27 August 2020
brand ambassadors of your drivers
For most delivery
companies, there is no physical shopfront that acts as a first point of contact
with customers. Rather, it’s the fleet and the drivers that give customers that
all-important first impression of a delivery company’s brand – which is why
it’s so important that drivers come across in a positive way.
That said, there’s
more to consider now than whether a driver is polite and efficient. The
unprecedented events of this year have made customers more reliant on delivery
than ever, but also more aware of drivers’ approaches to customer service. Many
delivery businesses have also hired extra drivers to meet the increased demand
of recent months, temporary staff who may not always be aware of the brand
values of the company they’re working for.
Here’s why it’s more vital
than ever to make brand ambassadors of your drivers, and how an EPOD solution
A changing delivery landscape
We can’t talk about
the impression a delivery driver makes without placing it in the context of the
global pandemic. The need for social distancing has forced every company that
delivers goods to adopt new zero contact POD methods, meaning that now EPOD-enabled PDA units and mobile devices aren’t just an industry standard, but an
essential safety measure.
Drivers have made
increasing use of photographic POD at the delivery point to prove receipt with
the customer, and written signatures, even electronic ones, are not in use at
all currently. So much of what customers
need and expect from delivery drivers is, right now, tied to maintaining a safe
distance, so having reliable and simple-to-use EPOD hardware is a must. Our
PODStar handheld devices instantly log POD at the moment of driver confirmation
(through a photo or e-signature) and transmit this back to head office in real
time for instant invoicing. While social distancing continues, a safe customer
experience is crucial to achieving and maintaining positive brand perception.
Road use and driver behaviour is key
It’s not only when a
driver arrives at a delivery destination that their conduct should reflect a
brand, but when they’re on the road too. In a branded vehicle, poor driving
habits such as speeding, undercutting, mobile phone use and smoking at the
wheel can all leave pedestrians and other road users with a negative impression
or worse still, a fear for their personal safety.
The rising use of
dashcams in private and commercial vehicles also makes it more likely that bad
driving will be captured on camera. It doesn’t take much for a negative comment
or complaint on social media to attract widespread attention. There is more
driver accountability than even before, and rightly so, but it means it’s even
more important that fleet managers have a clear driver behaviour policy in
Mobile devices with
EPOD functionality can help here too. With access to a live job manifest on
their devices, drivers benefit from the central system’s automated job
scheduling and route planning capability, which digitally maps out the most
efficient journey to each delivery point. Thanks to the time planned in by the
software, there’s less pressure on drivers to rush from job to job or feel too
hurried to provide good customer service.
And, when combined
with vehicle telematics, an EPOD system and connected hardware can
also help manage driving style. Through on-board sensors and geo-location
tracking via the mobile device, telematics enables visibility of bad driving
habits, so that issues can be addressed and drivers retrained.
Bespoke job information at their
Many delivery jobs
come with extra information or considerations for a driver, and it’s vital that
they are aware of these beforehand. A failure to heed special instructions on
how to handle fragile or high value goods, where a driver can park when loading
or unloading, or particular named recipients for example, is very likely to
result in an unhappy customer and a poor brand image, particularly when the
info has been given to head office and not made it to the driver themselves.
The PODStar system
allows for configurable check lists and bespoke instructions to be added to
each job if required, so that a driver can look up any special requirements on
their connected mobile device before heading in. They have the information they
need to complete the job well and to their customer’s satisfaction without any
surprises, and the customer receives the level of service they are expecting.
Interested in finding
out more? For further information about PODStar and what it can do for your
delivery company’s brand reputation, please get in touch with us today.