by: Karen Bradley
Fleet managers use fleet tracking and vehicle monitoring for several reasons. From driver safety to efficiency and reducing costs, GPS fleet tracking offers all kinds of advantages. But one that is often overlooked is reputation management.
Your vehicles have your name on them, and often even your phone number, contact information, vehicle numbers, and license plate numbers as well. It’s not hard for a person to figure out who the vehicle belongs to, and therefore who is responsible for the operator’s behavior.
The behaviors listed here can damage your reputation, resulting in complaints and even viral negative social media publicity. We’ve all seen it. Fleet tracking can help you nip these behaviors in the bud and prevent that kind of damage in the first place. Here’s how.
Speeding seems like a simple matter to correct, but drivers who are rushed or running late for an appointment may resort to it, thinking it will save them time. But the harm to your reputation can be disastrous. Think of your driver blowing by someone on nearly any street, traveling too fast.
Worse, your vehicle, emblazoned with your company logo, sitting in front of a police cruiser with the lights flashing not only puts your driver even further behind, but it draws the kind of attention to your brand that you don’t want.
GPS tracking alerts managers and others when drivers are speeding including the driver themselves. Corrective action can be taken as needed and preserve your reputation as a company that demands safe driving habits from their drivers.
Have you ever been driving and seen a company vehicle operating recklessly? That includes speeding to stoplights and braking hard, accelerating rapidly away from traffic lights or stop signs, and similar behaviors. Customers who call and complain are only one problem: worse is the person who quietly takes note and won’t ever do business with your company as a result.
Fleet tracking software enables managers to monitor and track this behavior, including when and where it occurred. This allows you to verify any complaints and deal with employees appropriately.
Remember, encouraging drivers to notify customers if they are behind, exercise patience, and put safety above everything else will help you keep your reputation intact.
These kinds of turns often happen when your driver is behind, nearly misses a turn, or comes upon an intersection too quickly. There are cures: cures that will make your vehicles and your drivers safer and keep complaints about your drivers to a minimum.
Using driver scorecards is a simple way to let drivers know how they are doing. If your driver studies routes ahead of time and is paying attention to where they are going, they will not only be safer, better drivers, but your reputation as a company will be a good one, too.
Much like hard braking, sharp and harsh turns, and similar behavior, unsafe lane changes are often caused by distractions or the driver not knowing their routes ahead of time. This is an easy behavior to monitor and correct with vehicle tracking systems, and it can save you from common complaints.
Other drivers on the road may be frustrated, having a bad day, or they may simply feel that they were in danger from your driver’s poor behavior. Either way, your reputation can suffer from these kinds of complaints.
You’ve seen them as you drive yourself: the company driver texting or looking at their phone, messing with paperwork or electronics while sitting at a stoplight or even driving, eating while driving, or even worse.
Driver-facing dashcams are a simple solution. You can see what your driver is doing at any given time, and coach them on staying focused on the road. Many states now have laws against using mobile devices at all while driving, even when sitting at stoplights. Not only that, but it is dangerous.
If drivers know they are being watched, they will be more careful, less distracted, and your fleet and your reputation will be safe.
Perhaps the worst damage that can be done to your reputation is when one of your vehicles is in an accident. Not only is your company name visible for all to see, but depending on the severity of the accident, you could end up on the news for all the wrong reasons.
GPS vehicle tracking and dashcams can do two things for you if one of your vehicles is involved in an accident. First, they can protect your driver’s reputation (and your company’s) if they were not at fault. GPS data and video can offer proof that your driver was in the right and operating their vehicle safely. Drivers are often accused of things they did not do, and GPS vehicle tracking can provide evidence of their innocence.
However, in the case where your driver is at fault, you can show that you are proactive by taking immediate action, from re-education and suspension to dismissal if the offense is severe enough. This helps your reputation not only with the public, but with your insurance company, local authorities, and even the media should your company receive that kind of exposure. Having a proactive fleet safety program demonstrates your company’s commitment to safety.
Your company is no better than your reputation and the public’s perception of how you handle the best and worst of situations. Fleet vehicle tracking keeps you in the know and in control of your reputation.