With more people using integrated telematics to help to improve their businesses, you might be forgiven for thinking that the only parties to accrue any benefits from the process would be company managers and HR departments. But the efficiencies brought about by integrating telematics data across different sectors of business can be beneficial across the board; not least to the drivers themselves.
However, one crucial component involved in any business’s success is the customer, and often the benefits that apply to them are left out of the discussion. As any successful business owner knows, the key to good customer service is to pay attention to feedback (both good and bad) and use that feedback to improve the provision of products and services for future campaigns.
Integrated telematics are a good way of responding to these customer concerns quickly, and can actively benefit how products and services are delivered. But how exactly? Here are 5 ways that streamlining your fleet telematics can help improve customer experience.
1. Proactive ETAs
We have carried out extensive research related to improving a business’s service level, and some of what we found was revelatory. According to a survey of over 1000 business representatives and consumers in four European countries (Great Britain, France, Germany and the Netherlands), one of the biggest frustrations customers have when dealing with a company are inaccurate or overly-long ETAs.
43% of respondents said that they regularly experience a wait of four hours or more for a delivery, and only 6% said they expect a precise arrival time. Perhaps more shocking is the fact that 21% of companies said that they expect people to wait up to 8 hours for delivery, and take a full day off work so that they can be at home when it arrives.
By investing in integrated telematics, companies have the opportunity to collate and distribute more accurate data related to individual field operatives, and make more accurate predictions when providing customers with ETAs. For companies who have made the transition to integrated telematics, they have reported up to a 10% drop in “customer-not-at-homes” and an overall increase in customer satisfaction.
2. Full visibility
It should come as no surprise that a late arrival or a job completed to a poor standard can sour consumer relations with a business very quickly. This can happen for a number of reasons – traffic jams, accidents, inability to find the right address – but a fundamental aspect of any business that manages a fleet should be that they deliver to their customers when they say they’re going to deliver.
Despite this fundamental, one of our surveys of over has suggested that 42% of all service companies’ delivery drivers turn up regularly at the wrong address. 43% of companies said that they had experienced two drivers showing up for the same job, and 33% of companies said that this happened as regularly as once a month.
With an integrated system, operatives can be more visible when they are in the field and data can be shared and transferred directly through to the driver without the rigmarole of phone calls, emails and text messages.
This can lead to a better overall perception of your company, and with more deliveries arriving at the correct destination on time, customers are more likely to use your product or service again.
3. Retrospective checking
50% of consumers said that their biggest concern with having jobs completed at home was the quality of work, and 10% said that workers taking too long to complete was their biggest concern. Normally these concerns are borne out of experience, and by integrating telematics across different business sectors, companies can build a more accurate picture of where operatives are not working effectively and use data to specify training courses for improvement.
Similarly, nearly 25% of customers have claimed poor punctuality on a regular basis when it comes to delivery, so it’s clear that improvements are there to be made. Perhaps by streamlining whatever information a company has on its field operatives, fleet managers and managing directors can improve output by constructing league tables to encourage healthy rivalry between employees, offer monthly or annual incentives to ensure they hit their targets regularly, and more accurately allocate specific jobs to drivers based on their skill-set and location.
4. Accurate billing
If you can’t make an accurate assessment of what your operative is doing in the field, that could possibly leave your company open to scrutiny from the end client or worse still, the authorities. Needless to say, this can be costly and the impact often falls on customers in terms of increased costs.
Integrated telematics may reduce the likelihood of any potential litigation or unnecessary road charges, but it can also save on expensive mileage costs and may even have an impact on the price of insuring the drivers in your fleet. This is because the data collected by an integrated system can be fine-tuned and used by insurance companies to make more informed assessments of the relevant aspects of driver behaviour.
It could potentially also increase sales. Coffee roaster and supplier Matthew Algie told Fleet News that a year after the business began using TomTom’s telematics solution, they had achieved a 20% increase in the number of sales, training and engineer call-outs. In particular, they said, they attributed their business’s growth to TomTom’s vehicle tracking function which, among other things, provides important information about traffic congestion.
What all of this means, of course, is that by investing in an integrated telematics system you have the potential to increase your profit margin, and customers could benefit from this through price reduction, purchase incentives and more accurate billing based on mileage costs, driver hours and most importantly, time on site or billable hours to the client.
5. Overall experience
27% of respondents to the survey mentioned at the beginning of this article that punctual delivery and job attendance had deteriorated since the economic downturn. Indeed, many businesses (particularly small to medium size enterprises) have been struggling to recover lost growth and much of the financial difficulty they have experienced has rippled out to customers in the form of poor service.
In many ways, integrated telematics can offer a relatively cost-effective way of streamlining one’s business so that costly inefficiencies can be trimmed. As our Managing Director, Thomas Schmidt has pointed out, “Mobile workers are less likely to face unrealistic job timetables, to be frustrated by traffic delays and to disappoint customers… [than] they are currently doing”.
This means that they will be more inclined to complete jobs on time, can help to increase their rates of productivity and help to deliver a better quality of service. All of which feeds into a better, more efficiently run, customer-friendly delivery service.
Some final thoughts
Telematics as a stand-alone investment in fleet management can already be a huge improvement on managing data by simply using spreadsheets or paper, but by integrating your telematics platform and sharing any available data across all departments, the benefits to the business as a whole can be huge.
Telematics provides an auditable record, encourages safety, can help provide legal security, and of course, can help your company to save money. Not to mention the benefits to be reaped by your customers, ensuring repeat business and a good working relationship with all your company’s clients. To discover more on how a connected telematics solution can benefit your business departments please visit telematics islands.
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