A happy customer is a returning customer

By: Ann Potratz

Publication: Transportation Safety Training Advisor

Date Posted: 11/13/2020

Customer-retention strategies for drivers

One of the most effective customer-retention strategies is understanding that people like to do business with people they know and trust.

Part of the trust that needs to be developed is a carrier’s ability to “be there” when the customer needs them. If something goes wrong, can your customer (or driver) reach a live person quickly, and can that person solve the problem immediately? If you’re not sure of the answer, it might be time to change your approach.

Know your customer

The more information a company can gather about the shipper and the product being shipped, the more the company will protect itself from undue losses and claims. Some of the most basic, yet most often overlooked, questions the carrier needs to ask the shipper are these:

  • How will the freight be loaded?
  • Will the freight be packaged and loaded properly to withstand the rigors of transit?
  • Will the shipper seal the trailer and allow the carrier to sign the bill of lading “shipper load and count” or “SL&C”?

Educate your drivers

Driver errors and actions can be the difference between profit and loss for a motor carrier. For example, when the driver signs the bill of lading, the carrier assumes all responsibility for the safe transit of the cargo. If the shipper has counted, loaded the freight, and sealed the trailer, the driver has not witnessed the accuracy of the load.

If the driver fails to note “shippers load and count” or “SL&C” on the bill of lading, the carrier is assuming the acceptance of the cargo in the amounts and condition as described on the bill of lading. When the shipment is delivered to the consignee, and a shortage or damage is realized at that time, the carrier becomes liable in the event of a claim.

In a case like this, a driver who handles the situation professionally can make all the difference between a happy, returning customer and one who cuts and runs. Ensure your drivers know how to handle themselves properly in any situation.

About the author
Ann Potratz - Human Resources Editor

Ann is an editor on the Human Resources Publishing Team, she specializes in employment law issues such as discrimination, sexual harassment, background checks, terminations, and security.

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