Most businesses spend a fortune on marketing activities to win new business. Huge effort goes into making sure that the company is presented in its best possible light, brochures and websites set out what a great experience your customers will have, customer service is excellent, your products and services are reliable and highly regarded and you’ve spent a fortune on a fleet of modern, sign-written company vehicles.
Now imagine this scenario…
The targets given to your sales teams and the work schedules given to your service and delivery drivers mean they are constantly battling time. The vehicle manager starts to receive speeding notices on a regular basis from a number of drivers. Complaints start to come in from the public regarding driving standards. Your vehicles have your company name and phone number on the side so they know who to call.
You start to hear of negative comments made about your business. How the vans are always dirty and dented, the drivers rude and inconsiderate. How can the service be any good when the drivers and vehicles demonstrate such a lack of care?
Then one of your vehicles is involved in a crash. The driver was speeding, had taken a corner too fast and crashed through a garden wall. The local community saw it coming and gossip is rife with unhelpful comments and pictures all over social media. The local paper has picked it up as well. Business starts to slip as word gets around and customers don’t want to be associated with you.
Now imagine it was even worse and your vehicle had collided with another vehicle, or worse… a cyclist or pedestrian. The police get involved, your business could be investigated. Coverage spreads to your industry magazines, national news, and then you’re trending on social media – but not for any positive reasons.
Your sales team report that business is getting tougher – customers are starting to go elsewhere and new prospects won’t return calls. Your business reputation is in tatters. It didn’t need to be this way.
Case Study: Tesco.com
Tesco.com is one of our Business Champions. In the early days of the home delivery service, they experienced some of these issues, but they recognised them and sought to get a grip of them. Failure to do so with such a well-known brand could have caused severe and lasting reputational damage, with customers switching to other brands. Customers wouldn’t want their food delivered in dirty, battered vans by a business, and drivers, who didn’t look like they cared.
Policies and procedures were implemented that put focus on managing the drivers and vehicles well. When you receive a Tesco.com delivery now, the chances are it will arrive in a clean, well maintained van, driven courteously by a well-turned out and polite ‘Customer Delivery Assistant’.
To achieve this, Tesco introduced new policies for safe driving and vehicle maintenance, a pre-employment driving assessment, ongoing coaching as well as vehicle telematics. When trialling the new system, the most effective depot saw collisions fall by 40%, overall repair costs came down by 23% and, because safer driving is generally more fuel efficient, Tesco.com cut its fuel bill by 10%.