Making your carriers feel valued is crucial to building trust, so it is always a good investment to show some gratitude. Leave your carriers with the motivation to hit the road at full speed with these tokens of appreciation.
The Importance of Valuing Your Carriers
Here are just a few benefits of investing in carrier relationships and showing that you care:
People naturally trust those who show they care. This is why, in order to grow your network of reputable carriers, you need to show that you appreciate them and build that relationship of trust. The relationship between brokers and carriers goes both ways.
To do your job well as a broker, you rely on having carriers you can trust to get the job done. Because of this, losing a carrier is never easy. By showing your carriers that you appreciate them, you can limit this turnover. SCALE Logistics, one of our clients, has never lost a carrier because they understand how important these relationships are!
Boost Your Brand
In a sea of freight brokerages, it’s more important than ever to have a competitive edge. One way to stay competitive is to treat the people you work with well. Shippers want to work with brokers with a good reputation and one way to maintain a good reputation is to have carriers that enjoy working with you.
Attracting and maintaining the best talent is a huge predictor of success. Business owners who see their drivers as simply a cost will pay the price in reduced performance and growth.
Now that you know why appreciating your carriers matters, let’s look at some ways you can do that this holiday season.
1. Create a Competition
Creating a competition for your carriers is a fun way to get drivers involved and it is also a way to show your appreciation. You could create tasks surrounding important metrics for your freight brokerage. To make the competition even more personal, you could have carriers choose their own prize.
2. Consider Your Carrier’s Route
While you might not be able to control how many hours your carriers spend on the route, you can consider offering backhauls to get them home during the holiday season. Ask your carriers where “home” is for them and work your routes around their preferences when possible. Brokers who go this extra mile typically make deep connections with carriers and those connections can help you grow your freight brokerage.
3. Incentivize Feedback
As a freight broker, you are always trying to get better and improve your brokerage. One way to do this is to incentivize feedback from your carriers.
Quarterly surveys are an excellent place to start. You can ask your carriers for anonymous feedback on what it’s like to work with you and if there is any room for improvement.
An easy jumping-off point is the three questions below, which almost any concern will fall into:
- What are we doing well?
- What can we improve?
- What else is on your mind?
4. Celebrate Birthdays
Everyone wants to feel special on their birthday, including your carriers! Even a small token of appreciation on their birthday, like a gift card for lunch or a nice dinner, can go a long way. To make this possible, ask carriers if they feel comfortable sharing their birthday with you when you onboard them.
5. Offer Wellness Days
We all need to prioritize our mental and physical health and your carriers are no different. In fact, after long days of hauling, carriers need to focus even more on their wellness. Offering your carriers things like massages, specialty fitness classes, or other wellness gifts is a great way to show that you prioritize their well-being.
6. Give Away Gift Cards
While gift cards might not be the most unique present, they’re convenient for drivers always on the go.
Use gift cards as small reminders that drivers are doing a great job. You could even have your carriers select the card that they like most, such as a meal delivery service if they’re on the road or a nice dinner at their favorite restaurant at home.
7. Create a Carrier Recognition Program
Recognition needs to be a regular part of your operations. A recognition program can help carriers feel valued and appreciated and it doesn’t have to be something major. For example, you could host a dinner for local carriers or rent an event space for a small gathering.
8. Host Happy Hour Events
If you work with local drivers, you could host a driver appreciation happy hour to celebrate your carriers! Everyone loves free food and beverages, especially during the busy season. Bonus points if you ask your carriers what they want at happy hour. Pizza party, anyone?
9. Celebrate Milestones (Big & Small)
Celebrating milestones is a great way to show appreciation throughout the year, not just during the holidays. You’ll likely start by celebrating major milestones, but you can also celebrate smaller milestones, too! Celebrating these milestones will keep your carriers engaged with your freight brokerage and continue to value your broker-carrier relationship.
10. Have a Winter Gear Giveaway
Truckers deal with winter challenges more than most, so why not give them high-quality, well-insulated hats, jackets, and other winter gear? Most carriers would appreciate name-brand (non-branded) gear like Patagonia or The North Face. They’ll have your brokerage in mind every time they put on their new jacket or gloves!
11. Send Holiday Thank You Cards
Lastly, sending a well-thought-out thank you card this holiday season will go a long way in making your carriers feel appreciated. Even though it’s a small gesture, it will remind them that you’re thinking of them and wishing them well. In your card, try to include personal anecdotes to make the cards more unique.
Make Your Carriers Feel Special
These tokens of gratitude are a few ways to make your carriers feel special this holiday season. A freight broker is only as strong as the relationships they have with their carriers, so make sure your carriers feel appreciated. With an extensive network of carriers, you’ll be able to attract top-tier clients and begin to broker their loads.
Sending holiday gifts isn’t the only way to make your carriers feel confident working with your brokerage. In addition to the above suggestions, ensure that you are paying your carriers on time and communicating with them frequently. Contact us today to learn more about how Denim can help you nurture your carrier relationships.