It’s no secret that truck rolls are a necessary evil for the service industry.
Yes, they cost a lot.
Absolutely, your customers aren’t happy to wait for service.
Of course, in-person contact puts employees and customers at risk.
Sure, they divert your workforce from more strategic tasks.
But even though a large proportion of truck rolls are non-value-added activities and a tremendous waste of resources, these dispatches remain a fact of life for service organizations.
This blog challenges that status quo. Analysts and organizations have been waving the red flag of unnecessary truck rolls for years. There are more cost-efficient, convenient, and safer options available that assist with truck roll optimization and even elimination, but many organizations have not implemented them. But new innovations in technology have shown that the time is right to explore alternate options to the ubiquitous truck roll.
Four Truck Roll Optimization Innovations
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.
Open your eyes to 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.
Deal with 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 the number will rise to 41.6 billion devices. That’s a lot of data and information being shared. How much data? The IDC estimates that IoT devices will be generating 79.4 zettabytes (21 zeros!) of data by 2025.
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.
Succeed with Self-service
If your company is not yet taking advantage of self-service options, you are missing an opportunity. Even before the pandemic created a remote-first world, 72% of consumers said they wanted to solve their problems or issues on their own without having to engage with a human customer service agent. Now, survey data is showing 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 with AI
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 roll optimizations: Four ways
Every service organization understands the need to optimize their truck rolls, yet technician dispatches are still considered unavoidable money drains. Now, new innovations in technology have highlighted alternative service options to the standard truck roll. Visual assistance, data analytics, self-service, and intelligent scheduling have all been proven to take care of customers’ field service needs while still providing a positive customer experience, reducing costs, and keeping employees and customers safe.
This article was first published on the TechSee blog.