It's a Team's Life
When Bob drove hauling general freight we went from
supervisors to what at times felt as if we were numbers way down at the bottom
of the list. It did not take us long to realize we were not being treated
in a very professional manner. Before long we were ready for a change
which included becoming Owner Operators and changing companies. One of
the first things we had to learn when we became an owner operator is that we
are a business owner first and a driver second.
For us it was like night and day to get into Expediting as owner operators. Dealing with the dispatchers, shippers and receivers was a welcome change. We have found we deal with very few of the same type of customers we did as a common carrier which accounts for a lot of this change. We have also found that we get along better with these types of customers as a business owner who happens to drive a truck. We have found that most of our customers expect a professional who knows how to handle and care for their freight. They do not expect their freight to be crammed into a truck as tight as possible and then the doors shut with no load securement in place and who knows how many drop yards the load will sit in before delivered.
We have had many customers comment on the looks of our truck and comment that they are sure their freight will be well taken care of because of this. We have also had customers comment on how nice it is to talk to drivers who present themselves in a professional manner.
Our first impression is when we pull onto our customer’s property in a clean and neat truck, then the doors are opened with all of equipment stowed properly, then we go into the shipping office dressed appropriately and groomed neatly with our paperwork all in order when presented. We talk and act confident as we carefully secure their freight, then shut our doors and secure with a padlock.
We are constantly seeking out ways to improve how are we are perceived as professionals in our business. We are currently experimenting in a new direction that we feel should help the perception of who the customer feels they are dealing with and I will let you know how that works out at a later date.