Level Up Your Customer Service with Telematics

September 13, 2021

Top-quality products/services and skilled technicians are only half the battle when it comes to running a successful business—customer service is often just as important.

Telematics combines telecommunications with informatics via a device containing a GPS receiver that collects and stores data and sends it wirelessly to a cloud service and then to a user application. With the application software, you can gain business insights such as spotting patterns of poor driving by the same drivers, see when maintenance is needed, or set alerts for outlier events such as unauthorized use during off-hours.

Let’s look at why customer service matters and the different ways that telematics can help improve it.

Telematics plays a critical role in improving customer service through better fleet management. Click To Tweet

Why Customer Service Matters

Customer service can mean the difference between a lifelong client and a negative review that turns away hundreds of would-be customers. It costs six to seven times more to attract a new customer than retain an existing customer, so when one-third of customers switch companies due to poor customer service, it’s a very costly mistake!

On the other hand, a positive customer experience leads more than half of customers to make additional purchases. That’s why a 5% increase in customer retention can produce 25% more profit! Of course, you also want all the positive reviews you can get in a world where 90% of would-be customers rely on them to support their purchasing decisions.

Accurate Arrival Estimates

Service and delivery appointments are a common source of frustration for customers and companies with field services. For example, customers may rearrange their schedules to be home for an appointment, making delays extremely frustrating. At the same time, calling drivers multiple times per day just for location updates is tedious and time-consuming.

Telematics Customer Service

PowerFleet’s Vista Platform – Source: PowerFleet

Telematics can help automate the process by providing a real-time look into driver locations. Dispatchers can quickly check on driver locations and call customers to tell them when they’re on the way. Some companies might even automatically send a notification to customers when a driver is 15 minutes away or if there’s an unexpected delay.

Effective Positive Driving Behavior Incentives

Many sales teams stay motivated with leaderboards to celebrate successes and build camaraderie. The same concept can help encourage safer driving and on-time appointments. It’s an excellent way to ensure that everyone is hitting their targets while reducing the risk of accidents, speeding tickets, and other adverse traffic conditions.

Telematics provide the data and analytics for these kinds of programs. For example, companies can easily collect data on speeding, harsh braking, sudden acceleration, or other driving events. They can also measure fuel efficiency per driver, and real-time GPS locations can corroborate whether deliveries were on time.

Bigger Savings for Everyone

Vehicle fleets are a significant cost center for service and delivery businesses. In addition to the cost of the vehicle, fuel, and insurance, service technicians spend a considerable amount of billable hours traveling to and from customer sites. Therefore, modest improvements across any of these areas could significantly reduce costs and improve profitability.

Telematics make it easy to gain efficiencies and reduce  costs, letting you pass on savings to customers. For example, vehicle telematics can tell you when maintenance issues arise before they become a more significant event like breaking down on the road. It can also help optimize routes for fuel and time and encourage more fuel-efficient driving behaviors.

No More Billing Mistakes

Many businesses experience seasonal fluctuations in demand, creating a need for contractors to step in from time to time. When that happens, it’s imperative to ensure contractors are appropriately paid to maintain a high level of service to your customers. However, it can be a challenge to track their tasks when they’re working in the field.

Telematics can help generate reports that measure the number of miles driven or hours worked during a given day. Meanwhile, GPS capabilities make it easy to verify their arrival and departure times. That way, you can ensure that customer service was completed on time and immediately take action if contractors or even full time employees show up late.

Beyond Customer Service

The benefits of telematics extend well beyond customer service. These technologies can deliver a range of benefits, enabling a rapid return on investment. They are one of the most cost-effective ways to improve safety, increase efficiency, and help companies keep their costs under control.

Telematics Customer Service

Benefits of Telematics Solutions – Source: Automotive Fleet

Some of the other core benefits of telematics include:

  • Access & Security: Telematics solutions ensure that only authorized drivers can operate a vehicle while providing cameras and sensors to protect cargo areas from opportunistic thieves.
  • Over-the-Air Updates: Some telematics solutions provide over-the-air updates, diagnostics, and preventive maintenance, making it easy to address problems remotely.
  • Accidents & Insurance: In-cab and on-the-road video footage can help exonerate drivers if they’re involved in accidents that weren’t their fault, potentially lowering insurance premiums.
  • Fleet-wide Analytics: Telematics data across an entire fleet can help right-size fleets and make other adjustments to maximize profitability and operational efficiency.

Fleets looking to make the transition to hybrid or electric vehicles can also take advantage of telematics to inform their decisions. For example, you can see how many miles each vehicle puts on per day, helping determine candidates for electrification. You can also use engine data to get a better idea of when a vehicle might be coming due for replacement.

PowerFleet provides a full suite of telematics, video, and sensor solutions to enable all of these benefits and more.  

  • CANiQ is an advanced fleet management solution, utilizing a smart algorithm to combine data from various vehicle environment interfaces such as CANBUS and OBD and runs on 4G LTE connectivity. 
  • Driver Feedback Display (DFD) provides continuous real-time coaching via visual and/or audible feedback to drivers, indicating the risk level of their driving and enables drivers to provide immediate feedback to the back office.
  • Vista, PowerFleet’s video solution provides real-time locations, high-definition videos, safety alerts for drivers, and automatically records events if there’s a sudden jolt when the vehicle is parked and turned off.

The Bottom Line

Customer service is critical to the success of any business. Telematics plays a vital role in improving customer service by improving communication and reducing costs. They also enable companies to implement programs and policies to minimize risk on the road and encourage drivers to improve constantly.

PowerFleet provides a full range of telematics solutions for fleets of all sizes. From real-time GPS location to engine diagnostics, these solutions can help you improve customer service, as well as improve the efficiency and profitability of your fleets.

Learn more or contact us to schedule a free consultation to discuss how you can add telematics to your fleet.

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