Why DriverSync, RoadSync's community of OTR drivers matters
Truck drivers perform a critical service to our economy and make a significant impact on our daily lives. At RoadSync, we recognize the vital role drivers play in delivering goods at all hours of the day across the country, from the sprawling cities to the remote rural towns. If it weren’t for drivers, the food at the store and the packages delivered to your front door would be a lot harder to come by along with many other things. As a technology provider committed to streamlining payments and automating processes across the logistics industry, we believe drivers are at the heart of the supply chain and in need of tools and solutions built with them in mind.
That’s why we recently launched DriverSync, a council of long-haul, over-the-road drivers made up of owner/operators and company drivers from across the country. Led by members of our Product and Marketing Teams, the council was formed to dive deeper into the mindsets of drivers in order to understand who they are; what they have to deal with on a day-to-day basis; their needs and pain points; and their motivations and frustrations.
With the impending holiday season and an already strained supply chain due to the effects of COVID-19, delays in manufacturing, driver shortages, and so on, along with the time and effort it takes to pull together and manage a customer council, you might wonder how and why we put the energy into creating a council dedicated to drivers. (Did we mention that drivers are at the heart of this industry?!)
Well, to answer the “How,” let’s start with Technology.
The last year and a half has shown the world, we don’t have to be in one location to be together, learn, and still drive results. Using an online platform that allows you to create different types of activities over a period of time, with users logging in and participating when it’s convenient for their schedule, makes a customer council with individuals like long-haul drivers possible while still building a community.
Now for the “Why.”
Drivers deserve dedicated solutions, and one of our core values is that customers come first over anything else. That means figuring out what they need and ensuring we deliver on that need. At RoadSync, customers ride in the front seat. We strive for empathy with our customers and meet them where they are, so we can serve them best. At the end of the day, if you don’t know your customers, what they face, and their challenges, how are you going to actually solve for delivering a solution or product that meets and/or exceeds their expectations.
But product innovation has to move fast and market research takes forever.
Spending time in order to get to know your customers (market research) feels somewhat at odds when juxtaposed against the pace of the tech world. In the tech world, we are guided by terms such as agile, rapid, prototype, move quickly, and so on. But you see, if you don’t first master knowing your customers intimately and what matters most to them, building and solving for their problems faster than anyone else is like throwing a bunch of things at a wall to see what sticks– if anything. And, there’s a good chance if you don’t know what the problem actually is, you won’t build an innovative product or solution in the first place.
Therefore, it’s important to take the time and investment in knowing your customers, and leverage the concepts already used within product development. Create a list of questions or hypotheses you seek answers to and validation for; develop tests/prototypes or activities; receive feedback; iterate; and as the learnings come in, be nimble in order to change course as needed.
You made the commitment. What’s Next?
As the activities and feedback are compiled, it’s important to synthesize and analyze the learnings into data sets and themes that guide outcomes such as product testing, development of new features, and even market positioning. The best part, if you have an ongoing advisory board of customers, there isn’t necessarily one big end goal, rather smaller steps to a longer-term outcome. You can use ongoing learnings to develop new, higher priority features that when delivered quickly rather than months from now, help build trust with your customers, and ensure their needs are met with purpose-built solutions.
For us at RoadSync, that’s creating an easy-to-use driver app, RoadSync Driver, to create a digital expense management platform and co-pilot for over-the-road drivers in support of all that they encounter with jobs and life on the road.
And what does that mean for drivers, less time dealing with expenses, searching for receipts, documents, and more time doing what they love.