Between Social Media, and dedicated sites like RipoffReport.com, it’s easier than ever for disgruntled drivers to launch effective attacks on their ex-employers’ reputations. It’s one reason behind the rise of image-repair websites like Reputation.com—which today serves customers in 100 countries worldwide.
We’ve seen it first-hand.
In the past couple months alone, my agency has had extensive conversations with two separate companies facing that very problem—and from what I know, most of the complaints aimed at them are unfounded.
Again, that’s most of the complaints, not all of them. Which leads to the first, and by far most important, step your company can take to repair its reputation: Eliminate the root cause of the problem.
It may first take drastic action
I’m reminded of a policy maintained by one of the industry’s leading flatbed trailer manufacturers. The CEO once told me that whenever one of his plants faced a significant unionization threat, the first thing he did was fire the plant manager.
Why? 1) The fact that employees were dissatisfied enough to consider unionization told him they weren’t being treated as well as they should be, and 2) Firing the person at the top told everyone that nobody’s job was guaranteed.
The point, of course, is that heads may have to roll before your problem is solved. So let’s assume you can fix the problem. Here are six critical steps you should consider next.
Your old brand may not fit your newly-fixed company. Presenting a new, and accurate, brand identity is the first way to show driver prospects you’ve changed.
Reach Out To Complainants
Very often, ex-employees’ complaints are entirely due to poor communication in the first place. There are a variety of techniques (direct and indirect) for mending fences, and securing retractions from complainants. It might even lead to some valuable re-hires!
Communicate More Efectively
Better communication means better relationships. Which means fewer and fewer complaints in the future. What’s more, it’s important you improve communications across multiple platforms.
Revisit Your Driver Orientation
When your orientation program creates unrealistic expectations, you’re setting the stage for future problems from Day One.
Establish A Complaints Contact
Make sure your drivers know the company is committed to hearing, and addressing, their concerns. Very often, the very opportunity to air a grievance is enough to keep a problem from escalating.
Use Social Media
Develop and implement a proactive and reactive social media strategy. Proactive, in publishing positive information. Reactive, in quickly responding to feedback—especially negative feedback.
Will these steps eliminate all complaints?
Probably not. Some drivers simply can’t be reasoned with. But if you’re doing all the right things, it’s not really your problem. It’s theirs. And most good drivers know a crybaby when they see one!
FOR FURTHER READING:
Build On Your Strengths To Improve Truck Driver Recruiting
With Truck Drivers, A Recruiter’s Work Is Never Done
What’s Brand Got To Do With Truck Driver Recruiting? Everything.
Improving Truck Driver Recruiting With A Satisfaction Guarantee