By Jerry Mauboules, Area Manager
Would you believe a valet operator telling you they had no paid damage claims in a year? What about two years?
When I began my career in parking, the first location I worked was an 800 space all-valet location in downtown Houston that operated 24/7 every day of the year. The operation consisted of approximately 40 valets, 2 cashiers and 4 supervisors. Oh…and an average of approximately 2 incident claims per day in the beginning. Filling out incident paperwork and speaking with insurance representatives consumed more than 1/3 of the day. Something had to change to lower the claims reported and lower the expense of paid claims.
Paperwork, previously done by the manager, was moved to the supervisors. The supervisors quickly learned how time consuming filling out forms and verifying information was. That coupled with increased pressure on the valet staff to slow down, use more cautious driving skills and provide truly great customer service resulted in reported claims falling to approximately 1 or 2 per week over the next several months, then to approximately 1 per month, within a year. When I began working in the Texas Medical Center a little over 8 years ago, the same philosophy was implemented.
About two years ago at one of Winpark’s Medical Center locations, I was filling out an incident claim for a supposed missing cell phone from a customer’s vehicle. In the process, I realized that it had been just short of a year in which any damage claim had been paid. I dug further to ensure the findings were accurate…which they were. Astonished at the findings, I discussed this with the valet supervisor of one of the locations. He was equally surprised. We used the information to encourage the valet staff to continue the trend and surpass the 365-day mark with no paid damage claims. The cell phone for the customer was located in the building’s Lost & Found. The customer appears to have dropped or left it in an office.
The goal was met and the staff was provided a client approved incentive for such a great job. Even more astonishing is another 365 days has passed with no paid damage claims at two of Winpark’s Med Center locations.
Two full years of operation with no paid damage claims, a trend that continues today, due to the awesome care and control exercised by the supervisor and staff. It can be done.