Motive Case Study
Bridging the communication gap with integrated messaging for Motive
Motive creates modern technology that improves the safety, efficiency, and profitability of businesses that keep our economy moving. The company’s integrated fleet management platform spans ELD compliance, video-based driver safety, GPS tracking, fuel optimization, vehicle maintenance, and more. By bringing everything into one place, Motive provides businesses with a holistic view of their fleet operations to help maximize productivity, reduce costs, and better serve customers.
Reliable and efficient communication is key to helping drivers and fleet managers stay connected on the road. However, this is challenging, with roughly 1 million drivers and over 70,000 customers. To facilitate communication between drivers and back offices, Motive offers real-time in-app chat capabilities as a core feature of their software. Despite being a software company, they knew that chat wasn’t a core competency of the Motive engineering team. So they knew they needed to partner with a best-in-class API provider instead of trying to build it in-house and risking unpredictable expenses and limited features.
Motive found themselves in a tough situation: their current messaging API provider, unfortunately, could no longer support them. With such a massive customer base, they needed a seamless, customizable, and robust chat API solution to replace their existing one. They needed to get it done efficiently — and without service interruption.
Today, Motive’s messaging allows truckers and back offices to build and maintain trust across fleets through individual and group conversations and share images, documents, locations, and more.
Effective communication between dispatchers and drivers is crucial. Dispatchers tell drivers where to go, help them solve issues, alert them to changing road conditions, tell them when police are on the road, and recognize them for their safe driving. Strong communication fosters trust and helps ensure better outcomes for Motive’s customers.
Traditionally, this communication happened via SMS texts and phone calls placed to drivers’ individual cell phones. To do this, fleet back-offices had to keep track of all the drivers’ mobile phone numbers, which was no easy task. Maintaining a list of current mobile phone numbers was a considerable burden and often proved inefficient and ineffective.
Besides keeping track of contact information, one of the primary challenges of running a fleet is establishing trust between the drivers and the back office.
Motive believes these trust issues stem from a lack of effective communication due to gaps in information, which can degrade trust and cause operational issues to creep up.
Motive differentiates itself in a crowded market by trying to solve the problem on both sides. They aim to bridge the communication gap between drivers and back offices by providing fleets with the necessary tools to foster trust and establish strong relationships across teams.
A crucial component to solving this problem with communication is real-time chat. With this type of instantaneous communication, Motive helps build trust between truckers and dispatchers while increasing efficiency overall.
A robust messaging solution for an established platform
Motive has had messaging integrated into its platform for a long time. The company had previously built its messaging feature on a different API provider. Still, Motive was now searching for a new solution due to factors out of its control.
Motive hit the market with the following must-haves:
A seamless transition from the existing messaging service without losing data
Small client SDK without sacrificing features. Drivers needed to be able to download the Motive Driver App while on the go without WiFi, but Motive wanted to deliver a feature-rich, intuitive app while still maintaining a small SDK size.
The ability for drivers to send images in chats with all the safety and protection against SPAM and pornography that comes with images
- Ability to port their existing UI and integrate it into the new chat solution
- Clear documentation for developers to easily start building
- Clickable links shared within the chat that redirects to the correct interfaces (For example, a phone number would automatically direct to the phone app)
Rich chat capabilities, including one-to-one chat, group chat, broadcast announcements, hyperlinks, maps, and phone numbers
After searching for a month and a half and sorting through ten different API providers with a final deep technical bakeoff between 2 finalists, Motive partnered with Sendbird for its messaging API needs.
They chose Sendbird for several reasons. For one, we could deliver on all their must-have features, from an advanced messaging experience to support for old versions of mobile platforms and seamless data migration from one service provider to another.
Other factors included:
- UI flexibility: This provides a truly integrated chat experience in customers’ daily fleet operations workflow. Back-office personnel can message drivers from the right spot in the workflow and seek relevant information from drivers related to operations. For example, clicking a chat icon from the map or clicking to call a driver from a list of late drivers.
- Android support: Motive needed a provider who could provide Android support for versions going years back, as many drivers still used older phones.
- Scalability: With hundreds of thousands of monthly active users and tens of thousands of peak connections, Motive needed a chat API to deliver its capabilities at scale.
- A streamlined tool for announcements and broadcasts: Motive’s customers needed an easy way to communicate information to their drivers with the peace of mind that those messages will be delivered and read.
Besides checking the box on the technical side, the Motive team was very cognizant of the pain and disruption caused when a software partner goes out of business or no longer has the resources to invest in the product at the speed the customer expects. Financial stability of the new chat API provider was essential to ensuring the team wasn’t dealing with another costly migration in a few years.
After our last chat, the API vendor couldn’t support us anymore; financial viability was as essential to us as product features,” says Senior Product Manager Jason Pesek. “In Sendbird, we picked a partner we can invest in for the long term.
Bridging the gap for thousands of truckers and dispatchers
With Motive’s new messaging, the gaps in traditional communication are no longer apparent. Drivers can quickly let back-office staff know that they’ve arrived at the destination and about upgrades when they’re on the move. Plus, because everything is captured in the chat thread, there are clear time stamps to track the journey and delivery and read receipts to confirm the communication between dispatcher and driver — helping to establish trust and keep everyone on track.
Key features of Motive chat include:
- One-to-one communication
- Drivers can use messaging to communicate with one another in a 1:1 or group chat setting.
- Driver-to-back-office messaging helps ensure safety and compliance for drivers through streamlined messaging.
- Group messaging : The back office can create groups with multiple drivers to broadcast notifications on road checks or officers on the road and send announcements about news, contests, updated policies, and more.
Driving and automated safety coaching can be done in the Driver App using the messaging feature as a core component.
Integration with existing platform
Messaging seamlessly integrates with the existing web platform.
- The back office can contact drivers from various views on the existing interface. For example, a back-office team member can see a driver on their live map Fleet View and click on a messaging icon on the map to communicate with them directly from the map view.
Plus, fundamental features like
- Automated reminders
- Compliant document sharing
- Speech-to-text for safer driving
- Results that move fleets forward
- Motive came to Sendbird because they needed a new chat API, but the team wanted a better, richer experience than before. They wanted to improve it because what’s the point of moving forward if you aren’t evolving?
The results so far are promising
- App stickiness has increased since integrating Sendbird’s chat API. Back-office users spend over thirty minutes daily on their platform, with 94% returning to their software daily.
- The total number of calls between drivers and the back office has decreased substantially.
- Drivers are reporting a better onboarding experience, and driver net promoter scores (NPS) are getting better over time.
- Motive’s customers are reporting saved time and costs from improved communication.
- Motive Screen
- Building human connections
- Motive continues to bridge the gap between driver and dispatcher and provide a comprehensive fleet management solution to fleets across the country. It’s clear the path forward depends on a functioning chat that helps build cross-fleet relationships instead of breaking them down.