Roto-Rooter Unclogs Communication

By Lori Castle, Editor in Chief and Catherine Collins, Assistant Editor — May 12, 2014

From an odd-looking sewer cleaning device (made from a washing machine motor, roller skate wheels and a 3/8" cable to turn the blades) to the latest in mobile devices and solutions, Roto-Rooter, is improving communication and engagement opportunities for employees in the field, to enhance customer service and business productivity.

As the largest plumbing and drain service in the U.S., providing services 24/7 across 110 company-owned and over 500 franchise locations in the country, Roto-Rooter expanded its portfolio of mobile solutions to include Voxer Business, a Push-to-talk (PTT) solution. The app will better enable service technicians to get in touch with supervisors and dispatchers, while they are out in the field—improving collaboration and efficiency.

“Push-to-talk is a crucial communication tool for our field employees, and therefore for our overall business. While we provide a dedicated phone line for technicians, we have found that they prefer to communicate via PTT as it is quick and allows short to the point conversations. Voxer also records messages, ensuring that important communication is not missed or does not need to be repeated, saving time and improving productivity for our employees,” said Joyce Welage, director of office operations, Roto-Rooter.

Roto-Rooter needed to explore solutions not limited by the PTT feature, which allowed for more flexibility in using any device. In addition, the app has enabled the company to move from a 3G device to a 4G device that provided better coverage for its technicians. Nearly 800 service technicians are using the app, and this number is expected to double in 2014.

Device & Carrier Agnostic
Administrators pre-configure the app on technicians’ corporate-issued devices from a central administrative console, allowing field personnel to start communicating immediately, without any effort on their end. The service is easy to setup and allows administrators to upload contact lists without any interruption to the user.

Since Voxer Business is carrier and device agnostic, Roto-Rooter has complete flexibility and does not need to change any existing devices or service plans. “This application not only increased our opportunity to use several different devices but also allows us to utilize more than one carrier in a market. Depending on where our employees live, not all employees have coverage from the same carrier,” said Welage.

There is no need for additional hardware, and the service works on Android, iOS and Windows Phone 8 devices. Voxer Business also allows field technicians to send photos, videos and text messages, so Roto-Rooter employees have numerous ways to communicate with fellow employees and their support team.
 
With the Voxer for web client available to desk workers, dispatchers can conduct multiple PTT conversations at the same time, while tracking location and timestamps to ensure the field technician is in the right place, at the right time.

The communications tool also supports live and recorded voice, so that employees are able to communicate quickly, while simultaneously storing their messages for playback—ensuring they never miss critical conversations. 

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