Last year, law firm Cassell Moore conducted a survey that asked, “Which drivers do British people feel are most likely to cause an accident on four wheels?”
The survey, which was reported in The Mirror, revealed that 43 per cent of those questioned thought that van drivers were “the worst drivers in the country.”
In this blog, we'll show you how to protect your business reputation with van hire.
Protecting your reputation with van hire
Van drivers often suffer from a bad rep, but many people are unaware of the pressures companies can place on their drivers (and their vehicles).
And in the end, driver behaviour on the road is only a part of safeguarding business reputation. Ensuring customer satisfaction is key and there are a number of elements to this.
So if you’re a small business owner who is reliant on both vans and van drivers to deliver good customer service, is there anything you can do to ensure that neither your vehicles nor your drivers have any reason to come under attack – and potentially damage your reputation?
Could technology provide an answer?
It’s not always financially possible for businesses to purchase and equip their own vehicles with the latest technology. Often short-term, fixed-term or flexible van hire rental is the more cost-effective option (as long as your provider requires no initial capital investment), which allows you to access a wide range of vehicles, equipped with all the latest technological advances.
One such piece of technology that’s playing a growing role in effective fleet management in 2016 is vehicle ‘telematics’. This refers to an in-vehicle system that gives you access to real-time data using GPS, GPRS and the internet to communicate with users wherever they are.
How improved communication can protect your reputation
Aside from offering your business increased visibility over the location over their vehicle fleet, telematics also enables real-time updates on deliveries, on-site arrivals or service personal movements.
It can therefore record (and ensure) driver compliance, provide regular reports, and give businesses the information they need to help optimise their processes and achieve real cost savings—as well as continually improving customer service delivery.
In our experience, other common benefits of telematics include:
- Improvements to your business capacity
- Reduction in your fuel costs
- Improved fleet compliance with duty of care, road transport and working time directives
Overall it can lead to a reduction in expensive overtime costs, an increase in billing, and could translate into significant financial savings that will also support your business’s reputation.
First impressions, lasting impressions
Everyone knows that first impressions count, especially in business. And that we only ever have a few seconds of someone’s attention before they form their opinion of us – and our brand.
“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon
With this in mind, it’s worth considering what impression your vehicle fleet gives when your vans are out on the road, especially if anything less than a good first impression could risk damaging your company’s reputation.
A fleet of well-maintained vehicles with your own branding can work wonders for your business reputation - while older vans in need of a bit of work can’t help but give the impression that your business isn’t flying as well as it could be. Which means that hiring your fleet of vans is often the best way forward.
Protect your brand, protect your customers
So when you’re choosing a van hire company, it makes sense to look for a provider that offers regular servicing and expert maintenance.
A regular van hire servicing agreement means you’ll avoid passing any potential delays or interruptions in service on to your customers, if – for example – you need to expand your fleet or exchange one type of vehicle for another to meet fluctuating demands.
With that service support in hand, you can rest assured your reputation is safe as it won’t be your vehicles on the side of the road, needing the breakdown services, causing expensive downtime and attracting the wrong sort of attention.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This post was originally published in March 2016 and has been updated for accuracy.