Delivering exceptional EV driver support is a fundamental component of effective EV charging network management. It continuously evolves alongside your company’s growth and is shaped by various factors. For example, if your expansion strategy involves venturing into new markets, this may necessitate customer support agents fluent in different languages to cater to multiple time zones. Similarly, if you plan to add 20 new DC chargers this year, the EV driver support capabilities required will differ from those of a charge point operator adding 2000 AC chargers to their network.
The ultimate balancing act between the hardware, software and EV driver support
Charge point operators are in the business of providing a holistic charging experience, which depends on the delicate interplay between impeccable hardware and software performance coupled with exceptional customer support. Striking the right balance between these three elements is the key to winning and retaining EV drivers.
While it may be tempting to opt for the easiest, quickest, or cheapest solution to address EV driver support, you should understand the inherent risks associated with this choice. For instance, relying on your CPMS (Charge Point Management Software) for your EV driver support needs might seem convenient, but you must consider this carefully. If your CPMS provider also operates as a CPO, they could become your direct competitors, and granting them access to your customer data could have unintended consequences. Moreover, bundled services that combine CPMS and EV driver support may lock you into a package, making it challenging to address issues like subpar support. On the other hand, opting for a company lacking experience in the EV charging industry might initially appear cost-effective, but it could prove detrimental in the long run.
Safeguarding your data
Weigh the convenience of outsourcing EV driver support against the critical importance of retaining ownership and control over your user data. Your customer data is much more than an extended log of users and charging sessions; it’s the lifeblood of your business as it offers insights and opportunities that help you create better user experiences that can increase the utilization of your network. Trusting another company, especially a potential competitor, with your data is akin to handing over the keys to your kingdom.
Regional nuances to EV driver support
Getting EV driver support right also involves recognizing the market-specific nuances driven by regulatory requirements and user preferences. For example, in Germany, the Eichect regulations mandate that all public charging stations must offer information that can be validated by third-party software. In the UK, public charging regulations dictate that CPOs must offer a 24/7 helpline to customers. In the Netherlands, people are accustomed to paying with RFID cards; therefore, support interactions may involve more questions related to RFID, such as setup, authentication, and compatibility. Conversely, in the United States, where payment terminals are the norm, support inquiries may revolve around payment processing, terminal functionality, and any issues related to the payment experience.
Handling support challenges
EV driver support is multifaceted, and the complexities multiply as more elements come into the equation. For example, when it comes to roaming, challenges such as charging session data discrepancies, maintenance issues with charging stations located far away, and the lack of user data arise. Adding payment terminals into the mix gets even more complicated: connectivity issues with terminal devices, hardware malfunctions that prevent payments, or authorization issues with third parties in the payment process are just some examples. As a charge point operator, you must navigate these complexities with finesse, ensuring that your support system serves as a solid foundation for reliability and user satisfaction.
AMPECO’s approach to EV driver support
At AMPECO, we urge our clients to take the time and effort to provide EV driver support in-house in the early stages of their business. To craft effective marketing campaigns, go-to-market strategies, or even shape your entire business model – in short, to thrive – you must cultivate a comprehensive and unbiased understanding of the challenges faced by your EV drivers. This means engaging in meaningful conversations with those who rely on your services.
Direct interaction is critical in the first months of operations for newly established CPOs as the feedback gathered will align and prioritize efforts in the most impactful areas of business that can address immediate concerns and lay the foundation for enduring operational success.
CPOs with less than 100 chargers can comfortably manage this task in-house, reaping the direct benefits of firsthand customer interactions. As your business grows to the point where you manage thousands of chargers, the scale and complexity of support operations increase significantly. At this stage, you could consider external support options that allow you to harness specialized expertise and resources tailored to the unique demands of a rapidly expanding network.
While we currently do not offer direct EV driver support, we empower our clients to establish their operations according to their preferences. This includes the option to have an in-house support team that works with our backend system. We strongly recommend that every Charge Point Operator maintains at least one trained and dedicated individual to handle EV driver support, even if other functions are outsourced. We also have ready integrations with industry-leading third-party providers such as EVA Global.
A closer look at how AMPECO’s platform empowers EV driver support
AMPECO’s platform is designed to empower Customer Support (CS) agents, allowing them to troubleshoot and address customer requests efficiently. Here’s an overview of the key features:
Flexible backend for CS agents
CS agents can choose their preferred navigation path within the backend, making it easy to access the information they need promptly. They can initiate inquiries by finding user data and then navigate to related charging sessions and EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) details or vice versa.
Simple charging sessions tracking
Whether they start by exploring user data, charging sessions, or EVSE details, the platform’s flexibility empowers agents to gain a comprehensive understanding of the user’s history. Charging sessions are meticulously tracked, offering insights into session initiators, start times, durations, energy consumption, pricing, payment statuses, and associated EVSEs.
Extensive charge point data
CS agents can access various log screens and navigate to specific charge points, making diagnosing and troubleshooting EV driver requests easy. The log data includes the Communication Log, Hardware Status Log, Network Status Log, Diagnostic Requests, Charging Profiles Log, and Security Events Log.
Comprehensive user profiles
The platform provides a comprehensive view of user data, enabling CS agents to quickly access information related to a specific user. Agents can navigate to details such as Charging Sessions, Transactions, Authorizations, Reservations, Receipts, Invoices, and User Devices for each user, facilitating efficient issue resolution.
Integration with external service providers
Alternatively, charge point operators can seamlessly integrate with external customer service providers like EVA Global and share all EV charging data via API.
Finally, CPOs can empower users with a comprehensive FAQ section within their app, web portal, and company website, ensuring that customers can easily access essential information.
The benefits you reap by getting EV driver support right
EV driver support is the linchpin that connects EV charging network operators with their customers and brings numerous benefits:
- Streamlines all CS processes
EV driver support streamlines all customer service processes and activities within a single, integrated platform, which ensures that customer inquiries and concerns are promptly addressed, leaving EV drivers satisfied and well-cared for.
- Builds customer loyalty
Research shows that 91% of customers are more likely to repeat purchases after a positive customer service experience. Retaining existing customers is cost-effective and contributes significantly to a CPO’s long-term success, as investing in new customers is five times more expensive.
- Creates a better brand image and public perception
Positive customer experiences build trust and solidify a CPO’s reputation as a trustworthy and customer-centric provider. This positive image can attract more EV drivers and strengthen the brand’s position in the market.
- Boosts profits
Satisfied customers are more likely to recommend the business to others and tend to spend more money on each transaction and make more frequent purchases. This translates into increased customer lifetime value and higher revenues.
- Provides valuable marketing insights
By engaging directly with customers, CPOs can gain a deep understanding of their preferences, behaviors, and needs. This knowledge can be applied to fine-tune marketing activities and messaging, ensuring they resonate with the target audience and drive business growth.
Supercharging customer satisfaction and loyalty with great EV driver support
Great EV driver support ensures drivers have a reliable and knowledgeable resource to turn to when they encounter any issues or have questions about using your services. However, exceptional EV driver support goes beyond troubleshooting. It instills confidence and ensures peace of mind, allowing your customers to make the most of their EV charging experience.
AMPECO helps you serve your EV drivers better
EV driver support is not just a service; it’s a strategic asset that enables CPOs to streamline operations, cultivate loyalty, enhance their brand image, increase profits, and gain invaluable marketing insights. As the EV charging industry continues to evolve, prioritizing and investing in exceptional EV driver support is crucial for sustained success and competitiveness in the market.
At AMPECO, we are always looking for ways to support our clients and help them offer the best experiences to their customers. Our EV charging experts can help develop your offering.