Partnership Approach Draws Fleet Customer to Aim
Posted on October 31st, 2016
A delivery company with 45 drivers serving much of the eastern United States recently ended longstanding ties with a leading vehicle lease provider in favor of a new relationship with Aim NationaLease.
Profleet, based in Elkhart, Ind., was looking for better fuel mileage and “more of a relationship” than just a customer-vendor arrangement, said Kelly Pletcher, the company’s owner.
“This is the type of commitment and attitude I was looking for,” Kelly said of the new arrangement with Aim. “I’m a customer, but we’re partners.”
The new business includes the lease of 15 new Peterbilt sleeper trucks, as well as preventive maintenance services for the trucks and more than 80 tractor-trailers. The work with Profleet began in May, ending more than 20 years of service from the outgoing provider.
Profleet is largely a flatbed carrier but is widely diversified. Its drivers haul fabricated metals, aluminum extrusions, moldings, hardwoods, machinery, trade show displays and a range of other goods. In addition to flatbeds, it runs curtain trailers and conestogas.
Profleet is also a multi-delivery carrier. “It’s not unusual for our drivers to have 10 or more stops with one trailer,” Kelly said.
Kelly and CANDY PAULUS, an Aim business development specialist since 2014, have known each other for many years. Before she joined Aim, Candy worked for another leasing company that continues to serve Profleet.
Relationships are important in business, and the best ones go beyond exchanging payments for goods and services, Kelly said.
The leasing company Aim replaced used to have a strong relationship with Profleet, but that changed in recent years, he said. “I didn’t feel it was a partnership any longer,” Kelly said. “We were the customer, and they were our vendor, but we didn’t feel that we were taken care of the way we should have been.”
Aim’s standard approach is to treat old and new customers like partners, Candy pointed out, because customer success fuels Aim’s success. That often means finding nontraditional ways to help customers reach their goals.
For example, Aim recently set up a parking area where Profleet drivers can recharge their vehicles.
Kelly said the communication needed to maintain good relationships is challenged today by the rise of digital communication that often replaces live conversations – not always for the better.
“You still have to be able to pick up the phone and talk to people,” Kelly said. “That’s the era I come from, that’s where I thrive in the best.
“When you talk to people on the phone, you know whether they understand what you’re saying and whether you’ve conveyed your message. You don’t always get that with email and text.”