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4 Innovations that Help Reduce Truck Rolls

How many times has a field technician been dispatched to a job only to find that the device wasn’t plugged in, or the customer’s equipment was no longer under warranty? These technician dispatches – also known as truck rolls – are a huge and expensive pain point for service organizations. Companies that rely heavily on a technician workforce consider 25% of truck rolls to be non-value-added activities or altogether avoidable, and thus a tremendous waste of resources. With the cost of truck rolls rising, time is of the essence for businesses to understand truck roll cost and its impact, and explore emerging technologies to mitigate the pain.

The Hidden Costs of a Truck Roll

When considering the cost of a truck roll, you are likely underestimating the amount. Direct labor costs involve factors such as technician wages, insurance, and cost of tools. Direct vehicle expenses include fuel, maintenance, insurance, and depreciation. But aside from direct costs, the indirect costs add up as well. Here are a few examples.

Opportunity Costs

When dispatching a technician, companies must consider the Opportunity cost or the loss of opportunity when technicians are unavailable for revenue-producing activities. Diverting your workforce from money-making jobs so they can repair an item under warranty is a real loss leader.

Machine Downtime

With non-stop availability the baseline in today’s fast-paced business world, any downtime is equated with revenue loss. With equipment failures and other hardware problems contributing to close to 40% of all reported downtime and strict SLA deadlines to meet customers’ expectations, it should come as no surprise that companies will often dispatch first and ask questions later.

No Fault Found Dispatches

Sometimes, a customer’s issue can be temporary in nature or resolved in under five minutes with a quick fix. Dispatching a service technician to deal with these “no fault found” issues is a waste of company time and resources. Eliminating these unnecessary dispatches can have an extremely positive effect on their bottom line.

Customer Churn

Every tech dispatch is a risk. An unqualified or grumpy technician, a delayed arrival, a missing tool or part can all cost the company its relationship with a customer and its reputation.  According to an Aberdeen Group report, 25% of all service calls require at least one follow-up visit to resolve the customer’s issue. This statistic is not very conducive to customer satisfaction. And when customers are not satisfied, customers churn. Our 2022 Churn Survey data shows that 80% of Americans churned because of of dissatisfaction from service quality.

Download our State of Customer Loyalty and Churn 2022 Survey Report to learn more

How Much Can You Save By Reducing Truck Rolls?

First, figure out your monthly truck roll liability by multiplying the total cost of each truck roll by the number of truck rolls per month. The amount of money your organization is wasting per month can be calculated by multiplying the cost per truck roll by the number of avoidable dispatches per month. It’s eye-opening. Moreover, these costs should be factored in your ROI calculation to figure how much you stand to save by implementing strategic changes.

The Urgency Of Resolving the Truck Roll Challenge

The truck roll challenge has grown more acute in recent years with the prevalence of the Internet of Things (IoT). Smart homes are constantly becoming more sophisticated and providers are delivering a wider range of services to consumers. With the IDC predicting that 55.7 billion IoT devices will be connected by 2025, there will be more and more service calls required. As more customers demand support with installation and configuration of the new technology, organizations are focusing on reducing truck rolls.

In addition, as manufacturing costs drop and competition rises, the prices per device decrease. This translates to lower profit margins per device, and the cost of sending a technician on a maintenance call becomes a material expense for the company.

To reduce truck roll costs and inefficiencies, service companies must find better solutions for more efficiently managing service truck rolls as well as for resolving more issues remotely.

4 Technologies To Help You Reduce Truck Roll

Here are four truck roll optimization innovations to consider to improve customer experience, save a massive amount of money, and keep employees and customers safe.

Visual Assistance

Visual assistance has many more use cases than organizations realize. Far more than simply being a tool to help your staff see what the customers see, Visual Assistance can guide the customer across many touchpoints, from onboarding, unboxing, setup, and troubleshooting to operational guidance, maintenance, and repair. The end-user can easily accomplish these activities in self-service mode or by speaking directly with a remote expert. As the service organization’s visual capabilities become more sophisticated, the number of use cases and resulting ROI increase. The technology has been thoroughly proven to greatly reduce – and even eliminate – the need for a truck roll.

In addition, Gartner reports that field service teams have created new triage and digital service support roles for senior field technicians who no longer want to work in the field. These senior technicians have a massive amount of knowledge and expertise that can be passed on to the next generation of workers. However, these senior technicians are not skilled trainers, and junior technicians find them difficult to follow using only voice-based instructions. Visual assistance closes the gap in the training process and reduces the need for in-person training. In addition, the senior technicians can remotely collaborate with agents when necessary to visually help customers resolve their issues without the dreaded truck roll.

Data Analytics

The number of electronic devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) has skyrocketed, and the trajectory is expected to continue. By 2025, the IDC predicts that IoT devices will be generating 79.4 zettabytes (21 zeros!) of data. The good news is that the IoT provides businesses and industries with endless opportunities for real-time data-based insights that can help them enhance the CX while streamlining their operations (and reducing truck rolls).

No matter what field you are in—consumer applications, home automation, transportation, healthcare, manufacturing, or even environmental monitoring – your company can utilize the massive amount of data coming from connected devices to proactively monitor for potential issues and fix them remotely before your customer experiences a breakdown. For example, a smart TV can transmit data about a technical problem, enabling a remote expert to fix the problem without necessitating a truck roll.

Data analytics can also help companies assess the types of calls that resulted in a No Fault Found truck roll – a huge waste of time and resources — and develop remote solutions that would improve future workflows.  Data analytics also provide a treasure trove of insights to companies who seek to improve or adapt their products. The streamed data allow companies to identify frequently occurring problems to proactively seek better solutions for dealing with those problems or eliminate them altogether.

Self-service

If your company is not yet taking advantage of self-service options, you are missing an opportunity. Recent survey data shows that more customers than ever are prepared to engage in self-service activities to avoid technician visits.

Beyond consumer preference for self-service, the technology is advantageous to the company. Gartner reports that by 2025, customer service organizations that embed AI in their customer engagement center platforms will increase their operational efficiency by 25%. And as chatbot capabilities become more and more sophisticated, companies can offer self-service options for a greater number of use cases, making the brand-consumer interaction even more convenient and efficient and contributing towards truck roll optimization.

Self-service can be a powerful solution, but many companies are taking it further by adding computer vision into the mix. Visual self-service is far more likely to solve customers’ issues completely, without the need to contact the company’s support center or to schedule a technician visit.

Smart Scheduling

An essential element of truck roll optimization is scheduling. Despite the fact that manual scheduling processes are time-consuming and error-prone and can result in truck rolls that are not needed, 52% of companies still use manual methods for most of their field service tasks, such as scheduling and work planning. As a result, efficiency improvements have become a priority for many field service organizations. Many are finding success by harnessing the power of AI to improve their internal processes, specifically for automated field service scheduling.

AI technology can automatically dispatch jobs to the right technician based on past history, skills, location, tools, and availability. The technology can also help prioritize calls and schedule the correct resource. A mission-critical job will result in an immediate truck roll, while a low-risk job may be assigned to a remote technician with no truck roll necessary.  Smart scheduling is catching on. Gartner predicts that by 2025, algorithms and bots will schedule over 70% of field service work at automated schedule optimization-dependent field service providers, up from less than 25% in 2019.

Truck Rolls in Telecom: A Case Study

The topic of truck rolls is especially relevant to the telecom industry, where new services such as fiber to home and digital content have resulted in high call center volumes and costly technician dispatches. Communication service providers face significant challenges providing a growing number of customers with immediate assistance with unboxing, installation and activation, troubleshooting of their telecom hardware and devices, and 5G rollout.

One forward-thinking multinational telecommunications provider – Vodafone Group – successfully used Visual Assistance technology to lower their technician dispatch rate by 10%, while simultaneously increasing its FCR rate by five points, and raising Net Promoter Score (NPS) by 15%.

Download this case study to learn how Vodafone Group improves core customer service & operational KPIs

Reducing Truck Rolls: Lower Costs, Better CX

Truck rolls represent a costly challenge across many industries. Real world changes are prompting service organizations to address the increasing costs resulting from the naturally-growing truck roll numbers. Many companies are turning to technology to help bridge the gap between service excellence and lowered costs. Whether companies choose to implement visual assistance, data analytics, self-service, or smart scheduling as way to enhance their field service processes, they will find that technology has a clear ROI when it lowers truck roll costs.

Hagai Shaham, Director of Strategic Accounts

Hagai Shaham, Director of Strategic Accounts

Hagai joined TechSee in its beginnings in 2016 and has profound knowledge of its solutions and the audience it caters to. He is currently serving as TechSee's Director of Strategic Accounts to ensure clients realize the full value from their solutions and partnerships.

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