Do you have a fleet of branded official cars and delivery vehicles in your company? Many businesses do and hire professional drivers to transport key personnel and deliver products to customers. Often, these drivers can double as brand ambassadors and, in many cases, are also the face of your company.

But how well qualified are your drivers for this job? I’m not just talking about their driving skills or ability to negotiate a crowded freeway.  We’re talking about their ability to interact professionally and efficiently, to provide your customers with an excellent image of your company so they can tell you’re running a high-value brand or delivery service.

Your company drivers leave more lasting impressions on your clients than most people realise. Think about the following:

  • Drivers usually spend more time with the company’s clients or customers than salespeople.
  • A successful customer experience can leave an impression that is often passed on to the buying community or the executive.
  • Drivers may influence product sales or service profits.
  • A negative interaction with a driver could cost you the next sale.
  • A properly trained driver can reduce the impact of a service error or an angry customer.

So how do you train the drivers to create a positive impression with consistent professional interactions? Unfortunately, most businesses do not provide their drivers with any kind of customer service training, and just assume that they will act professionally.

The common thinking is “He’s just a driver or delivery man, why would he need training?” However, people who think this way obviously don not understand the interaction that takes place between a driver and the customer.

Forward-thinking businesses now train their drivers in customer service relationships, which may include:

  • a professional and respectful greeting upon arrival
  • cultivating how to engage in short, pleasant conversations for building relationships
  • setting expectations for unloading, screening and paperwork procedures for customers
  • safe unloading and distribution processes
  • how to handle emergencies or unforeseen circumstances
  • professionally handling angry customers
  • responding to an impromptu request for additional services
  • professional dressing and personal hygiene.

A shabbily dressed and poorly trained driver who doesn’t have his paperwork organised, isn’t warm and pleasant with clients or customers, becomes defensive when faced with a question and doesn’t have a clue on dealing with a sudden or unusual request will leave a very bad impression of your business.

If your customers, other departmental staff and random members of the public constantly complain and make negative comments about your driver, it can quickly have a negative impact on your business bottom line. On the other hand, positive comments about an attentive, pleasant and helpful driver can help move your business to the next level.

It’s not so hard to train your drivers to develop excellent customer service skills. Besides standard professional training such as a Class 2 license with Master Drive, arranging for short customer service relationship classes would not only benefit the drivers, but also everyone that directly or indirectly deals with the driver – including customers and your company’s salespeople.

So consider what many high-performance companies are doing and set up a formal training program for your drivers too, so as to provide better customer service and consequently increased sales for your business. Your clients will notice it, the drivers will love and enjoy it and you will smile all the way to the bank more.