2016: The Final Countdown

Posted by Stacey Papp

All right, 2016. You’ve really put us through the ringer, between a turbulent election season and way too many awesome famous people dying, but we’re almost done with you.

There’s just one more hurdle to cross before we throw 2016 down the memory hole, and it’s a biggie: the holidays.

With Thanksgiving over and the December holidays in progress and/or looming (depending on what you celebrate), we’re all buckling our seatbelts for the rollercoaster ride that is the end of the year – nursing Black Friday emotional hangovers and/or injuries, if you had to fight someone else for the last flat-screen TV; entertaining family in town (who may even be staying at your house and using up all the hot water); incurring massive expenditures on gifts and anticipating terrifying credit card bills come January; figuring out what the heck to buy for  people and then enduring crowded, overheated stores, long lines at the mall and nowhere to park; partaking in too much eating and drinking (the latter of which may be self-medication – see “family in town”); fake-smiling through the annoyances and awkwardness of office holiday parties and workplace Secret Santa exchanges … shall we go on?

And here’s the kicker – all that seasonal joy we just named is just your personal stuff. We haven’t even gotten to what field service businesses can expect. When the toilet clogs because Grandpa’s on diuretics, or a curious raccoon climbs down the chimney and gets stuck, or the oven goes on the fritz with the kids’ hideously decorated cookies half-baked inside, you can expect a big increase in emergency orders.

And because it’s the holidays and everything seems to be a bigger deal than at any other time of the year, when customers call in emergency job orders, their voices might be reaching a “hysterical” pitch range and maybe even approaching “psychotic.” If a business doesn’t have a surefire way to handle these emergency calls, they’re entering a world of pain.

So here’s your surefire way: Invest in technology that can help – not just during the holiday rush, but all year long.

Technologies like GPS vehicle tracking can help a business handle emergency calls faster and more efficiently. Dispatchers see on a dashboard what field techs are available and where they are in proximity to the customer, and sort through available techs based on skills. A dispatcher then pings the driver. The service call appears as an alert on the driver’s mobile device, and the driver accepts the job order, reads all pertinent details about the job, and then hightails themselves to the customer’s location, stat. 

Meanwhile, the dispatcher sees all this via that dashboard, and calls the customer with an accurate estimate of when the service tech should be arriving, helping to give the customer assurance that their issue will be handled swiftly. 

And if the customer is extra-anxious and calls back in five minutes, asking for an update, the dispatcher can tell him or her the updated time without having to hang up and call the driver to get that update – it’s all visible to the dispatcher.

The software also tracks driver arrival and departure times from a jobsite, and these times are logged in a digital depository, meaning invoices will be accurate when it comes time to bill.

Oh, and because the GPS system uses the best route to the customer’s location based on near real-time data, it will detour drivers around stuff like construction and traffic jams (probably in front of the mall, at this time of year), so only by teleporting would the driver get there faster.

And don’t forget, all of these capabilities will come in handy even after we’re rid of this year, in 2017 and beyond.

If you’re ready to rule the holiday season (and every other season), learn what GPS fleet tracking can do for you.

While you’re at it, check out our handy eBook about telematics and what it can really do for you & your business.

Copyright ©2016 Fleetmatics Development Limited. All rights reserved. Fleetmatics and the Fleetmatics logo are registered trademarks of Fleetmatics in the U.S. and other countries.

While you’re at it, check out our handy eBook about telematics and what it can really do for you & your business.