Customer Service Calls: How Much Are They Costing Your Business?

In this day and age, exceeding customer expectations is getting exceedingly difficult.

All the technology that surrounds us in our personal lives – tablets, smartphones, free Wi-Fi access nearly everywhere, 1.2M apps in the Apple App Store to assist us in everyday life – it’s no wonder that your customers are demanding more.

Roadnet's Active Alert Proactive Notifications for Mobile TrackingThese demands have a price.

Today, customers inundate your customer service call center with “Where’s my truck?” calls. On average, 50% of the customers on each route will call into your offices to find out when their delivery or service will arrive.

Here at Roadnet, we’ve calculated the cost of the “Where’s My Truck/Delivery/Service Person” delivery calls. You may be surprised at the effect on your bottom line.

We began by exploring the two distinct paths of this customer service element to figure out the true cost –

  1. First is the cost of “manual” proactive notification – calls that something or someone will be arriving.
  2. Second is the cost of fielding in-bound calls – when will the service person arrive?

Companies trying to create a competitive service advantage will often manually place out-bound calls to their customers to advise them at what time the delivery or service will occur. Generally speaking, this is a time consuming activity. Each call can take up to 2 minutes. If you have only ten routes with fifteen stops, it’s a five-hour job. Quickly, this becomes the full time job of two employees if there are more than 10 routes – and a logistical challenge to complete after vehicle routing and prior to dispatching.

The cost of inbound calls is just as daunting because of the sheer volume of people that have to be involved to answer one of two questions – when is my delivery arriving or where’s the truck? It’s not just the customer service rep that has to react; it’s also necessary to get key personnel from the transportation logistics area involved to find out exactly when something will be delivered.

The Time and Cost of Outbound Calls

A delivery or service confirmation call is estimated to take two minutes to complete.
2 minutes x 15 customers per route = 30 minutes per day per route
10 routes = 5 hours/day
20 routes = 10 hours/day
30 routes = 15 hours/day
Estimated cost for each employee is $116/day.
After 10 routes, the number of employees needed quickly escalates.

Contrast this with the cost of text messaging:

Cost of a Text Message = $0.02

10 routes = $3.00
20 routes = $6.00
30 routes = $9.00

Where’s My Order?


Time in Minutes


Customer Service Agent 10 $3.75
Transportation Manager 5 $3.19
Router 10 $3.75
Driver 5 $2.29
Benefits Overhead $2.60
General Overhead $2.60
ANNUALIZED (10 routes with 15 stops)

At $19 a call, fielding questions on delivery, tracking or service calls and/or notifying customers by phone is an expensive proposition. Ask yourself: can your business’ bottom line support this process?

We’ve recently launched a new delivery tracking and notification tool within our MobileCast product line called Active Alert, which automates the tracking process.

In our next post, we’ll take a deeper look into proactive delivery and mobile worker notification technology. Now that we’ve covered why it’s needed, we’ll dive into how it works, and why we focused our development efforts on new mobile tracking solutions for transportation and logistics companies.

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