Z Energy is New Zealand’s largest retail fuel provider and operates around 200 Z-branded service stations and 150 truck stops. This sprawling network created complex challenges around the issue of drive-offs, including debt recovery and site safety.
Implementing Auror’s Retail Crime Intelligence Platform alongside Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology, Auror was the solution Z Energy needed to better manage on-site incidents, reduce loss, and recover debt.
Drive-offs were becoming an increasing problem at Z Energy sites, as were the number of safety-related incidents being reported. All of this resulted in higher loss from crime and a concerning welfare issue for managers and staff.
The easy answer would have been to simply put the fuel pumps on prepay. However, this didn't fit with the company's customer-first philosophy as they prefer drivers to fill up at an open pump and get on with their day.
Previously, Z Energy staff members were using a paper-based system supported by spreadsheets to record drive-offs. Getting information to police took weeks, or even months, after the incident.
Joe Nock, Retail Operations Specialist, says the inconsistent approach to reporting incidents really hindered the business.
Our local operators used to have accountability for debt recovery and they all used slightly different methods and processes. This led to very inconsistent customer experiences prior to Auror.
Joe Nock Retail Operations Specialist at Z Energy
Together with Auror, Z Energy implemented world-leading ANPR technology at every one of their sites. Cameras installed on the forecourt read the number plate of every vehicle that enters the site. In real-time, data is captured and available within the Auror platform.
This information is matched against a list of vehicles that have previously offended at a Z Energy site. If there’s a match, then a visual and audible alert is sent in real-time to inform the site team not to release the pump that the vehicle is attempting to use. This puts Z Energy staff in control and stops incidents before they can occur by giving staff timely intel they can make decisions with, rather than having to make a judgment call. This led to a 54% reduction in incidents involving repeat offenders.
Additionally, local police are able to receive automatic alerts when a stolen vehicle enters any Z Energy site. Staff are not given this alert so they don’t put themselves in danger. This has helped to increase store safety and arrests of those linked to criminal activity.
There were still cases where customers or staff would make genuine errors, which led to non-payment events. Z Energy was recovering some of this debt, but there was still a lot that was never recovered.
Z Energy implemented Auror’s Debt Recovery functionality, a simple solution to a complex and time-consuming problem. This solution allows Z Energy’s honest customers to pay their outstanding debt in a frictionless way. This has resulted in a 73% decrease in net loss through a combination of fewer drive-offs and a higher recovery rate.
When a customer fails to pay at the pump, Auror’s technology matches the details with vehicle registration information. The customer then receives a professional letter in a friendly format informing them that they haven’t paid. The notice comes through both mail and SMS with a secure link to make payment on an easy-to-use online payment portal.
These automated processes save around 2,000+ staff hours a year for Z Energy staff, who can now spend their time on more important business activities. The less confrontational approach has also resulted in fewer disputes and angry phone calls to customer support teams.
I knew Auror’s debt recovery product was going to improve our bottom line, but I was surprised and delighted that it also reduced call centre volumes, improved customer NPS scores and reduced confrontation and abuse incidents on-site. Rather than punishing all of our customers for a few bad eggs, we could tackle the people we needed to.
Joe Nock Retail Operations Specialist at Z Energy
Jared Jenkins, Z Energy SME Product Manager, says this makes it much easier for the company to recover debt. “We’ve since seen over a 50% reduction in incoming calls from customers querying their debt recovery letters.”
With these groundbreaking solutions, Z Energy was able to produce outstanding outcomes in reducing crime, creating safer stores for employees and customers, and saving their bottom line. Not only did they see a 73% decrease in net loss thanks to an increase in debt recovery rates combined with fewer drive-offs, but they also experienced a massive 54% reduction in repeat offenders.
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