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Who’s the most important person in any business? It’s almost become a cliché, but the old answer still rings true: it’s the customer.
While business leaders rightly scrutinise the metrics and minutiae of their own departments, perhaps nothing plays a more significant role in overall business growth and success than the experience and satisfaction of the customer. Great customer experiences can help increase retention, spend and referrals - all helping create a virtuous cycle, potentially generating more (and happier) customers.
We’ve written extensively in other articles about some of the ways fleet management technology can help those other departments; whether it’s demonstrating compliance with duty of care legislation; promoting safer driving; cutting fuel costs; helping limit the risk of accidents and collisions, or the consequent reduction in insurance premiums.
In this article, we’re going to cover, specifically, how fleet management technology can help increase customer happiness.
First, for the uninitiated, let’s understand what fleet management technology is, and how it works.
Fleet management technology - such as TomTom Telematics’ WEBFLEET solution - connects businesses with the vehicles they have out on the road. This gives them complete, real-time visibility over where those vehicles are, and facilitates communication with drivers. It also allows businesses to measure (and put in place steps to improve) driving behaviour, save costs on fuel, and boost overall fleet efficiency.
Fleet management technology can therefore play a key part in improving customer experience across a broad range of industries and niches.
Let’s look at a few of the ways it might help you improve your customer experience.
When customers are waiting for something (or someone) from your business, it’s important to set, and manage, realistic expectations - and then to deliver upon them. Modern customers want to know when you’re planning to arrive - and, of course, they expect you to arrive when you say you will.
Ideally, this needs to be specific. For example, how many of us would be happy to be told a delivery or service engineer would be with us any time between 8am and 8pm? Sure, on one hand, this provides an estimate - but it also involves waiting around in one location for the whole day waiting for their arrival.
With fleet management technology, you can proactively map out the order in which jobs will be done. This data can then be systematically relayed to your customers. You could fire out automated emails or SMS messages to each customer that give a much narrower - and more accurate - estimated time of arrival. For example, instead of the twelve-hour window we specified in our original example, we could specify a one-hour window - “Your driver will be with you between 9am and 10am. See you then!” Such clear, informed communication can only leave a positive impression on a customer.
The benefits of this technology don’t just extend to planning out the work; at any point during the day, fleet managers can log into the software and get a full, real-time overview of their vehicle locations. You can see the route those vehicles are taking and, factoring in up-to-date traffic information, you'll be able to see an accurate time of arrival which you can share with your customer.
If something changes while your drivers are out on the roads - whether it’s traffic, accidents, changing road and weather conditions - you’ll know about it, and can use that information and insight to keep your customer informed.
What’s more, you can be agile. If your vehicle tracking solution told you that one of your drivers was stuck in traffic, you could assign a different vehicle to the job - using the nearest available driver, based on their real-time location, and setting a new ETA which you could confidently and assertively communicate to the customer.
Having the power to move things around like this can really help improve the customer experience, and portray your brand in the best possible light as a result.
The data generated by TomTom telematics isn’t only active and accessible in real-time; it’s also stored for future analysis. This is particularly important when it comes to SLA compliance, and accurate billing. You can look back over your logs and check when your people were on site, where, and for how long - and then use that information to ensure your customers are receiving high levels of service, and paying for the service they receive.
We’ve covered a few simple examples of how fleet management technology might help improve the customer experience in your organisation, so in the final part of the article, let’s look at some of the businesses who’ve been there and done it.
Take Toshiba TEC for example. They used WEBFLEET not only to improve safety and save on costs (with an overall 27% increase in miles per gallon) - but also to take better care of their customers.
"WEBFLEET and the LINK and PRO unit combination enables us to determine exactly where any driver is located at any given time, know the traffic conditions and journey time and therefore provide very accurate arrival times on customer sites,” explained Retail Service Director, Jonathan Barber. This technology has been 'second to none' and instrumental in ensuring we provide the best possible service to our customers." Check out the full case study here.
Another of our customers, KBC Logistics, used the accurate ETA’s to increase their number of trips per day from 100 to 150, sometimes peaking at 170. Check out the full case study here.
Anyone involved in the customer-facing side of an organisation, will be aware of the way customer expectations have evolved in recent years. Customers increasingly expect quicker service, better communication and increased levels of personalisation.
Telematics systems generate huge amounts of data and intelligence that can all help strengthen your customer interactions on all of these fronts.
To discover more on how a connected telematics solution can benefit your business departments please visit telematics islands.
Please note: The information in this blog post is meant for reference only. TomTom Telematics does not warrant or imply that the use of this text or its products or services can in itself guarantee compliance with your tax or legal obligations. To ensure compliance with these obligations you must always seek individual advice from a legal counsel or a qualified tax compliance specialist