Tom Bray - J. J. Keller Industry Consultant
January 20 , 2017
Now that the long-anticipated ELD rule has been published, many carriers are feeling increased pressure to choose an ELD provider, as they should, with the Mandate timeline a few short months away. But how many will give consideration to ongoing ELog customer support for their drivers?
When evaluating ELD solution providers, you may be tempted to make cost the deciding factor. The more important consideration, however, is determining what that cost will include. Beyond the initial hardware and implementation necessary to get your ELD program off the ground, the ELD provider should demonstrate commitment to a mutually beneficial partnership that fits your company’s need for reliable, ongoing support. This commitment can be evaluated in a number of ways and should be given weight as part of the return on investment.
It’s important to ask an ELD provider what their vision is for customer support- drivers and office personnel. Don’t accept a vague, generic answer. Ask for specific and documented goals or standards, and look for a provider with an established track record of fostering trusted, long-term partnerships with their customers. As you work through the transition from paper to electronic logs, their commitment to your ELD implementation plan and goals is vital.
Ask the ELD provider about their support performance metrics. If the provider is measuring items that are irrelevant to you as a customer, their priorities and focus may not align with yours. Having metrics that support and drive customer efficiency are key to providing a meaningful and successful customer support experience. Remember that customer means drivers and back office personnel.
The quality of technical support begins with people. Customer care professionals should demonstrate a passion for problem solving and a strong commitment to providing dedicated service. Explore the provider’s training programs and staffing plans to determine their ability to meet the future demands of your company. Seek out a provider whose technology professionals are capable of troubleshooting driver issues over the phone. This type of on-the-go service demonstrates their commitment to keeping your drivers on the road without delay.
Having adequate technical support for drivers is critical, no matter when drivers begin and end their day. Does the ELD provider offer technical support during your core business hours? To ensure fluid operations and reduce delivery interruptions or delays, look for an ELD provider who offers driver assistance upon request, 24/7, with remote service availability.
When choosing an ELD solution provider, look into their self-service options. This would include tutorials, educational videos, step-by-step instructions, and webcasts that provide overviews of system features. Find the appropriate balance — self-service is a great enhancement to customer service, but not a replacement. The perfect blend of self-service and support will provide your organization with key operational efficiencies.
Meeting the compliance requirements of the published ELD mandate involves more than dollars and cents. By researching an ELD provider’s support model, you can make sure you’ve found a partner dedicated to your long-term success.
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