Executive Vehicle Fleets: Create a Top-Notch Experience, Attract, and Retain Talent
Company culture is integral to the executive fleet program and culture sets the tone for the program. How flexible is the program when it comes to selection and types of vehicles offered? Is there any consideration for the message the type of vehicle sends to customers and employees?
A solid executive fleet program helps to attract and retain key employees. It is imperative to structure a program that demonstrates the value the company places on key employees. An executive fleet program can focus on VIPs such as those in the C-suite, owners, directors, and key employees in sales, marketing, HR, operations, and finance. An executive fleet program must deliver a positive experience for the driver.
Culture and Purpose
Company culture is integral to the executive fleet program and culture sets the tone for the program. How flexible is the program when it comes to selection and types of vehicles offered? Is there any consideration for the message the type of vehicle sends to customers and employees? For example, do you want to be on the cutting edge and include Tesla’s? Do you deliver an “over the top” service or do you offer a more hands off experience? There is no right or wrong answer to any of these questions as each company’s culture is different. The program needs to fit the culture.
The other consideration is purpose. What is the purpose of the program? In some cases it may be recruiting and retaining top employees. In other cases company vehicles may be provided as part of the executive’s compensation package. If executive vehicles are part of compensation, there is more flexibility in the program. The experience of this program needs to be easy and enjoyable for the driver. It needs to achieve the intended value, wow factor, and goodwill intended.
The program should have a consistent process to handle executive vehicles with standards, tiers, and basic requirements rather than a wild west approach where just about anything goes. You can still make the executive feel cared for and offer white glove services while having a headache-free system.
When designing an executive fleet program, a decision needs to be made on structure. First, define who qualifies for the program based on level and role in the organization. Guidelines need to be set on cost and how is it paid. Some companies set a maximum vehicle cost or lease payment allowance for the executive. If the executive goes over that value, the difference is a personal expense. Others use a selector approach. The traditional selector approach gives a varying choice of vehicles based on the level of the executive (i.e., C-level, senior VP, or director, etc.). The traditional selector approach is not as common for executive fleets, however. Fewer companies use a reimbursement program, but this loses the intended value and wow factor as executives must handle everything themselves. Such reimbursements are also taxable to executives.
The type of vehicles in executive fleet programs has changed over the years. Current trends lean towards larger vehicles, such as SUVs, and in other cases those executives who prefer luxury EVs such as Telsa’s.
A key to retention is staff feeling as though they matter – as though they are important. What shows key staff they matter to a business? A corporate vehicle, compensation, responsibilities, among other factors. It’s also hard to leave a job where your compensation is acceptable and your employer demonstrably values you. It’s also hard to quit if you don’t have a ride home.
A decision needs to be made on who manages the program. Busy executives have a different expectation of service levels. Some companies establish a separate team or select one individual to handle the executive fleet program. They handle everything from interacting with the executive, ordering the vehicle, to delivering the vehicle. Other companies hire an outside fleet management company (FMC). Executive fleet programs are one of many fleet solutions they offer. FMCs work closely with the company to understand the parameters of the program, recommend and determine which vehicles are included in the selector program if that is the path they chose, work closely with the executive through the order process, work with finance (not the execs) to handle all lease paperwork, and finally white glove delivery.
If a company vehicle is provided as an executive benefit, it needs to feel like a benefit and the executive needs to see value in it. This white glove service starts with vehicle selection and continues through to delivery. At Doering, we take pride in the VIP treatment we give our customers. Doering is a company that is known for its expertise, service, and client satisfaction and has built a strong reputation among businesses of all sizes. We can assist you in managing your executive fleets. As part of our executive fleet solution offering, we work closely with the executive to select the vehicle that suits their needs. When the vehicle arrives it can be delivered to their home or office complete with a personal walk-through of its options and features. If a vehicle is being replaced, Doering can handle the remarketing and disposition of the vehicle and get top dollar for the company or executive.
A well designed and executed program helps attract, retain, and endear executives to the company. This has long-term meaningful and quantifiable value to the business.