You may think this is far-fetched but think about it for a moment, who is in the face of your customer more than your driver? Who has their pulse better on how the customer perceives your service than your driver? If you find yourself agreeing to any of the above statements and your customer values your business, thank a driver.
I have witnessed in my career several times a driver be able to defuse a situation long before the office is ever aware there was an issue. In many cases the driver will have a better than average relationship with the customer and usually with the reassurance from the driver the customers worries are put at ease. I am filled with great pride when I receive an email from our customer who has forwarded an email from their customer praising one of our drivers. It is one thing to get it from your customer but to receive from their customer is an exceptional feeling. It is times such as this that I encourage all senior management to not only take the time to thank that driver but at your next safety or operations meeting recognize that driver among his/her peers.
The following are keys items that if a driver possess he/she is going to on top of their game and will be in high demand;
- Proper and professional greeting upon arrival to the customer
- Brief but pleasant small talk to build a relationship
- Understand the expectations that customer has with regards to unloading, checking freight and paperwork procedures.
- Safety unload and make the delivery
- How to deal with the unexpected circumstances
- How to deal with irritated and angry customers
- How to professionally handle the impromptu request for additional service
- Professional dress and personal hygiene.
If you as a driver or you as a company can achieve the above you will have the grounds to cement your relationship with your customer. This is why I say that your drier is your best salesperson, they do this every day. If the customer is not happy with your service I can guarantee the driver will be the first to know about. It is what he/she does with that information is key. The importance of an open dialogue with the drivers is critical, the ability to share information with the driver and the company and vice versa is invaluable.
If your driver can master the following three items, they are the main reason why you have not heard any negative comments from your customer
- Is your driver a “Solution Provider” – When your customer asks the driver to deliver something extra, does it take a day to have it done? If this is the case, I guarantee the customer is not happy with the service provided.
- Does your driver have a “Can do attitude” – No is not an option, if you have the room, take the freight and through the driver and dispatch you make it happen. It’s a “Can do attitude”.
- Does your driver “Out service the competition”? – Each interaction with the customer, the goal from the driver is that they are the most important customer they have and that will be pivotal in out servicing the competition.
The next time you talk to a driver say, “Thank you, I/We appreciate you”. Those simple words go a long way. Yes it’s nice to receive a monetary gain for a job well done, but a simple thank you goes a long way as well. Is that not what each of us want is recognition for a job well done?
Remember your Best Salesperson is also the person behind the wheel.
Look for my next article on, “Can we all not just get along?”
Be Great! Be Safe!