In the old way of delivering field work, truck rolls were a revenue generator. But with changing customer needs and increased technological capability, it’s time to question both the real costs and the future necessity of truck rolls.
What is a truck roll?
A truck roll can be defined as the dispatch of a technician to a customer's location for service such as inspections, repairs, and quotes. These locations are often distributed, and can include homes, businesses, or remote work sites.
How to calculate the true cost of a truck roll
Reported costs of a truck roll range from $150 to over $1,000 per visit. While ICwhatUC customers typically operate in a range of $300 to $450 per roll, that’s still too wide a range to identify a “standard” cost. Instead, businesses should know their own truck roll costs from a strictly dollars and cents perspective.
When calculating your own truck roll costs, consider all the variables that go into it:
- Vehicle costs: The truck itself, fuel, ongoing maintenance, insurance, and depreciation.
- Labour costs: Wage for technicians to be on the road, administrative wages for coordinating truck rolls, and the additional health insurance or benefits paid out for danger pay or injury.
Then you need to factor in the lost opportunities cost: Every hour a technician is on the road, that’s an hour they are not doing revenue generating tasks.
Depending on your business structure, it’s easy for these costs to spiral out of control at scale, especially when you factor in needless truck rolls (when you drive out only to realize it’s another company’s problem) or realize you didn’t bring the right tools the first time due to poor diagnosis communications with the customer (resulting in another truck roll).
Questioning the necessity of truck rolls
For decades, field work companies assumed truck rolls were simply a cost of doing business. However, we’re now in a position where that is often not the case because of these two factors:1. Changing customer demands
Customers no longer want to wait on hold, book an appointment five days out, and sit at home all day waiting for a technician. They want faster service, and are totally fine using remote technology if it gets the job done.
2. Increased technological capability
In the past, field technicians relied on insecure and non-purpose built technologies to help them in their jobs. Now, purpose-built technologies for field work exist and are more powerful than ever, helping technicians deliver the fast and remote service that customers demand.
Modernizing field work with video service
Companies can reduce their truck rolls by up to 60% when using video service, because of three main factors:
- Time efficiency: With remote service, technicians can spend more time with customers because they don’t have to drive everywhere.
- Eliminating the trip for small problems: Many issues can be resolved by the customer, they just need guidance. Video enables that instantly.
- Increased first-time fix rate: In instances where a truck roll is necessary, video problem diagnosis means the technician is fully prepared the first time.
Remote service also increases customer satisfaction. One example is home maintenance company Rumi. With video, they can now offer a 15-minute virtual inspection for clients, which increased their revenues without additional travel, improved the customer experience, and reduced customer anxiety about their home maintenance needs.
This is to say nothing of the financial benefits: If you normally operate at 50 truck rolls per day at a cost of $450 each, reducing rolls by 60% amounts to around $13,500 saved per day. One ICwhatUC customer even reached $135,000 savings per day by reducing truck rolls.
Technology is now able to revolutionize the way we deliver field work for the better: more profit, happier customers, and happier employees. We’re in a unique spot where the business case lines up perfectly with customer needs, and field work companies need to take advantage of this window of opportunity.