Fleet business reputation: building and protecting your core asset

Fleet business reputation: building and protecting your core asset

What’s your fleet business value? We’re sure you’ve wondered about that on more than one occasion. Suppose you’re getting ready to sell your fleet business; what will its market value be? Well, if you haven’t thought of it before, you should probably start running a few calculations. Such as, adding up the value of everything your business owns including equipment, vehicles and all tangible assets; don’t forget the average annual value of your clientele. But there’s an asset, that takes years to build — and can be ruined overnight — and that’s your fleet business reputation. 

How is business reputation defined?

Although business reputation is an intangible asset, there’s a relative accounting term — goodwill — that describes it as follows. “The established reputation of a business is regarded as a quantifiable asset”. In our case, we’ll focus on a simpler definition. 

In general, reputation is summed up as the beliefs or opinions — the widespread ones — that are generally held about something. For a company, these beliefs refer to the way others perceive your business. That among other things includes the way you run your business and your processes. It’s about your ethics, your integrity, your quality, along with the safety and security standards your business has established. All in all, your fleet business reputation is defined by the value you provide in total. And the most important aspect of this value, is how your business is perceived, mostly through your customers’ eyes.

Why business reputation is important

These beliefs of yours, do not only stand for your existing customers. At the end of the day, it’s all about how current already view, and your potential customers will view your business. And that perception, of course, consequently affects the way your future customers will shape their own opinions and beliefs about you and your business. Do you see where we’re going with this?

You can think of your business reputation as a chain. The links would be all the values and parameters mentioned above. And, of course, “a chain is no stronger than its weakest link”. Or, perhaps, a more pertinent analogy would be the domino effect; how easy is it for a bad opinion, coming from a disappointed customer, to be spread around? Think of the power of social media and channel reviews and you’ll have the answer.   

And here’s the deal; these opinions affect your customers’ decisions and thus your business viability. If we’re in the better scenario, meeting your customers’ expectations, providing valuable services or products, creating the right conditions to develop trustworthiness, allows for positive reputation to work for your benefit. 

Besides, “a positive reputation will secure a company or organization long-term competitive advantages.” according to Wikipedia’s respective article. It continues to explain that costs for supervising and exercising control decrease, as your reputation blossoms.That’s why you need to exercise caution and take the necessary steps to nurture and protect it.

Aren’t these considerations enough to get you to pay extra attention on the different aspects of your business? At least, in a way to create and safeguard the way people perceive it?

Build and protect your fleet business reputation — things you need to keep in mind

So, where do you start from? We’ve gathered a list of things you need take care of, in order to set the ground for your fleet business’ good reputation. 

1. Pay extra attention to driver and personnel behavior

Beware, if you don’t do so, your customers will not just forgive and forget. Quite the opposite, rather. Especially, since how your personnel behaves is being noticed by customers and other people. How your company is perceived from the outside, is actually build from within.    

And this is also true for your drivers. Once your fleets are on the road, probably bearing your brand on their vehicles, bad driving behavior may drag your company through the mud. A driver that demonstrates inappropriate behavior on the road can cause you damage in more ways than you can imagine. The good news is, there are things you can do to minimize such behaviors. More so, if you’re completely aware of them. And Veturilo can help you do just that!  

But wait! It’s not only how your people behave. Good and professional behavior is also important for anyone that is directly or indirectly connected to your company’s brand.

3. Choose your partnershipswisely 

Regardless if it’s other companies or just external partners, associates or contractors who work with you, they may still affect your fleet business reputation. Just think of an occasion when you received the worst news you’d ever heard, and you’ll get my point. That’s exactly the feeling. And it’s even true when you find yourself in a situation where you need to recommend another professional to one of your customers, to do the job. Once more, you’re being evaluated. How your peer performs, directly affects the way your customer perceives you. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes for a moment; you see how it goes, don’t you?   

4. Provide the quality of service you claim to be providing

The key here is consistency. Keep the cadence constant. Bad service won’t be forgiven, just because up till now you’ve demonstrated great performance. The word of mouth works to your advantage well enough. But it works even better to send your reputation down the train. It’s just how people function. Isn’t that enough to warrant for more caution? 

5. Show up on time(deliveries, contractors)

There’s nothing much worse than wasting your time waiting for a fixed appointment to show up. Much more so, when you’re expected to pay someone, in return. We have discussed this topic in the past. Chances are, you won’t have the chance to make another 1st impression. 

6. Handle mishaps the right way 

If something goes wrong, take a step back and try to make decisions that will compensate your customers, in recognition of their dissatisfaction. There’s no getting away from a disappointed customer with the power to leave reviews on all sorts of listings and online platforms. That’s exceptionally important. Your future customers will go through these reviews before you even know they were looking at your service. That’s how they know if they can trust you. Especially, if you’re not offering a one-off product service. So, your existing customers will bring the next ones on board for you. So, make sure you deal with customer complaints the right way; sometimes it might be enough to completely reverse the situation to your own benefit. 

Taking care of all these aspects, you’re making sure — or at least increasing the odds — that you’re not jeopardizing being remembered with a bad name. Your gain here, might be for you to ideally be remembered as the most trusted name in the market. So, try to live up to any type of good reputation. 

7. Go the extra mile 

If you want to take a step further, why not do it in style?  If you’re a fleet manager why not study some examples of how huge companies such FedEx do it? Perhaps, use them as role models for your own small fleet company. 

As Ronald J. Alsop mentions in his bookThe 18 immutable laws of Corporate Reputation: creating, protecting and repairing your most valuable asset”:

Like it or not, every individual, every company, every organization develops a reputation that is based on people’s perceptions of it over time. Though reputation takes years to form, it can be ruined in an instant.”

Get out and build a reputation for yourself

So, what would you wish for your fleet business reputation to be?  A well-established, well-deserved, long-standing and of course wide as it can be type of reputation? The way we see it, it’s probably exactly what you’re dreaming of, right? We’re confident you can do it! Just stay focused, be patient and, eventually, you’ll be able to reap the harvest of your own hard work. And, what better way to do it with Veturilo on your side?

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