Home > All Mercertown Blog Posts, The Economy Trucker > The Economy Trucker (part 3)

The Economy Trucker (part 3)

Good StuffHello Mercertown family!  It is time again for the monthly version of the Economy Trucker.  I do want to say that we had a record day on the blog last week with 762 visits!  Keep checking us out, and keep spreading the word.  We’ll keep bringing the info!

I want to discuss the importance of customer service.  We are starting to see some shippers shy away from using the cheaper carriers, and pay more money for service carriers like Mercer.  For months I have talked to drivers about other companies under -rating us.  We have all said that those cheaper carriers can’t do it for long, or that it would only be a matter of time before these shippers would encounter too many service failures, and realize that they should use Mercer again.

We can’t just sit back and wait for shippers to decide that they need to use us.  We need to do our best to provide the best service in the industry.  I hear from shippers all of the time, raving about the drivers we send in to there facilities.  Good service always makes a difference, and it will always set us apart.

Having a good attitude, and being flexible with shippers will lead to more freight.  I know that you have all had bad experiences at certain shippers before.  Long detention times, changes in weight or dimensions, or lack of details.  These issues can always lead to headaches and frustration.  We can not always control the problems that we encounter during loading, and unloading.  But you can control your attitude towards the situation.  I always said as a coordinator “Before you yell at anyone at a shipper or consignee, call me and yell at me first.”  Just because you are having a bad experience with a shipper, doesn’t mean that all of our other Mercer drivers feel the same way.  You can choose to pass freight from that particular customer next time.  What about the guy that lives 30 miles from there, and depends on that customer to get out of the house, and feed his family.  Don’t show your dark side with the customer and ruin that for the other guy.  I’ll give you an example of a story I heard as a coordinator.  One of my drivers told me about a time when he was on site with another driver that may or may not have been another Mercer driver.  They were backing into a group of docks to unload, in the pouring rain.  The other driver was yelling and complaining at the guys that were going to offload him.  He was complaining about the untarping in the rain, and how hard it was to back in where they wanted him, and how long it took before they sent him back to the docks, etc. etc.  All while my driver sat there calm and cool.  Both trucks were in place, and while the complaining driver was untarping his load in the rain, the guys that were unloading the trucks, were helping my driver untarp his load.  And they definitely unloaded him first, because of his good attitude.  Point is, making a bunch of noise, never makes anything happen faster, or operate smoother, but it will cause you to have higher blood pressure.

I don’t want to sound like I’m preaching to you all too much.  I just see too many people make everything a lot harder than it needs to be.  If you encounter any problems out there, call your coordinator first, or Heidi and I.  Even our agents will tell you to call them and complain, before making a scene with there customer.  Better service will equal better freight, and better rates.  As the economy recovers, and freight starts to improve throughout the industry, our customers will once again need to be selective about what carriers they use.  Let’s do our best to leave a lasting impression now, so they will continue to consider us in the future.

  1. Milt O'Neill
    August 9, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    I have only been trucking about 11 years, 10 with Mercer. Before I came to Mercer, I was an Operations Manager for a manufacturing plant in Jacksonville, FL. Being a handson manager, I not only arranged inbound raw materials, but also set up pick up of our product going through out the US and Canada, as well as helping load and unload trucks. If you don’t think drivers and agents attitude affect who gets in the gate, your sadly mistaken. If you don’t think how freight is handled and protected, what the apperance of a driver and his equipment are like, you are really sadly mistaken!The points made in this blog article and it’s parts 1 and 2 are very real and directly to the point. Remember that just because you are there first doesn’t alway mean you’ll be loaded/unloaded first, sometimes there are priorities the receiver has in house.

  2. Kris
    August 28, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    An illustration of handling a customer’s freight also comes from a friend of me and Russell’s. Ron is VP of an excavating company in Cols. Ohio. He had bought a generator from Wyoming and had offered for us if we could get it to him. Well it just so happened we were in the area, well 400 miles away, but Ron deserved a favor, and we got it arranged to bring his generator to him. He spent I think he said 11 grand on it, and he told us when we got it to Cols, that he was so glad we were bringing it because he has spent all that money and knew he did not have to worry about it being damaged in any way.

    This is the sort of thing we need to remember too, that every piece of freight we haul that the customer is assured of it’s safe arrival is worth paying more for.

    And calling the contact while we’re inbound is something they appreciate most of the time. It also gives another personal touch, which in today’s high tech, fast paced life, is always a good thing.

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