Analyzing driver performance, one of the things we've noticed is that the most successful ones are GREAT at communicating with customers. Some, for example, introduce themselves to a potential customer prior to submitting their first quote. (Others submit a quote but then follow up with a message or two.)
The content of your first message to a customer is essential to winning a shipment.
Imagine, for example, you're a pet owner in need of transportation. You're probably a little nervous as you've never shipped your puppy before, and you want to make sure it is in good hands. So you get two messages from two different drivers. They read as follows:
I'll be in the area next week. I could do this for 500.
Hey there! My name is Candace and I'm an experienced transportation provider with a perfect safety record, clean license and full coverage insurance. I've been transporting dogs for three years now and LOVE animals. We stay in pet-friendly motels for the trip, and they will be safely secured during the transport in a carrier. I'll make regular rest stops and I'll also send you regular pictures so you can see that your baby is happy and safe. Before I place a quote may I ask if you have a budget in mind?
If you were a customer, which message would you be more likely to respond to?
The key here is developing customer relations skills. Introduce yourself. Let them know a little about your driving history and your experience with their specific type of shipment, be it a dog, a boat, a car or anything else. The customer wants to know that their shipment is in safe hands so talking to them about your experience is an important step in building up that trust.
If they seem anxious, you might want to assuage them by offering to send regular picture updates from the road, letting them know everything is going well and their pet is enjoying the ride. This can be a great way to increase customer confidence and improve your chances of winning the bid.
Success on CitizenShipper isn't based just on that first message exchange. It's a process of keeping in constant contact with the customer, being available for any questions they have, and making the experience positive for them.