There’s a trucker shortage. Demand for drivers is at an all time high. Retaining drivers is crucial. And everyone talks about the importance of customer service and putting the client at the center of every decision. But what does that actually mean for the trucking industry and how can you improve driver (customer) satisfaction to help recruit and retain drivers?
At Relay, customer service has been at the heart of the operation ever since the company’s 2019 inception. In recognition of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, we sat down with Relay’s Customer Service Leader, David Ragsdale, to talk about how to provide the best possible customer service for drivers.
“It’s the way we approach each call,” says David Ragsdale, who leads the Relay Payments customer service team, “being empathic to our callers allows us not only to be productive but to make a lasting impression.”
David has made customer service a top priority at Relay by setting up a catalog of guidelines for his team members that include 24/7 US-based support. Drivers who call will be met with an exceptional, problem-solving, and often industry-contrasting customer service experience – and it’s working! “We measure every call and our customer satisfaction rate sits over 90% – that’s something I am really proud of.”
Here are his five ways to deliver the best customer service experience for drivers.
1. Go above and beyond
Even though you are answering basic questions, going beyond and resolving issues with a positive attitude creates the foundation for exceptional customer service. Drivers may be calling in frustrated, even angry because of a missing record or a delay on dock, but if you immediately take the onus of their issue on you and resolve it quickly, you have a happy and relieved customer. Just moving the issue away from the driver is already providing a good experience.
2. Create a coveted standard
You know that you are on the right track when your standard is the one other companies seek to duplicate. At Relay, having customer service being such an intricate part of the brand brings value and stability to the product offerings and to the business model. A lot of companies are completely missing that point.
3. Try to think like a driver
We spend a lot of time discussing how a driver experiences the various pain points. When you think like a driver, you realize how frustrating it can be to implement a new technology because it is different from what you have been used to. When you think about exactly where an issue could arise - like who to contact if a fleet check code is invalid, how to process a digital payment or receipt requests - it becomes easier to hone in on the issue and resolve it quickly.
4. Be aware of driver conditions
In line with thinking like a driver, we want to be empathetic to our callers, which allows us to be productive and leave a lasting impression. We know how tired they must be after being on the road all day and having to call in the middle of the night, and we understand that time is of the essence so that they can get on the road to their next delivery or get some much-needed rest. Understanding the conditions helps us communicate clearer and having that friendly attitude that gets things done.
5. Simplify tech
With an audience that can be technology challenged, it is extremely important to know our product inside and out to explain or show just how simple a transaction is. Most times, all it takes is a little human interaction that shows the simple process step by step, and then it’s a nudge on how to make the next step, so the driver gets a feeling of the technology and just how easy it is to use. And of course, we let them know that we are ready to help in case they need help when making the next transaction - we want to follow up until they are expert users.
Excellent customer service will position any company for success. How the customer is treated is the heartbeat of any company.
Read how Relay customer Old Dominion Freight Lines is investing in customer service, and learn how longtime warehouse partner Eclipse IA has found a better way to serve its distribution clients with Relay.