An entity not often associated with exceptional customer service has put an increased focus on its service delivery, and the results have been stellar. However, is it too little too late?

The TSA, yes the Transportation Security Administration, known for their droning announcements about the removal of shoes and belts and the dangers of 3.5 ounces of liquid would like to be known as kind, courteous and professional – at least at the Orlando International Airport.

Earlier this year, the airport’s board created a 10-member committee to recommend whether to fire TSA and hire a private company. This action prompted the federal agency to dispatch 26 specially trained passenger support specialists at Orlando International.

What customer service issues triggered this reaction? Officials said TSA workers were caught sleeping on the job, stealing from passengers and fast-tracking friends and family. In one case, a TSA worker tried to get a relative’s bag past security without screening it. A supervisor noticed, and when he checked the bag it contained prohibited items.

But all that’s changed according to the results of a customer satisfaction survey the TSA commissioned from Valencia College. The report said 96 percent of the 1,100 respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with their TSA security experience. Even with this amazing turnaround in customer satisfaction, the damage may be irreparable. Their fate in Orlando is slated to come down in November.

If only the TSA had cared enough about their service delivery before complaints were levied against them to take the same action, most likely, they would have identified and corrected service gaps before their contract was put in jeopardy.

How would your customers rate your service delivery? Is it possible they could be shopping for another provider? Don’t wait until the damage is done. Ask for customer feedback using a customer satisfaction survey from CIMA Insight and take advantage of the valuable information provided.

FYI – as a courtesy from your friends at Electrum Branding, snow globes and tennis racquets are allowed to be carried onto a plane, however, dynamite and hand grenades are not. Thank goodness for the Prohibited Items brochure from the TSA.

Blog Update
According to a March 2015 vote, the TSA, which employees 1,200 screeners at the nation’s 13th busiest airport, will remain on the job screening 50,000 travelers and 38,000 checked bags on any given day at the Orlando International Airport.

A push to hire a private firm to conduct screening was underway after long wait times and several TSA employees were reported for regrettable behavior. Since the TSA’s contract has been under the microscope, they have enacted several programs to improve performance including using dogs to sniff out contraband in large groups, which allows those travelers to skip taking off shoes, belts and jackets, and expansion of the Pre-check program, which moves qualified passengers to a quicker security line. As a result, the average wait time dropped by 77% to six minutes in ten months.

To ensure improved performance, the airport will hire a marketing company to ask travelers what they think about TSA and if the satisfaction rate falls below 85 percent, the contract could be switched to a private company.