Delivering Bad News and Corrective Action

Mistakes and accidents happen in all professions and the transportation industry is no exception. From breakdowns and accidents to incorrectly loaded shipments, anything can happen from the time a shipment is ordered to the time it delivers. Most customers understand that things happen that are not in our control and will not be upset if you are honest about the issues you might be having. Some won’t understand and will be upset regardless. Here are some steps on how to deliver bad news to make it easier for you and a better experience for your customer.

Step 1 - Contact: I am a “pull the band-aid off as quickly as possible” type of person. Call your customer at the earliest moment that there is an issue. They will appreciate your quick response to the issue and the fact that you got them involved. Offer to contact anyone else that it might affect so that they feel like you are working with them to resolve the issue. Constant communication will pay dividends once the issue is resolved.

Step 2 – Planning: The moment I hear there is an issue with a shipment I start thinking of ways to resolve the problem. Once you get a feel from your customer of how urgent the shipment is then you can figure out which plan you need to enact. For example, if your truck has broken down and your customer isn’t in a hurry to deliver the product then you can probably wait until the truck is fixed if it isn’t anything major. If your customer tells you that the shipment is HOT to deliver, then you can plan on having the load recovered. Let the customer decide which action is best and they will feel like they are part of the solution.

Step 3 – Corrective action: After you have resolved the issue, the best way to follow up with your customer is by coming up with a corrective action plan. Write a letter or email that shows that you recognize that there was an issue and a plan on how to prevent issues from reoccurring. This lets your customer know that you are willing to looking for preventative solutions to problems that may occur in the future.

Following these steps will make life much easier in times of crisis and create the image that your company can handle anything.

Next week we will talk about dealing with situations when someone cannot be satisfied with your resolution.

Jack Holmes is the Operations Manager at Global Transport. He has been in the freight industry for over 15 years, covering all aspects of transportation from importing to freight brokerage.

Global Transport

5541 West 164th Street,

Brook Park, OH 44142

Phone. 1-888-51- GLOBAL



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