Here is a candid message to every company staff that drives a branded official vehicle. Drivers, Salesmen, Managers …anyone:
“Please return the keys of that branded car to your company, if you can’t be a brand ambassador”. I mean it!
One Sunday Afternoon, with children in my car slowing down for inward ‘service-lane’ bound traffic at Maryland, the bus driver of a major children clothier, almost ran us off the road. Without any apology, rather with insults, he sped off.
Days later, a bus branded with the logo of children noodles brand, scratched my car while trying to get ahead of me on a road that was narrow. A few minutes later , a beer-branded vehicle graciously waited and allowed me turn in ahead of him.
Considering the brands the vehicles represent, one would have thought, the play out of these incidences would have been vice versa.
What are the key lessons ?
- The actions of anyone driving a branded vehicle impacts on the public perception of that brand.
- A customer’s brand experience does not end at the sales point, but extends to the streets.
- A company’s brand image can be enhanced or eroded through the traffic behavior of its drivers.
- Your outward appearance reflects your company’s image and culture. So, make sure you are always professionally dressed and groomed at all times.Uniforms should be well tucked in and personal hygiene should be given an utmost attention. Please leave your bathroom slippers/flip flops at home!
- As the driver of a branded vehicle, your manners in traffic show whether your company truly esteems customers or is only concerned about their money.
- Stop hurling insults at other motorists.
I must say, Management decisions also play a major part in this.
During an interview session, a driver once told me that his company never makes provision for replacement of uniforms for its drivers whether it wears out or is torn. While this company may think it’s saving money in the immediate term, shabbily-dressed drivers are less likely to act as good brand ambassadors and may act in ways that are more costly to the brand.
Always remember,you are a brand ambassador on wheels!
Yours in Service,