What’s The Customer’s Benefit Limit Got To Do With How Much You Get Paid?

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What’s The Customer’s Benefit Limit Got To Do With How Much You Get Paid?

Did you know that providing your drivers with the printed call-sheet that some of the motor clubs provide can possibly harm your business?

Here’s what happened with one business owner.

It all began when tow operator Tony walked into his boss’s office and…with a strange twinkle in his eye, asked for a raise.

Tony had only been with the company for 2 months and there were still 4 months remaining before his initial review was to happen, and he knew this…But still, there he stood confident in his request.

Granted…Tony was a decent driver. He showed up to work on time and seemed to have a pretty good head on his shoulders.  But Tony’s boss was still baffled as to why he was requesting a raise. Why now? Does he have a more lucrative job offer elsewhere?

As the two stood there talking, Tony’s boss noticed that his driver had a sheet of paper in his hand.  And he watched as Tony slowly moved it from hand to hand, folding it and unfolding it with care.

Curious, Tony’s boss asked, “What do you have there?”

Tony looked down at the paper, and then back into his boss’s eyes.

It was at this moment that Tony realized he hadn’t really thought this through…but it was now or never.

So he took a deep breath, held the paper in the air, and said, “It says right here that YOU got paid $150.00 for that tow I just did…It only took me 45 minutes to tow that lady across town and you’re just paying me $11per hour.  That means you’re making a killing off a me…”

At first Tony’s boss was confused, “What? $150 dollars? Where the hell did you get that?”

Then he recognized the logo on the paper and quickly realized that Tony was waving a call sheet from one of the motor clubs.  But where he got that the company was making $150 off that call was still a mystery.

And then a light bulb went off…the mystery was solved.  The boss’s wrinkled forehead smoothed, and his face softened with a smile.

He then sat back in his chair, chuckled, and with a wave of his hand, said, “Give me that paper.”

Confused by the boss’s demeanor, Tony sat down and slid the paper across the desk.

The boss picked it up and examined it. And…Just as he’d suspected, there was a section that detailed the customer’s benefit limit— $150.

As a matter of coincidence, or as a covert, orchestrated effort by the motor clubs to recruit, the customer’s benefit limit is included on many call sheets and digital dispatches. And Tony had fallen for it.

 

Tony was up-in-arms because he had mistakenly understood the benefit limit amount to be the amount of money his boss would receive for the work he did.

Tony’s boss was glad really…he had finally gotten to the root of the problem. He then proceeded to explain that the benefit limit given on the call sheet was the maximum amount of coverage the customer was entitled to.  And that, due to the constraints of the company’s contracted rates with the motor club, the amount of money the company received was only a small fraction of the benefit limit.

Tony’s boss then went into detail to explain.  He looked at the particulars of the call in question and tallied up the mileage to scene and the tow miles and showed Tony exactly what the motor club would pay.

“Looks like the tow you did will pay…just a little over $39.00 dollars.”

Tony was shocked and embarrassed at the same time.  He apologized and quickly backed out of the office without another word.

But Tony’s not alone. Who knows how many good drivers have been lost, either through jealousy or similar misunderstandings, and have struck out on their own believing that their bosses are making big money— only to find out the truth after they’re buried in thousands of dollars of truck debt—with only motor club revenue to dig themselves out?

So what’s the answer? How do you avoid these misunderstandings when you must provide all the necessary information to do the job?

If there’s nothing you can do to get rid of the benefit limit line on motor club dispatches, you must then go into detail and explain the entire call sheet.

As you’re training each new employee with your company’s procedures for towing a car, changing a tire, and customer service, be sure to include a word or two about business jargon and industry terms.  Explain the difference between

contracted rates and the customer’s benefit limit. Explain how motor clubs pay, and the differences between them and cash customers.

Doing this will help to avoid confusion and allow you to retain good drivers, longer.

 

 

About the Author:

Don G. Archer is the former owner of a 12 truck, 20 employee towing business. He now spends his time helping others build and start successful towing businesses around the country. Don is a multi-published author, educator, and speaker and is known as the tow-evangelist, www. thetowacademy.com Want to learn more? Email him direct at don@thetowacedemy.com

5 Comments

  1. michael hinderliter September 28, 2016 at 10:25 pm - Reply

    wow great read, I personally think tow for motor clubs and im working on growing my personal website because these so called rates with the motorclubs will make a person go broke faster then you could ever imagine.

    I think that the motorclubs really enjoy screwing towing operators over just so that they could line their own pockets and make a majority of the money, for example i do a tow for $30 plus milage with agero and it really cost me more then that to even start the truck and drive to the customer and they just do not care as long as they put the most amount into their pockets.

    with that being said im glad i found your blog post here and will share it.

    • Don G Archer October 3, 2016 at 9:50 am - Reply

      Yes you need to use motor clubs as a tool. Leverage what they provide you to wow customers. Give them your card, let them know that by calling you direct next time it can save them time and a lot of headache. Ask for reviews. And build relationships with local repair shops, by providing motor club customers with options on where they can take their car. Reciprocation works. Also when building your own site, be sure that you own everything, your own domain, your platform, and all the images. And be sure that it’s properly search engine optimized. Meaning that the domain name, title tag, h1 tag, description, and others are in congruence with your keywords (what a customer enters when performing a search for your services) When roadside, are customers going to search for “Emergency roadside assistance, or will they search “Tow Truck,” Whatever that is in your area, use it. Use Google’s Keyword tool to find out. You’ll need an AdWords account to use it, it’s free and you don’t need to create any ad campaigns to use it. Thanks and good luck.

  2. Carlton Moore November 14, 2016 at 9:56 am - Reply

    I would like to learn more about the towing business

  3. Fareed July 6, 2017 at 9:53 pm - Reply

    What if you’re surrounded in area with nothing but starving tow companies who do cash calls for barely nothing and the cash customers enjoy the competition because they pay barely nothing for a tow
    How do u supposed to compete for cash clientele when most companies are doing tows for peanuts

    • Don G Archer July 22, 2017 at 4:28 pm - Reply

      Fareed, if you’d like to discuss this issue I can certainly help, we’re helping towers all over the country overcome the same problem. Shoot me an email don@thetowacademy.com

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