Michelin ONCall, the company’s 24-hour emergency road service, has a focus on the Michelin Commercial Service Network, a franchise network of commercial tire dealers, as part of its nationwide coverage. “Network dealers must adhere to rigorous certification standards, as well as undergo an audit process to ensure the highest level of service and product availability so that fleets can maximize their vehicles uptime,” says Michelin’s Guest.
With the Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions Emergency Road Service, all servicing dealers must be approved before being added to the emergency network, says the company’s Darden. Field audits and corporate reviews of both existing and new applicants also occur. Feedback from drivers, fleets and the road service dispatch department is collected and reviewed as well.
Individuals selected to man breakdown call centers and serve as incident coordinators are carefully selected. For Michelin ONCall, each person undergoes intensive initial and continuous training, ranging from phone technique to vehicle knowledge, says Guest of Michelin.
“Our incident coordinators, receive regular training related to new types of trucking equipment and industry best practices,” says InterStar’s Manuel. “Many of our employees have prior experience as heavy duty mechanics or as fleet maintenance managers and they provide knowledge and guidance for the entire team. New hires typically have industry experience and require several months of training before managing complex incidents.”
The call center personnel for Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions Emergency Road Service are all in-house Bridgestone personnel that are extensively trained in not only breakdown management, but are skilled in new tire, retread and vehicle knowledge, says Bridgestone’s Darden. The service looks for individuals who have exceptional customer service skills, plus strong case management and problem resolution skills.
FleetNet’s employees are mechanically trained and experienced, says the company’s Holt. Its in-house training department is responsible for mechanical training and passing along the latest OEM industry updates and equipment/component configurations, covering all Class 3 through Class 8 vehicles.
Typically, when a fleet registers with an emergency roadside assistance program it is able to create profiles for its vehicles, stating preferences and requirements for replacement parts, such as tires and other services and repairs, to expedite the process. This allows for service to be provided in line with predetermined business rules from the fleet, says Michelin’s Guest.
Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions Emergency Road Service’s customized profile for customers contains standard contact and authorization information, such as e-mail, contact numbers, authorized approvers, etc., says Darden of Bridgestone. Fleets also have the ability to specify and customize which Bridgestone, Firestone and Bandag products they prefer by axle and wheel position, and are allowed to customize preferred vendors and any unique services pertinent to their needs.
“Because customers can establish servicing preferences for their trucks in their operator portfolios, fleets or owner-operators can simply tell the fleetHQ agent to follow their established preferences and the agent immediately knows what type, brand and size of tire is needed for replacement,” Goodyear fleetHQ’s Stevens says. “That saves operators the hassle of making several calls to find a location that’s open, or a tire dealer with the right tires in stock.”
“Every fleet is unique so it is important to build custom profiles with preference and guidelines for each fleet,” says InterStar’s Manuel. “Some fleets prefer new tires, others prefer retreads. Some fleets prefer to have major repairs handled on the side of the road and others prefer to have the units towed to a facility. It’s all a matter of preference that is built into the fleet’s custom profile.”
“Customized handling instructions for customers are necessary and range from the necessity of specific personnel allowed to make authorizations regarding repairs to their authorization limits on tires, towing and other needs,” FleetNet’s Holt adds. Other handling instructions include purchase order requirements, national tire accounts utilization, downtime requirements, etc.
How to make the wisest and safest purchasing decisions
Carroll passed all eight exams in the Medium and Heavy Duty Truck Test Series.