The winter months can bring unique challenges to your field service business. Any combination of shorter days, lower temps, rain, ice, snow, or everyone’s favorite wintry mix can create slippery customer service issues. Read on to find out when fleet telematics solutions can help keep fleet managers and technicians on sturdy ground.
When a wintry mix brings traffic to a slow crawl.
The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration reports that approximately 22% of the 5,748,000 annual vehicle crashes are weather-related. That means the crashes occur in adverse weather (i.e. rain, sleet, snow, fog, severe crosswinds, or blowing snow/sand/debris) or on slick pavement (e.g. wet, snowy, slushy, or icy pavement.). Obvious enough, you say? Maybe so, but take heed.
There are two ways your fleet telematics solution can help you deal with this:
- Keep your drivers and vehicles safe. Many field services companies use their vehicle trackers to stay on top of driver behavior and essential vehicle diagnostics. Both are markers for potential problems on the roads, especially when weather is bad. Stay smart with the tools you need to train your drivers effectively and keep your vehicles cold-weather ready. Read our 3-Point Safety Checklist for more ideas.
- Manage delays and customer communications. If your technician is on her way to a customer location when the skies open up, you might want to track the real-time whereabouts of the vehicle and give the customer a call. “Your tech is delayed by the storm,” you can say, “but we’re monitoring the vehicle and it looks like she’ll be there in another twenty minutes.” Talk about proactive customer service!
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When your business vehicle stuck in a snow bank.
Slippery roads, piles of snow, and a heavy vehicles skidding to a stop…thud. It happens! A minor accident like this can stop your technician in his tracks, and even prevent him from making it to his next service call. Like we explained in the example above, you can locate the technician closest to the customer and re-route them over there. Take any action you need with the information at hand (literally, on the smartphone you’re holding) to make sure no one misses a beat.
When winter season is the busy season.
Consider your HVAC company—either the one you own or the one you call on to service your furnace. Whether it’s Murphy’s Law or a legitimate issue, it seems like once the temperatures start to dip, everyone’s HVAC system decides to act up. The phones start ringing and the schedule starts filling up. You don’t want to turn customers away, you don’t want your technicians running late, and you certainly don’t want the headaches associated with managing everything.
Relax, we’ve got you covered. Fleet telematics tools can help you optimize your techs’ routing and manage service calls on-the-fly. Find out more in 5 Top Tips For Field Services Scheduling And Dispatching, then explore more Tips To Tackle Seasonality.
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