Look after employees as well as customers

I came across an article recently that showed the automotive sector is now bottom of the league table for customer service, below insurance and utility companies.  The article also showed that honesty is the most valued trait in the way a company deals with customers, cited as a top three trait by 50% of people, followed by efficiency (48%) and reliability (44%).

One of the biggest mistakes lots of businesses make is not being both customer and employee centric. If you look after your employees, they will look after your customers.

Being slow to respond to web, email and phone enquiries is certain to give potential customers a bad impression. Ignoring customers is a cardinal sin. So everyone that touches a customer should be trained to respond quickly to all enquiries.

It may seem trivial, but when you consider that 85% of consumers that don’t have a call answered will never call back, and three quarters won’t leave an answerphone message either (I certainly won’t !).

A well trained, and engaged employee will go the extra mile to respond to all enquiries and shine for your business – we have lots of them here at DMN !

Social Media – Business use?

We’ve been using Social Media for DMN Logistics for around 4 years, and we’ve really enjoyed some of the campaigns and feedback we’ve received through the various platforms. We have a modest amount of followers, but I thought I’d do some research into just how big the reach is on these rapidly expanding sites, and see if we are doing it right ?

Facebook – 1.13 billion daily active users, more than 50% of which are mobile only. They add 500,000 new users every day, that’s 6 new profiles per second !

In the business world, 50 million small businesses have active pages, and 3 million of these are paying for advertising. 75% of brands on Facebook promote their posts (promote = pay for Facebook to display their posts to users that may not ordinarily see them)

Twitter – 100 million daily active users, 82% of which are using mobiles to access. 44% of accounts created left before they were ever used.

On the business side of things, 130000 businesses advertise actively on Twitter, with 83% of big business engaging with their customers this way.

Linkedin – (Facebook for grown-ups) has 470 million active users, with 25% using the site monthly. 1 of every 3 professionals on the planet is on LinkedIn. There are over 4 million company pages which drive more traffic to blogs and websites than Facebook and Twitter combined. 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn in the recruiting process. 87% !

What does all this mean ? It means that we’re off to start advertising on LinkedIn to find some more of the best possible staff and drivers for our business ! (And we’re going to Facebook to see that video of the angry sheep…).

Electric Vehicles – come of age

I’ve been reading the coverage from the Paris motor show and there is a common theme coming through – manufacturers believe the electric vehicle (EV) is the future.

Announcements at Paris from Peugeot, Vauxhall/Opel and Mercedes-Benz, which unveiled its Generation EQ concept and says that by 2025, it expects to have 10 different EVs in its model range accounting for 15-25% of sales.

However, two cars really stood out for me. The Volkswagen ID looks like a Golf reimagined as an uncompromised electric car. Promised in production form by 2020 – that’s only 4 years from now – and it boasts a range of up to 373 miles and will be sold at what VW describes as “an attractive price”. This sounds like a potential game changer !

Also announced, to much less fanfare but equally eye-catching, to my mind, was the facelifted version of the Renault Zoe. This is a car that many would recognise without realising it and which is available today at a reasonable price.

Now, however, it will have a substantial 250-mile range, which again marks it out as something really interesting. Perhaps for the first time, a small family EV with a relatively low purchase price and competitive running cost profile can be driven all day long, making it much more suitable for all kinds of use.

It feels like Paris 2016 might be the moment we look back on and say, this was when we realised fleets would soon be using EVs in much larger numbers.

Certainly, you will soon be able to go out and order an enhanced Zoe while the VW ID is little more than an average fleet cycle away from the showrooms. If their pricing is competitive, there is no reason that cars like these should not become commonplace.

It could be the car you are driving now is the last you will have powered by an internal combustion engine. These are exciting times.

Driver Training – the role of the trainer

At nearly all of the meetings I go to with customers, a real focus is appearing on driver training and preventing accidents which lead to costly down-time and potential brand damage.

The role of the delivery driver is well-defined; they are on the front line representing our Customer and our Company, in some highly visible vehicles.

Our Driver Trainers have a very difficult role in that they are training users to drive a number of different vehicle types in a number of different circumstances, up against some critical time pressures. This clearly requires a high level of skill, qualifications and experience on different vehicle types.

This led me to ask the questions of ‘What qualifications are needed to be a successful driver trainer ?” The best practice we could identify was to work closely with RoSPA to qualify our trainers with their advanced driving qualifications, and to work closely with the customers product range to develop the knowledge required to pass on to our drivers. As a result, I am delighted to say that three of our team recently passed the Advanced Driving Qualification from RoSPA and continue to develop the best possible training courses for our drivers !

Covered Vehicle Delivery?

I spend a lot of time talking with customers about their needs and pinch-points, and a common theme that has developed over the last 12 months is a need for a single supplier to offer both ‘Driven’ vehicle delivery and affordable ‘Transported’ delivery.

Traditionally transported delivery has been very expensive and with a long (4 – 5 day) lead time, which doesn’t really meet the needs of the industry. DMN decided to change this, and we’ve just launched our very own Transported Delivery Service with a difference. We have used Ford Rangers and Brian James Race Spec 6 fully covered trailers to enable us to give a flexible and cost-effective approach to transport making us a one-stop shop for the customer.