Driving yourself into the ground

Driving yourself into the ground

The last job was a nightmare, and now you’re running late for the next one. If you can get a good run, you’ll just make it on time.

But then… Captain Slow pulls in front of you and drives 45 in a 60 zone. Argh!!!

The cars next to you won’t let you pass. You’re crawling along. The clock’s ticking and that burning frustration grows from the pit of your stomach.

Do they understand they’re costing you money? That they’re p*ssing off your customer by making you late? Do they care? Who gave Captain Slow a licence!?

Out of frustration, you veer into the other lane and cut off the drivers that wouldn’t let you pass, speed off, darting in and out of traffic to make it to the site.

You’ve forgotten that you’re driving a billboard for your company.

Your vehicle is wrapped top to tail with the company’s logo, slogan, and phone number. You spent big bucks to make sure your vehicle signage was clear and showed off your awesome trade business.

But, everyone has just watched you tailgate Captain Slow and then drive like a mad man, and now remembers your business name for the wrong reason.

They don’t realise (or care) that you’re just running late and trying to make a customer happy. All they see is one more tradie driving like an idiot, and trust us, they will take a mental note of your company.

Or worse. Your behaviour was so poor that they’ll CALL the number from your truck and complain about your driving to the dispatcher. We know this because it’s happened to us.

Whilst it’s rare for us to receive calls about our Dr. DRiP team driving poorly, it does happen. You must handle the call with care because the person calling is a potential customer, and you need to listen to their concern and respond in a way that makes them feel like you’ve taken their allegation seriously.

Use our Dr. DRiP step-by-step response: The overall aim is to diffuse the situation, and get the information you need to take action.

Step 1: Answer the phone professionally.

Step 2: Listen to the caller, and thoughtfully take in their story.

Step 3: Apologise for the incident, and thank them for calling. 

Step 4: Ask if it’s OK if you can confirm specific details, so you can follow it up internally; offence type / date & time of the incident / where the incident occurred.

Step 5:  Importantly, thank the caller again for their time, and for bringing it to your attention.

Step 6:  Provide a follow-up call with the caller, to advise that you have spoken with the driver and it has been actioned and noted in your system.

Educate your team

It’s important to continually remind yourself and your team that you drive a moving billboard for your company. Therefore, how you drive and behave has an impact on your company’s overall reputation and you need to educate your team on best practices.

Every situation is different; always calmly speak with the accused tradie and get their side of the story too. At your next toolbox meeting, it would be ideal to address it with the team and remind them of best practices whilst driving.

  • Remind your team of the company’s values and behaviour expectations. 
  • Many vehicle tracking systems allow you to monitor speed. Let them know that you can SEE when they are breaking the speed limit.
  • Explain that safe driving is always the best option — even if it means you are late. 
  • Let them know the consequences for repeat offenders. 
  • Ask for their thoughts and opinions on the matter and hear them out.

If this is a continual issue, look at your own systems and processes — are you booking jobs too close together? Understand what was making them late or feeling stressed on the road.

We get it; it’s sometimes hard to keep your cool, especially around Captain Slow. We’re all guilty of making some poor driving decisions to get somewhere on time…. But it’s better to be a few minutes late than have the embarrassment of somebody from the community call you out for bad driving.

ESPECIALLY if you work in a small area. If your trucks are seen on the road all the time by the community, it’s even MORE critical to ensure you and your team always drive like angels.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • You are driving a moving billboard for your company. 
  • Your driving impacts your company’s reputation. 
  • Use our step-by-step response for allegations of dangerous driving (get the facts!) 
  • Address it with the driver and your team, and remind them of their responsibilities. 
  • Consider your own behaviour, and adjust it to how you want to represent your company.

What’s next?

  1. Join our Kick-Ass Tradies Facebook Group, for access to trade business specific conversations, tips and resources, plus a like-minded community of tradies.
  2. Book a Strategy Session with Andy, owner of Dr. DRiP plumbing and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, to clarify your priorities and get clear action steps on where to take your business in 2021.
  3. Check out our upcoming live events HERE to find an event near you! These events are jammed packed with insider tradie knowledge that YOU need to know in order to build a strong, successful trade business.