In trucking we often go above and beyond to solve a problem and if you want to get even more out of us tell us how much you appreciate something that happened.  At the very least say Thank You when someone does more than was expected.  As time goes on it seems harder to find someone who is going above and beyond and only doing the minimum to get by. 

Some companies offer loads out only by a computer or by an automated phone call.  No more interaction with a dispatcher and then as you can imagine the next step was to figure out how to get drivers to quit refusing loads.  When talking to other drivers who receive automated load offers, they talk about how it is so much easier to refuse a load they really did not want when it meant ignoring a message.  We also discussed how when their company was desperate and a dispatcher would call and say this is what I have and this is the problem can you please help me out?  Now that was a different story a person was involved that needed us... We all said it was very hard to say No to a person. 

Partnership works best when the partners are sharing in the work and sharing in the rewards.  Appreciation goes a long way when we feel as equals and both sides are striving for the same goal - do a good job and reap our reward - which is usually monetary in trucking, both sides win.   Personally, I know when we have gone beyond expectations and whom we went over board for, says "Thank You" they have really made my day.  If they do not notice and do not say Thank You I still feel good knowing what we did. The external thank you is like icing on a cake.

How often have we heard the hollow words "We really appreciate you" and the next minute you are no longer on their computer screen and are forgotten till another favor is needed?  The favors are one sided most often as us the givers and the dispatcher the taker.  When we need a favor usually meaning we need a load out of someplace that we are we have heard "No Can Do" we have a first in first out policy.  Funny how that favor just became a bad taste in our mouth.  When this happens to often and someone starts of the sentence I really could use your help the price I want to run their load just went up as I no longer feel a part of a team.  I am feeling used not appreciated.

In our current situation, the thank you works both ways as an agent often goes the extra mile to make sure they have done everything they can to make sure the load runs smooth.  We had an agent call us about a load that was going north and the most direct way was over Donner Mountain and it was in really bad shape with chains required.  When the agent called, they had looked up weather conditions in the surround areas and offered an idea of going a different route and how much the load would pay be going the long way around. We took that load and will not forget that agent and the extra steps they took before they called us. If they were to ask us for a favor, we would say yes.

Appreciation works in all areas of our lives and often a heart felt Thank You works and at other times a hand written Thank You note is called for.  Yes, when someone goes above and beyond in our book I still send out hand written thank you notes. 

Customer service can also be a thankless job.  We received an interesting bill for the new toll bridge going from Louisville into Indiana.  Then I received another bill from them and paid it and then I received a late notice and a penalty and I thought enough is enough and I called in.  The person answering the phone had an accent and my first thought was on no this is not going to be fun but I stayed patient. This young man did the research told me how I was wrong and why and then said I can get that penalty removed for you and he proceeded to do that.  Once he explained what had happened and I realized I was wrong and had not paid the bill I was more than willing to pay the penalty as it was my mistake.  This young man went the extra mile to explain what happened, when we had crossed the bridge, and then took away the penalty and to think I had reservations when I heard his accent.  His kindness deserved a lot of thank you’s and have a wonderful day as he sure had made my day. 

Appreciation goes a long ways not only when we are appreciated but when we appreciate others.  Recognize when someone goes above and beyond and say Thank You or do something for him or her as it all comes back to you.   No feedback often is interpreted as "I do not care or I did not notice" so if it doesn’t make me feel good I probably will not do that again.    Remember to show your appreciation in words or deeds.  Just say Thank You it really does not hurt to say the words! 

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June 02, 2017 11:05:27 AM

Great article Linda.

June 02, 2017 10:11:28 AM

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About Linda Caffee

Bob and Linda have been team drivers since 2005 as expediters. They are leased to Landstar Express America. Bob was a diesel mechanic for twenty years before doing over the road and Linda worked in the courthouse.

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