Technology is essential in today’s world. In many ways it allows businesses to reduce costs, streamline processes and operate more efficiently. However, if we aren’t careful, it can remove customer touch points.
There was a great deal of talk about technology and its impacts during the recent Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week in Las Vegas. From new vehicle technology to telematics to e-commerce to remote diagnostics, we can’t escape technology in our businesses.
But hearing about all the cool ways technology is improving the trucking industry is not what struck me most. Rather, the big takeaway for me was that relationships still really matter in our industry. Sure technology means that trucks are getting diagnosed and repaired faster, but what I hear time and time again is that the key part of the repair process is trust, transparency and communications.
Those are all elements of strong, healthy relationships. Relationships have long been the hallmark of the trucking industry and technology has not changed that. We may have to work a little harder to find ways to connect to our customers than we have in the past, but that does not change the fact that this is still a relationship-based business.
I think that is one of the things that keeps people working in this industry for so long, and is also one of the things we should be touting in our recruiting efforts.
Technology can level the playing field but your ability to build relationships goes a long way toward giving you a competitive advantage.