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4 ways to customise your real-time GPS tracking

How can you provide the visibility and transparency that customers demand — namely, ETAs and real-time operative tracking — while ensuring safety and privacy for your mobile workforce?

GPS tracking on phone

The Uberization of the field services sector has made it crystal clear that customers demand transparency and real-time visibility into their services and deliveries. Digital-first experiences and customer experience automation strategies such as real-time operative tracking have levelled the playing field, making it easier than ever for every business to operate like Amazon or Deliveroo.

But what about the mobile workforce that’s on the other side of that tracking?

Employees and unions have expressed concerns about tracking, citing issues such as safety and privacy. It’s more important than ever to find ways to provide the transparency customers crave while also protecting the real-time location of mobile workers.

Thanks to customisable mobile workforce management software like Localz, you can tailor how and when you share GPS tracking of employees. Localz offers solutions specifically designed for the mobile workforce that bake in safety measures like:

  • Turning off tracking following a technician’s last scheduled job via automated geofences

  • Ensuring a technician’s home location is never visible to the end-customer

  • Informing customers a driver is on the way with automated messaging

  • Providing the ability to see how many stops away an operative is via an employee GPS tracker

Perhaps best of all, your technicians won’t have to spend time fiddling with any of it — the messaging, notifications, and reminders are all automated so that operatives can focus on the job at hand without sacrificing concentration or safety.

So, if you want to know, “How can I track my employees’ locations?” while keeping their privacy top of mind, read on. Here, we’ll take a look into your options for implementing customer experience automation strategies while also managing your technicians’ safety. 

 

The benefits of sharing real-time GPS tracking with customers

First things first: Why should you bother offering real-time GPS tracking in the first place? 

Beyond meeting that aforementioned customer need for everything to feel like the Uber experience, the benefits of providing real-time visibility are threefold.

 

Benefits for operatives

When their location is automatically shared, drivers and technicians no longer have to deal with the frequent pauses needed to inform customers of their ETA via a call, email, or text. This reduces friction from an operative’s day, as well as allows them to focus — undistracted — on the day’s critical tasks. When they arrive at an appointment, the customer will be ready for the operative to complete their scheduled work.

 

Benefits for customers

We can’t stress enough how real-time operative tracking is key to customer engagement and satisfaction. Customers want transparency and control over their day — they don’t want to wait around wondering when a service or delivery will show up.

In fact, poor last-mile engagement on the day of field service causes frustration, stress, and anxiety. More than half (53%) of customers say they’d feel relief from being able to track their technician’s location on an app or website. Essentially, you can’t afford not to offer GPS tracking of employees.

 

Benefits for your company

An employee tracking app is a boon to your business in a number of ways, not least that it can reduce call volumes for chase calls and reduce failed appointments by up to 20% — saving your staff time, and your business money. Moreover, automating tracking removes friction for drivers, which in turn boosts their productivity, safety, and job satisfaction, leading to reduced turnover.

 

Learn more about the benefits of visibility for your customers and staff. 

 

How Localz’ place in queue tracking keeps customers in the know 

There are many ways mobile workforce management software can tackle the transparency around an operative’s location. One of the best methods — and most easily customisable — is to show customers their place in the queue of appointments or deliveries.

Typically in mobile workforce tracking, the operative’s precise location and route are shown on a map, alongside a precise ETA. However, there are alternative tracking methods that can reassure customers while reducing visibility of the operative’s location.

With “place in the queue” tracking, you can let customers know how many appointments are before theirs. You can choose to indicate the driver’s approximate location when they are only a few stops away, and choose whether or not to show their planned route to the site. 

This works especially well for attended delivery, or field service businesses with lots of appointments in a small geographical area. In these instances, the operative’s location isn’t the best indicator of their ETA — maybe they’re just around the corner but still have several stops to make. 

Instead, you can indicate the progress of a customer’s service or delivery by showing them their place in the queue. This offers several benefits, including:

  • A better customer experience. Showing their place in the queue reduces anxiety for customers by reassuring them of the progress being made as the driver gets closer.

  • Reduces missed appointments. When the customer knows they’re next in the queue, they can be ready to answer the door or offer the operative access to the building.

  • Increased transparency. It’s easy to keep customers in the loop if something changes, like if there is a delay or if other unforeseen circumstances arise. 

 

What are the different levels of information transparency for customers?

Localz offers various levels of customer experience automation and real-time GPS tracking in its mobile workforce management software. Each has its pros and cons, and what you choose depends on your unique business needs and the data you and your team are comfortable sharing. 

No matter what, Localz incorporates features that are designed with technicians’ safety in mind. These include automated geofences that turn off tracking after operatives finish their last scheduled job — guaranteeing their home location is never visible to customers — and anonymising technicians’ personal phone numbers to ensure privacy.

Localz allows you to tailor the customer engagement experience with these options:

  • Place in queue only
  • Place in queue, plus ETA
  • Place in queue, plus ETA and location 
  • Place in queue, plus ETA, location, and route planning

 

PLACE IN QUEUE ONLY

1.no-route-no-eta

This option provides the least transparency for the customer, but potentially the most comfort for technicians who are worried about sharing their precise location. With this option, you can display the customer’s address, along with information about their appointment and their place in the queue. Automated 15- or 30-minute ETA windows are sent to customers based on real-time operative tracking, but neither a real-time tracking map nor location is given.

 

Pros:

  • Customers can see all the details of their appointment in advance and can reschedule if necessary — helping prevent missed appointments and no-access appointments.

  • Customers have the necessary information to understand when a service operative or delivery will turn up, based on their place in the queue. 

  • A driver’s whereabouts are private, ensuring their safety and privacy.

Cons:

  • Appointment or delivery windows don’t provide the most real-time ETAs, which can lead to a less-than-satisfactory customer experience. 

  • Vague timelines mean a customer may still pop out and miss a delivery, increasing the odds of a no-access appointment.

 

PLACE IN QUEUE, PLUS ETA

2.no-route-eta

This option provides a bit more transparency for customers, as it has a few more features. This option displays the customer’s address, information about their appointment, and their place in the queue. Additionally, it offers a real-time ETA and countdown based on real-time operative tracking, but there is still no tracking location available to the customer.

 

Pros:

  • Customers can view all the details of their appointment before the day of service or delivery, and can make changes in advance to prevent missed appointments and no-access appointments.

  • Real-time ETA countdowns give customers to-the-minute updates on the arrival of their operative, greatly reducing the risk of a missed appointment or delivery.

  • Customers receive reassurance that the person turning up is the person expected, while the mobile worker still maintains their privacy. 

Cons:

  • Customers aren’t able to visualise and follow along with where their operative or driver is.
  • The lower level of transparency may lead to reduced customer satisfaction. 

 

PLACE IN QUEUE, PLUS ETA AND LOCATION

3.location-eta

This option provides more transparency for customers. Like the previous two options, it shows a customer’s address, the details of their appointment, and their place in the queue so they can understand how many appointments or deliveries are being made before theirs. But to offer increased visibility and transparency, this option provides a real-time ETA and countdown of when an operative or delivery will be arriving, along with a real-time location pin of where the driver is. This real-time GPS tracking is configurable; you decide whether the pin appears when the operative is en route to the location only, or a couple of stops prior.

 

Pros:

  • Customers can view all their appointment information prior to the day of service and reschedule if necessary, preventing missed appointments and no-access appointments. 

  • Satiating that “need it now” desire, this option gives a real-time ETA countdown to customers so they are aware — down to the minute — of when an operative or delivery will arrive. This greatly reduces the chances that they miss the appointment or delivery.

  • Customers can visualise the operative or delivery’s arrival with real-time tracking, and feel secure knowing that the person arriving is who they’re expecting. 

Cons:

  • The mobile operative’s location is visible to the customer when en route to that location. Your team may be uncomfortable making their location temporarily visible to the customer.

 

PLACE IN QUEUE, PLUS ETA, LOCATION, AND ROUTE PLANNING

4.ETA-route-planning

This option provides customers with the full experience of real-time tracking. Not only do customers see their address, all the relevant information about their appointment, and their place in the queue displayed — they also receive a real-time ETA and countdown of when an operative or delivery will be arriving, and a real-time location pin of where the driver is (again, configurable to appear when the driver is en route to that location or only a couple of stops prior), as well as route planning to show the intended path of the operative.

 

Pros:

  • Customers can see all details of an appointment in advance and can reschedule if need be, helping prevent missed appointments and no-access appointments.

  • The real-time ETA countdown keeps customers keenly aware of when their technician or delivery will arrive, ensuring they will be home and can offer the operative access to the building.

  • Customers can visualise the operative’s arrival with real-time tracking, as well as follow along their route, which offers a high-level customer experience that competes with big brands like Amazon, Uber, and Deliveroo. The customer is also given reassurance that the person turning up is the person they expect.

Cons:

  • Your team may be uncomfortable sharing the driver's location and route when they’re on their way.

 

Localz empowers you to offer your customers the experience they want and deserve

Empowering customers to receive goods and services on their own terms, and protecting mobile operatives aren’t mutually exclusive. Our mobile workforce management software provides the transparency and visibility that modern customers demand while offering customer experience automation that’s tailored to meet the needs of mobile operatives who are worried about safety and privacy.

Our real-time GPS tracking solutions are configurable based on your needs and will enhance your customer experience without impacting your team. Localz’ solutions are proven to improve communication among your workforce and with customers, as well as increase customer engagement and satisfaction before, during, and after the day of service.

In addition to configurable operative tracking offerings, Localz provides solutions such as:

  • Automatic reminders. With automated reminders, you can alert customers when operatives are on their way, send appointment reminders the day prior and/or day of, and give access to your customer portal — where they can use self-service options that increase the likelihood of a successful delivery or appointment.

  • Web-based customer portals. We can help you create a self-service customer portal, where customers can view important appointment information, confirm or request to reschedule an appointment, to let customers input updated information about the appointment, such as if the status of something gets worse or a new issue arises. Customer portals offer a multitude of benefits, not least of which is proactive communication.

  • Multiparty communication. Speaking of that proactive communication, our two-way communication and group chat capabilities increase touchpoints with customers, making them feel valued and heard. Customers can inform your mobile workforce of important access information, while the contact centre can share information with operatives and customers.

No matter what your organisation’s focus — whether you want to mask the location of mobile operatives to meet their privacy needs, offer customers the highest level of visibility with real-time tracking and route planning, or something in between — Localz has you covered. Our solutions are built with both customer satisfaction and mobile operative safety measures in mind, and they can be tailored to your unique needs.

Want to find out how Localz can empower your business to give customers and employees the experiences they crave?

Talk to Localz about last-mile delivery and service delivery tracking

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