I often wonder sometimes who is more important these days. Is it the customer, or the driver? That’s a very good question! One that may have some serious debate.

The customer is the one that pays the bills for your business. They are the ones that we bend over backwards for, and do whatever it takes to get the job done, or should we? They demand everything from us whether we have it to give, or not. Some say that without the customer, we have no business. Is this a true statement? Maybe so!

The driver is the one who works for you and provides the service that your customer wants, and needs. They are the ones that go above and beyond, each and everyday to make sure the goods are delivered on time, and without damages. They drive day and night, and on the weekends. They are away from their families for days or weeks on end. They deal with the stresses of the public, and the way they drive. Traffic, road construction, bad weather, road closures, missed appointments, and many other things. Sometimes waiting for long periods of time at the shippers and receivers dock. They are your team!

Typically in the past, the customer seems to be treated better than your team members. You will typically drop everything to deal with an unhappy customer. You don’t want them to terminate their contract. This typically is a fear based model. Scared the customer will pull out and leave. But what if this were done differently?

Which one is more important to you? Everyone will have their own opinion about this. But I want you to think about the question very carefully. It can be looked at in many different ways. Here is some food for thought. 

The answer is neither one. If we go back to why you are in business in the first place, you will begin to realize that both are a very important part of your business. Yes, we need customers to pay the bills, and yes, we need people to do the work. 

Money seems to be the most common answer when it comes to why you start your business in the first place. You want to make money! But there is something much bigger than that. Peel back that onion and look at your core reason for being. You started the business on the principle of serving someone and helping them find a solution to their transportation issues. 

So, if this is the case, then why would you put one before the other? Things have changed, business is done differently today. We are all in this together working as a team. There are no favourites. Lead your team (customers & drivers, etc) to be the best team you can be. Lead by example, not by telling and ordering people. Valuing everyone on your team is the fastest way to success. When everyone works together, there is no job! There is an experience for everyone that will have long lasting effects for decades to come for your business.

Dana G. Smith, CC

Dana G Smith CC is a Certified Relationship Coach/Consultant and co-creator of The Mindful Trucker, helping companies and professional drivers with better Health, Safety, Wellness & Driver Solutions.