Automation and personal communication proved to be a “perfect combination” to keep drivers safe and compliant during the pandemic, according to Fleet Service GB’s (FSGB) recent customer partner survey.
The FSGB Achieve app enabled businesses to share important news and updates with drivers during the pandemic. It also enabled companies to record the condition of vehicles as they were being mothballed, while thousands of vehicle check sheets were being filled in by drivers and processed via the app, so operators could keep a close eye on the condition of their vehicles.
Fleets said they valued the app’s real time data collection as more of their colleagues were working remotely, while drivers appreciated having access to human interaction with FSGB’s customer service team 24-hours a day, seven days a week, especially when trying to resolve a vehicle problem.
“The app removes waste by exposing and transferring information directly between the driver, supporting supply chain, Stannah and FGSB. We have enjoyed playing a role in its ongoing development,” said Martin Carter, group information systems director at Stannah.
FSGB proactively contacted drivers about getting vehicles booked in for servicing and MOTs via the app. During the first lockdown, FSGB had to arrange, in a number of instances, for garages to open to carry out urgent servicing and repairs to keep customer vehicles on the road.
While the app provided a digital connection with drivers, employees valued being able to speak to the FSGB team by phone around the clock to discuss a driving or vehicle related issue. The feedback was that it contributed to drivers feeling less isolated and it contributed positively to their well-being.
“I was reassured that if any of my drivers rang the FSGB number out of hours they would be greeted by a friendly voice – who understood how to deal with their issue. The fact FSGB never closed its customer service operation was very important,” said James Ford, business director at VPS UK.
“In our experience we know driver and vehicle well-being is inextricably linked which is why we saw technology and human interaction work in harmony during the pandemic,” added Fleet Service GB’s chairman Geoffrey Bray.
“While many businesses furloughed their customer service teams or reduced working hours, our call centre never shut. There was always someone at the end of a phone for customers and drivers to talk to around the clock.
“Our in-house team has a process of continual improvement for our App. We know from customer feedback it’s often some of the smallest updates that make the biggest difference,” he added.