You may have a multi-million dollar marketing campaign, but it can quickly be undone with one bad interaction from your staff. Most businesses know this, and train their customer service staff accordingly. But have you trained your drivers?
Getting your goods and services to the customer’s doorstep can’t be neglected. Getting it there on time and cheerfully is even more important. And when it’s done right, the result can be new – and renewed – business for your company.
Here are two examples from vastly different businesses:
Delivering Food & Exceptional Service
Tasty Catering, an award-winning small business based in the Chicago suburbs, employs 14 dedicated drivers. Owners Kevin, Larry, and Tom Walter include their drivers in the company’s culture-based training and even featured the drivers in a holiday advertising campaign (pictured on the left).
Perhaps most importantly, each driver is asked to contribute to the company’s weekly newsletter. Drivers report on their interactions with customers, spot competitors, and offer ideas and encouragement to other staff members, as you can see in these examples:
- “[Customer’s name] did not have the room set up for their breakfast delivery. I moved the chairs around and brought their table into the room.”
- “Lion’s Club has their international president in town. We have over 30 orders to deliver. It’s nice to know they rely on Tasty for their most important events.”
- “I passed out five business cards this week.”
- “I continue to hear from our customers that they recognize the quality of our food and our delivery team is much better than the rest of the caterers on the street.”
Using the corporate newsletter in this way gives a new level of recognition and responsibility to drivers that has a significant impact on the company. “Our delivery team is the face of Tasty Catering,” says CEO Tom Walter. “They see our clients daily and due to their exceptional customer service, we are able to deliver our brand promise of quality and service.”
A Moving Company’s Compassionate Care
National Van Lines is one of the United States’ largest woman-owned businesses. CEO Maureen Beal knows her drivers are the front line of her business: the company’s financial future is directly dependent on her drivers ability to pack and deliver a home-owners boxes safely.
Even so, it would be easy for a driver to just do his or her job – pack the boxes and get on the road. But Beal has created a corporate culture that equips drivers to make compassionate decisions as well. Beal shares a story of one such decision in this video (the story begins around 2:50 and is one minute long):
How can you use your drivers this year?
Take a look at the existing training you offer your drivers. Are you treating them like machines, or like the intelligent, compassionate customer service force they can be? Incorporate stories of leadership from your drivers into your regular communications – your drivers will rise to the challenge, and your customers will thank you.
Amber Johnson is the Center for Values-Driven Leadership‘s corporate relations and social media advisor. She is a non-profit and small business communications professional.