(You Can Get) Satisfaction: 3 Ways to Forge Stronger Customer Relationships

In business, you’re only as good as the customers you serve. If there’s a steady flow of customers that are satisfied with your service, then you will likely achieve success. But for fleet management, customer satisfaction can mean so much more than just meeting customer needs.

In private fleet management, customer satisfaction more frequently involves customer management and developing a relationship that helps make you and your customers more profitable. Innovation in the fleet industry is changing the client experience, but it’s irrelevant if you as the manager aren’t anticipating the needs of your customers.

Logistically, fleet managers rely on swift, accurate information to provide quality service to an end user. When customers are waiting on an order, delivery, or service, they appreciate and expect accuracy, communication, and convenience. Here are some simple ways to manage each of these aspects, and ensure success with your customers:

1. Anticipate your customers’ needs
When you understand why your customers need you, you will know what to do to ensure they depend on you for it. By preparing for the requests your customers will make, you earn an opportunity to impress them. Anticipating customer needs shows that you are listening, and you are willing to take the extra time to understand their business the way that they understand it.

You can do this by providing answers to questions about information such as delivery and service status. First, identify the most common concerns and answer them through communication methods that are most convenient for your clients (such as email and text alerts as well as dashboards). Accessing this data allows for prompt decision making to address potential service failures as well as more in-depth analysis to drive better business decisions.

2. Communicate with your customers
We live in an on-demand society. Customers expect to know immediately where their deliverables are any time of the day. This means you as a fleet manager always need to know what’s going on with your drivers and trucks — and relay that information back to the customer. By providing constant feedback about shipments before a customer asks, you can ensure that when a problem arises, you have time to develop solutions before the customer even knows the problem exists.

For example, a mobile notification service like Omnitracs Roadnet Active Alert allows you to use your own website to publish delivery and service status to your customers. This information can also be shared through push notifications via text, email or phone call. Proactive notification tools like these can prove to be a major differentiator when up against competitors.

3. Under-promise and over-deliver
There’s probably no backlog of complaints that customers received their delivery on time or early. Managing customer expectations is quite possibly the easiest way to build lasting relationships. If you can guarantee that your deliveries will always be on time or ahead of schedule — and that your pickups are always on time and completed efficiently — you can meet the expectations of even the toughest critics. If you exceed customer expectations, you can achieve loyalty that will not be led away simply from promises of less expensive products and services.

While there is no way to guarantee on-time delivery every time, there are ways to reduce the number of missed time windows and find methods to minimize these setbacks. Tracking drivers and orders throughout the day and automating communication to customers can help maintain driver satisfaction. By showing customers they are a priority, you’ll find higher retention rates, a solid reputation, and greater success.