In these challenging times, it is imperative we hold on to quality customers. It has been said over and over that it is far easier, and less costly, to keep a customer than it is to find a new one. This means keeping current customers not only offers less stress, it also is a money-saving endeavor. The best method for keeping quality customers is to understand what they need and provide them with what they want. With this in mind, start with a workable plan that provides a solid foundation. Here's a list of attributes necessary to accomplish this:
Information must be communicated from the hauler to the shipper and his receiver in a clear and timely manner, otherwise everything else comes to a screeching halt.
Say what you'll do; do what you say
Nothing can destroy a business relationship quicker than making promises you don't keep. Don't promise more than your company and drivers are capable of delivering.
Don't let the unexpected surprise the customer by not communicating. There are always situations and events over which the driver, you or the shippers have no control. When one of these situations occurs, immediately contact all parties concerned.
Potential problems and solutions for these problems need to be presented to your shipper. We live in an unpredictable world, so always be prepared for worst-case scenarios.
Honesty and truth
Both virtues will always work towards a win-win hauling experience.
Not much else can sour a shipper's attitude towards a trucking company more than a preventable mishap. Although the shipper may never see the driver doing a pre-trip or post-trip inspection, or constant and consistent in-transit load and equipment observations, or the vigilance in defensive safe driving habits, these activities ensure the on-time arrival and as-shipped condition of the shipper's product or goods at destination.
Having just a foundation is not enough, though, to retain customers. You need to stand apart from the crowd. Here are additional components necessary for retaining quality customers:
Think in terms of creating, doing and providing quality in every facet of your operation.
Exceed your customers' expectations
Don't just meet your shippers' needs, go the extra mile to create more value in your services.
Clean, neat and uniform
By meeting these criteria, your driver and his equipment will give your shipper the confidence of knowing he picked the right company to haul his goods.
Make the shipper aware of the care you take with his load, time, personnel, property and money by paying attention to the details.
The only events that happen are the ones that are planned and known in advance. Have a deliberate routine and follow it.
Creating value through quality of service is what keeps that shipper calling with loads. Isn't having those consistent loads to haul what it's all about?
Contact Tim Brady at 731-749-8567 or at www.timothybrady.com