Service companies have to know which jobs their drivers and technicians have completed and how much to charge for the labor on each invoice. However, their customers don’t always agree with the numbers printed on the invoice, so they have to be ready to back them up with data. GPS tracking provides helpful information businesses can use to resolve billing disputes while maintaining a good relationship with the customer.
Billing disputes can hurt the relationship between business and customer. Resolving these disputes is challenging. The business shouldn’t give up revenue it rightfully earned or lose money on jobs it has performed. But businesses cannot expect customers just to pay whatever they are quoted. The saying in the service industry is, “The customer is always right.” But anyone who has been in the service business–especially as it relates to billing customers–knows the customer is not always right. A service business can afford to lose money on some jobs if it helps keep a customer happy and paves the way for more business in the future. However, it isn’t possible to make a habit of losing money to customers who continually refuse to pay for all the work performed.
Most billing disputes come about through simple misunderstandings that a phone call or email could resolve. Right or wrong, the customer must be assured the business is listening to and addressing his concerns. Even if the customer is wrong and being unreasonable, it is important to listen and be respectful. Commit early to resolving the dispute using the available facts and the simplest solution.
GPS tracking is helpful because it automates the collection of the documentation necessary for resolving billing disputes. Manually filling out documentation–like travel logs, invoices, work order receipts, and other paperwork–can be a tedious task. Keeping it all organized is a full-time job in itself. GPS tracking makes it easy to find out what vehicles were where and for how long. This can confirm many things that might come up in a billing dispute.
For example, the customer might say that no one showed up to do the work and the tech says no one was home to let them in. GPS tracking can settle the dispute with facts. It can confirm when and where the tech arrived and how long he waited until leaving. Another example could be a case where the customer complains he got a bill for two hours of labor, but that the tech was only on site for one. The GPS history could show that the tech arrived at 10:15 and left at 11:10, showing that the customer was in fact overcharged.
GPS will not always prove that the business is right and the customer is wrong. Many times it will vindicate the customer’s complaint. When a billing dispute arises, proper documentation is useful. But like in the example of the customer who was over-billed, manual documentation can be flawed. The unbiased data in the GPS tracking system is much better suited to settling the dispute than a paper trail filled out by hand.
When the GPS data resolves a billing dispute in the business’s favor, it should avoid making the customer feel stupid about questioning the bill. Instead, let them know you appreciate the concern and are glad that the situation is resolved to mutual satisfaction. Using GPS data tactfully to settle a billing dispute is a good way for a service company to ensure it is paid for the work it performs while keeping its customers happy. Whether it leads to the customer being right or the business being right, the dispute can be solved in a way that maintains the relationship.