When drivers speak and shippers listen, good things happen

Drivers, Our People, Shippers, Technology and Innovation

What’s happening: Anytime a U.S. Xpress driver picks up or drops off a load from a customer, they can rate the experience with one to five stars based on factors that range from access and cleanliness to efficiency and friendliness.

Why it matters: Professional drivers are the experts when it comes to the real-world experience of getting goods moved, and shippers can learn a lot from them about how to improve operations.

The bottom line: U.S. Xpress customers have real-time access to the data our drivers share about their facilities, and they use it to boost the efficiency and effectiveness of their businesses, and to make strides in becoming shippers of choice.

No one knows better than professional drivers the everyday realities of getting goods moved. That’s why U.S. Xpress shares their feedback to drive improvement for shippers and carriers across our industry.

“Any time a U.S. Xpress driver picks up or drops off, they have the opportunity to do a quick survey rating the experience with one to five stars on a variety of factors, from access and cleanliness to efficiency and friendliness,” said Vice President of Enterprise Sales Brigette Myers. “That data is available in real time to our customers through an online portal, and they use the information to improve their operations.”

The surveys often reveal issues that shippers weren’t aware of, Brigette added. Each month, she reviews the results with her customers and identifies trends — whether that means flagging areas where scores are slipping, or calling out improvements.

“The data provides an amazing amount of detail they wouldn’t otherwise have,” Brigette said. “They want to know because they want to be shippers of choice.”

In one case, a shipper had a consistently low-performing California site where drivers struggled to find places to park or the space to back out and pull in. They were often forced to wait outside the site, and the frustration piled up for both drivers and local employees.

“When they saw the survey results, the company sent their own folks to do a two-week study and they realized the ratings were legitimate,” Brigette said. “They ended up renting an additional yard close by, and started shuttling trailers back and forth. Now it’s one of our highest-performing sites.”

At another customer site in New Jersey, low scores reflected a cultural challenge that just required a little coaching.

“The majority of our drivers are Southern, and there’s a difference in the level of personal interaction they’re looking for,” she said. “When the customer got the feedback, they did some training with their people to make sure they understood why a little more friendliness and warmth was so important for these folks. Now that site is always close to five stars every month.”

Companies are generally eager to learn from drivers how they can create great experiences that keep them moving — and make them want to come back, Brigette said. And the feedback doesn’t just benefit U.S. Xpress drivers. When shippers improve their sites, that’s good for everyone who uses the facility, including employees.

Here are a few of the top takeaways from the feedback our drivers share:

  • Being nice is more than a nice-to-have. One of the biggest things is being treated with courtesy. Some drivers haven’t seen another human being in days and having someone speak to them kindly goes a long way.
  • Paperwork can make or break an experience. Is the paperwork ready, is it accurate, how long did the driver have to wait to get it? Those factors really matter.
  • Creature comforts are a big deal. Is there a restroom drivers can use? If they have to wait, is there a way for them to have food delivered?
  • Bring on the light. A well-lit yard that’s clearly marked and easy to navigate isn’t just great for drivers, it’s also great for business operations.

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