Penny Stoolman, UK group marketing director for Arval PHH, said fleet decision-makers must understand their drivers have more choice, and should look at the retail sector which attracts and retains customers through brand loyalty, innovation and the 'wow' factor.
She said fleet managers should track trends, work with HR departments, analyse consumer behaviour and widen their perspectives to ensure their drivers are getting the best possible services to keep them happy and loyal.
Speaking at the Institute of Car Fleet Management Conference, Stoolman said: 'It is time for employers and fleet managers to stop thinking about drivers as figures and numbers.
'Next April drivers may get a big tax shock and they will be mad and want to get even,' she said. 'As customers they know they have power: there is no 'job for life', and they know companies need good people. The question is: 'What can this company do for me?'
She advised fleet decision-makers to think beyond the basic categories of 'perk drivers' and 'essential drivers', and instead work out what drivers want and react accordingly to cater to their specific needs.