Ways to Improve Communication with Truck Drivers in 2023
As a moving company, the success of your business depends majorly on your truck drivers who relentlessly work towards making timely deliveries and fulfilling your customers’ expectations.
But for them to achieve their goals and for you to achieve yours, there needs to be a seamless flow of communication. Communication gaps with your truck drivers can have a lasting impact on your delivery system and tarnish your business reputation.
While it all seems easy on the surface to transfer goods from one location to another, there are considerable roadblocks that can occur. In that case, communication strategy is the only savior for movers so that they can act accordingly.
Some of the ways you can optimize your strategy are:
1. Make the Most of SMS Solutions
Calling is not the most ideal medium when it comes to communicating with your drivers. You don’t want them to pick up the phone when they’re driving or are stuck in traffic. Even the touchpoints on their journeys like loading docks, truck stops, and highways are often noisy.
As a result, call conversations often experience disturbance that leads to misunderstandings. And miscommunication is worse than no communication. Moreover, in case of poor network connectivity, texts reach them in places where calls often don’t.
The best part is you don’t have to send manual texts. If you have to regularly send messages, you can simply automate the process and schedule to send the messages at a particular time. It can save you time and allow you to continue timely communication.
2. Avoid Industry Jargon
Jargon is never a good idea. For people who are always on the go and behind the wheel, it is important to send clear and concise messages that summarize the subject matter. You cannot expect truck drivers to decipher your messages while also aiming to reach their destination on time.
Besides, you have to be sensitive to the language they’re accustomed to. It’s important to simplify communication, stick to their terminology, and step into their shoes to avoid any misinterpretation.
Furthermore, chances are that you truck drivers may not even speak the same language as the rest of the staff. Apart from using simple language, it would be ideal to use multiple languages to communicate. You can leverage technology to enhance your understanding of different languages or at least get a translation.
3. Install Free Video Chat Apps
[caption id="attachment_1765" align="aligncenter" width="607"] video chat[/caption]
If you think about it, life as a truck driver can get lonely. Despite being a part of the organization, they never really get to interact with the staff or superiors since they’re busy transporting goods from one place to the other.
While you can always call in case of an emergency or send scheduled texts, add a video chat app to personalize communication with the truck drivers. Video chat helps in boosting their morale with a face to face interaction. It also makes them comfortable to make a video call in case of any hassles on the way or explain a complicated situation that’s delaying the deliveries.
4. Get to Know the Drivers in Person
Establishing a rapport with the truck drivers can establish a foundation for long-term relationships and enhance their loyalty toward your company. It's important to emphasize this because a lot of moving and removalist companies coordinate with drivers without even meeting them in person.
This impersonal approach makes the drivers feel as if they aren’t truly a part of your organization. Your drivers carry a big responsibility and there needs to be sufficient trust and understanding between the two parties. A relationship-building effort doesn’t just make them feel good but can also increase their productivity and have a positive impact on turnover.
5. Leverage Automation Wherever Possible
If you’re still not in the automation game, it’s never too late!
Manual driver management is risky, time-consuming, and lacks scalability. You cannot manually coordinate with each driver when you have 50 or 100 trucks that are dispatched.
Digital dispatch software solutions, on the other hand, facilitate smoother communication. It optimizes routes for drivers after it considers various factors such as the weight of the vehicle, route restrictions, limits, etc. It also helps reduce your fuel costs and maintenance expenses.
6. Don’t Just Talk, Listen
Being in the logistics industry is overall stressful. There are numerous hassles and uncertainties while you’re also dealing with high risks. It is easy for truck drivers to get frustrated while witnessing a traffic jam, delays at the dock, or bad weather.
You have to be empathetic in these situations and instead of burdening them with your instructions, it would be ideal to just listen. You cannot avoid their difficulties but you can at least adopt a healthy outlet for them to release their stress.
While communication is the key to success in any industry, its importance in the logistics industry is a notch higher. Regular and prompt communication is the only way you know that your deliveries are on the right track. If your communication game is on point, it will drive the efficiency and productivity of the truck drivers and improve your overall delivery system.
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