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It’s tough to stand out from the crowd. You need more than good products and services, you also need awesome staff armed with efficient systems to make sure the customer has a good experience and stays loyal.

In a 2018 report into what Kiwis rank as most important in their dealings with businesses, two areas came out on top; personalisation and time and effort.

Personalisation is all about making the customer feel like an individual, not a number. It’s not just maintaining good business relationships but having detailed records that give your customer facing staff insight into the past interactions with this client.

Time and effort are about minimising the customers effort, removing barriers and making their dealings with you easy and fuss free.

Taking a customer-centric approach isn’t new to NZ businesses, but the way you use the new technology available is. Our Teletrac Navman Telematics Benchmark Reports indicate that around four out of five businesses with fleets use or plan soon to implement telematics.

So, how can you make the most of your tracking system to improve customer service?

Give your customer their own portal to check in

Swanson Transport operate more than 68 different specialist heavy vehicles, serving customers predominantly in construction and manufacturing. The company has integrated high-definition data from their GPS telematics system into a web-based portal for customers to check on delivery status. This saves both the business and the customer time.

Be a strong link in the chain of responsibility

Under the health and safety regulation’s ‘chain of responsibility’, the responsibility for upholding safety regulations is shared by the chain and not transferred across the chain. A strong commitment to both vehicle and driver safety, with proof to back it up, can give you a competitive edge with customers who want safety in their supply chain.

Swanson Transport for example used the results from its telematics to prove its safety management practices to ACC to achieve Gold Fleet Saver status.

Frank Van Schaijik, Managing Director of John Jones Steel says that one of the industry trends he has noticed is that the main contractors are now more interested in how the company keeps track of certification. “In the past we would tell the main contractor that our vehicles and machines were all certified and provide a copy of the current certification. Now, given the increased focus on safety and compliance, they ask how we keep track of maintenance on site and what processes we have in place to flag any issues.”

Provide accurate billing on time

Whether you’re tracking mileage or machine utilisation, a GPS system helps you deliver accurate bills and a justifiable record for your customers. Sean Reid, National Sales Manager at Preston Hire notes that having objective data makes it easy to have conversations with customers and stay transparent about the transport, use and return of hire equipment. “The data takes the emotion out of it. You can’t argue with the numbers.”

New Zealander businesses can be very loyal customers, but they do expect a high level of customer service with good information and friendly staff.

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Chris L'Ecluse is a Solution Specialist - Enterprise at Teletrac Navman.

Chris L'Ecluse is Solution Specialist at Teletrac Navman and a Work, Health & Safety guardian angel. A qualified Master Driver Trainer, Chris has extensive experience, knowledge and background to educate industries on work, health & safety laws and safe driving behaviour.