It hasn’t changed much over the years. There are pictures on the walls of how it used to be and it is hard to tell the difference. I think that is the first rule in being a great Diner, consistency. This applies to any service organization. The second rule is a great product – in the case of the Nautilus, it is great food. Over the course of a few days, I had the opportunity to eat breakfast at the Nautilus a number of times. At each occasion, my party was seated promptly, tended to immediately and quickly served our orders exactly as ordered. All Diner’s across America can take a lesson here; provide consistent service, cook great food, have wait staff that are there to serve providing quick, attentive and accurate service and you just might have a successful business.  It isn’t complicated, but it is rare to find.

And you needn’t take my word for it, this past Sunday we were honored to enjoy breakfast with Governor Chris Christy (look closely) sitting just a few tables away.  As it turns out, this large man (in size and stature) who lives a few miles, New Jersey frequents the Nautilus. A great compliment to any Diner!

My hat is off to the Nautilus in Madison, New Jersey.  Setting a great example! Long live the American Diner!

Posted in Customer Service, Diners, Passion. Tagged with .

People Tracking with RFID

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) was thought to be a transportation and logistics tool for managing inventory of packages, especially high value products like Gillette razor blades or Pfizer packages of Viagra. Although not in every store just yet, RFID is hitting it big when it comes to tracking people. 

Sometimes called spy chips, these tiny devices are connected to a particular package or person. They might be thought of as electronic bar codes. A court just upheld the legality of using RFID tags as an electronic badge for students of a Texas High School that wants to use RFID tags to manage the security of students.

Disney World plans to begin using RFID tags installed in bracelets this spring. These wrist bands (MyMagic+ bracelets) will be used for park admission, room keys, charge cards and FastPass’s (used to make reservations on popular attractions). This will replace the plastic “Card to the Kingdom” which resort guests use today as park access, room access and charge cards. The RFID scanners (pictured here) will be located everywhere and will track each individual as we move through the parks. All information gathered will feed a comprehensive logistics application to better monitor crowd levels, queue lines, and store activity. Although not specifically disclosed, the RFID bracelets will also be able to track the use of restrooms, front desks, concierge, buses, boats, monorail, automobile, room use, resort amenities such as spas, exercise facilities, lobby’s, bars, restaurants and walkways. 

Fortunately, Disney guests will of course be able to accessorize the MyMagic+ Bracelets with charms and Mouse paraphernalia. Thank Goodness! So Mickey Mouse has become our Big Brother.

Posted in Customer Service, geodata, mapping statistics, Technology.

Travelocity; A Cautionary Note

If you have ever had the occasion to book a rather complicated itinerary, you might find that it is better to handle it over the phone rather than on-line. Travelocity travel services has operators standing by 24-7, albeit in India. Travelocity hawks their San Antonio call center, but users of Travelocity know better. Their first line of calls are fielded in India. You might find the experience a bit stressful, but the operators will spend hours if necessary scheduling your travel.

Here is the cautionary note. Make sure you read your itinerary confirmation thoroughly and completely before 11:59PM central time the day you make the reservations. If there is a problem and you find Travelocity made a mistake, that error becomes your error if you do not correct it by the end of that day. If this problem does arise, you may just find that it takes more than three hours and hundreds of dollars to get a resolution. You will be required to make more than 5 calls and your calls will be dropped by the call center employees. By the casual observer, it might be assumed that it is the call center employees first line of defense in complicated situations. When confused, just hang up. They don’t say, I’m sorry, I can’t help you, they just hang up.

Last checked, WNS, a company that outsources business processes, handles call center duties for Travelocity, a privately held division of Sabre Holdings Corporation. Working with WNS has purportedly reduced operational costs for Travelocity by 40% annually. But at what cost to the consumer. At what point will we demand better?

Posted in Customer Service, Transportation Discounts, travel, travelling.