Broken Window: Bad drivers in company vehicles

I was cruising along a road the other day and, out of nowhere, a truck sped up and cut me off. That was irritating enough, but as a marketer, it’s even more irritating because it was the truck for a local pool business. Company driving is one area that can impact your marketing that probably rarely comes across your radar; but it should. Company drivers, such as the driver in the pool truck are a huge broken window for your business, can cost you sales, and can negatively impact how people view your brand.

Here’s my recommendations for ensuring that bad drivers aren’t affecting your business:

  • Begin monitoring bad driver complaints. These probably aren’t coming to your desk as a marketer, but they are coming to someone. Find out who they are going to and agree to share information. You need to know how prevalent this issue is.
  • Incorporate how bad driving can negatively impact business into training of any new drivers.
  • Continue to emphasize bullet #2 on a consistent basis. For example, if you have a once-per month drivers meeting, reinforce why good driving is important at every meeting. The drivers must hear this message often.
  • There should be a disciplinary system for bad drivers. If there isn’t, I would recommend starting one. As a general point, I’m for positive vs. disciplinary action and if you can find a positive way to reinforce the behavior, that is great, but I think you will still need a disciplinary structure too in this instance. Actions must equal consequences.

I should also note that bad driving can take several forms. For example, I used to go to a gym and the owner of the gym had a vehicle wrap on her vehicle advertising her business. Not a bad idea if she’s a good driver. But, she always insisted on parking the vehicle in the closest spot to the gym. Not very customer-focused was she? She should have parked her vehicle out further (by the road for more visibility perhaps?) and saved the best parking for her customers.

Back of semi with company's name on it
I found this photo on Flickr (andrew.petro). The caption said, “inconsiderate driver.” How do you think this positively or negatively impacts RWI’s reputation?

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