Thursday, June 19, 2014

I Miss Chicago

All it took was three phone calls to new carriers and I realized how much I missed Chicago.  Cold calling trucking companies can be really enjoyable, especially when they find out that I am calling to compliment their truck.  I like to let them know I noticed their truck because it was sparkly clean, or it was a beautiful color, or maybe their driver had been courteous.  There are many ways a carrier can let the world know that they are professional and really care about their image and reputation.

My first call was to a company based in Chicago.  The lady was incredibly patient while I introduced myself and told her the reason for my call.  She did let me know that she had brokers already helping her move her trucks, but I was welcome to call her anytime.  

Next, Minnesota.  Again, a very kind responsive woman seemed more than happy to chat about her trucks.  In fact, she was wondering what color truck it was that I had seen out here on Highway 101 because she wanted to pass the compliment on to her driver.  She too encouraged me to let her know when I had freight going her direction.

So, completely full of myself, I dialed a California truck.  I was clipping through my brief introduction when he stopped me and asked, in a somewhat rude voice, if he could call me back.  And of course, he never did.

What a difference in attitude and helpfulness!  It made me think back about my week in Chicago.  Everybody was comfortable to talk to and willing to help in any way they were able.  We even had an employee at the aquarium graciously give us two tickets to check out their exhibits.  I tried to get him to take my credit card, but when I told him I was from California and that since I had a few hours to tour the aquarium, he insisted that I go in for free.  When I told a new friend about this exchange, he said that is how they do things in the Midwest.

Chicago has a beautiful sky line, the dining options are endless, the city seemed clean, the parks were unique, and there were a variety of things to do while we were visiting the city.  All of these attributes, and probably more that I can’t remember right this moment, served to provide a very positive experience in Chicago.  

But ultimately, it was the people that made the difference.  Helpful, genuinely interested in our well being, desiring to give or do what we needed, it was all there.  It’s probably not surprising that I can’t wait to return.  I will be very focused on trying to develop business in this city so that I have reason to visit often.

Here at Pam Young & Company, Inc. we use the phrase ‘Experience the Pam Young Difference’ to encourage people to give us try and see if how we load their trucks or handle their freight is truly different than what they experience working with other truck brokers.  Moving produce is not easy, but it doesn’t have to be complicated.  We are confident that our expertise in managing picks and drops, our understanding of product compatibility, and our diligence in communicating the right information at the correct time all serve to set us apart from many other brokers.

However, while these important characteristics of our company are valuable, it is not what will ultimately separate us from everybody else.  It will be the people, the ‘us’ at Pam Young, who will define the ‘Pam Young Difference.’

Yesterday we had a driver call to let us know he was driving out of the DC empty and had clean bills.  I love hearing that!  But the best part came next.  He told me that so many brokers treat drivers with very little respect and rarely do anything more than send a dispatch.  No further assistance, no small talk about how their day is going, nothing other than “Here’s your load.”  He said he couldn’t wait to pick up another load for me because I was really different that everybody else.  And all I did was treat him just like I would want to be treated.

That was rewarding to hear, but I am under no illusions that we too fail to consistently follow through on our own promise to deliver an exceptionally good experience to all the people who work with us.  Cold calling a few trucks, and a week long visit to Chicago helped me once again realize that our mission is nothing without our commitment to be kind, patient and helpful.

Experience the Pam Young Difference Chicago Style!

Does our encounter with the Midwest attitude sound familiar?  Send us your story to
pamyoung@pamyoung.com.


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