Going beyond business as usual

By Christopher Lyon,  NTEA Director of Fleet Relations

This article was published in the October 2019 edition of NTEA News.

If business as usual within your organization means great and continued success, then you are in a unique position. For most companies, it means keeping in contact with regular customers and staying visible.

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As we know, businesses exist to provide tangible products or intangible services while staying in the black on the financial books. Most of the truck and equipment consumer base is composed of commercial and industrial buyers in private or government sectors, which operate with many of the same core business principles of a successful operation. Private-sector organizations may have financial responsibility to their owners or shareholders, while government organizations answer to tax payers. Regardless, both need to be in good financial standing.

Ultimately, the end customer must be on a continual improvement cycle. This creates an opportunity for your company to exceed business as usual and offer value beyond the monetary bottom line.

Be your customers’ champion
Vocational fleet customers are charged with many difficult tasks, such as researching, designing, spec’ing and purchasing specialty vehicles. However, small oversights can turn a conceptually good idea into an underutilized and underappreciated completed unit. Spec’ writers have a high level of understanding and attention to detail, as they see firsthand how equipment is used once received and put into service. Nonetheless, offering insights to customers may be beneficial if your organization is positioned with new product offerings and connected with many diverse customers — offering greater perspective.

Customers find more value in proactive suggestions than reactive corrections. Once a truck goes into service and modifications are required, customers face key failure points. First is downtime, which can cause them to lose credibility within their internal organization. Keep in mind, with specialty vocational trucks, the replacement may have already been decommissioned. In addition, vehicle modifications are often financially costly.

Going beyond business as usual and being a customer’s champion is a high-value position for your company. It increases their credibility on being an industry expert and demonstrates your focus on their long-term success.

Step outside the box
Regardless of your customer base, stepping outside the box evolves and increases your organization’s visibility — which can better position you as a dependable supplier and valued business partner. Although customers and prospects do not always verbalize it, they’re often looking for increased involvement from suppliers who understand their needs and requirements.

For more fleet information, visit ntea.com/fleetresources.