Here in the Skypatrol blog, we’ve talked ad nauseum about how fleet companies can improve their efficiency, increase profits, and keep drivers safe and productive. So why not talk about it some more?

In this blog, we’ll touch on sneaky ways fleet companies can sabotage themselves, how customer relations factors into fleet effectiveness and business profits, and why aiming for safety and productivity for fleet drivers in a tough task. All it takes are a few simple solutions and the right mindset to improve your fleet business today and in the future!

Set realistic expectations with customers.

You ordered a pizza, and the delivery guy said it would make it to your door in 20 minutes. But 25 minutes later, your stomach is grumbling, the hairs on the back of your neck are standing up, and you’re about to call the pizza company to demand your pizza.

An extra five minutes doesn’t seem like that long of a time. But when your expectations aren’t being met, five minutes can feel like five hours.

For the pizza delivery guy, this isn’t a matter of poor performance—it’s a sign of unrealistic expectations. If he tells you the pizza will arrive in 35 minutes instead of 20 minutes, you wouldn’t think twice about it—and when he inevitably shows up a few minutes ahead of schedule with your pizza, you’ll be at least a little bit impressed with the speedy delivery.

It’s the classic phrase—underpromise, overdeliver—that sets realistic customer expectations and gives your fleet a little wiggle room to deal with any mishaps that could throw off your delivery time. Traffic congestion on the 95? Not a problem. Fleet vehicle won’t start? Move the goods into a new vehicle and deliver them with time to spare.

Setting reasonable expectations doesn’t just help your customers manage schedules and logistics—it helps you develop a level of long-term trust with your customers that makes both of your businesses better. Give yourself a little wiggle room with your deliveries, and you’ll have happier customers, safer drivers, and smoother deliveries.

Teach smart and safe driving techniques.

Fleet companies deal with a catch 22 of sorts: Fleet drivers must somehow deliver goods as quickly and effectively as possible, while also being as safe as possible. It’s a balance that’s nearly impossible to strike. So how do fleet companies attempt to keep drivers productive and safe at the same time?

Ultimately, it takes a mix of driver monitoring and knowledge of the roads to keep your drivers safe and your business running. GPS tracking solutions combined with fleet management software can help you track driver speeds and behaviors, and alert you if they’re breaking your business rules or driving irresponsibly. Plus, these solutions can help your drivers find the fastest and easiest routes to any destination, allowing you to increase your business efficiency without making your drivers feel like they have to put the pedal to the metal to deliver on time.

Knowledge is power, and it keeps your business safe. The more you know about your drivers and the roads they drive on, the better off your business and your drivers will be.

Double check your loads.

Remember that time you drove all the way to the city for a concert, only to realize that you left the concert tickets at home? It’s a great way to ruin your day. Fleet drivers understand this pain better than just about anyone. They drive through bumper-to-bumper traffic, find faster alternate routes on the go, and make it to the delivery spot in the nick of time—only to realize the truck was packed with 10,000 plastic forks instead of the 10,000 plastic spoons that were ordered. Ooooof.

This single mishap could throw a fleet company off schedule for days. To avoid problems like these, follow the rule of carpenters: check twice, cut once. Before any driver leaves the lot for a delivery, double check that you have the right load (and all of the load). You’ll waste less time and upset fewer customers—and your bottom line will look better in turn.

Use fleet management software.

In the age of technology, it’s important to have best technological resources available to improve your business efficiency and give you an edge over your competitors. That’s where Skypatrol’s Fleet Command can help. Built for small and medium-size fleets, Fleet Command combines dependable GPS tracking solutions with a simple fleet management software interface to improve driver efficiency and safety, shorten delivery times, and improve and monitor vehicle performance—all from your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Use Fleet Command to reduce overtime for drivers, lower insurance premiums, and improve business profits and customer relations. Schedule a demo of Fleet Command today!