What do you do when on-site support is just not feasible? Richard Moss, Global Head of Sales Operations and Customer Experience at Physik Instrumente (PI), explains how low-cost remote set-up services can allow customers to benefit from expert guidance over the phone or via screen sharing to ensure that their new system is fully optimised and productive from day one.
Precision positioning systems are used around the world for a wide variety of complex applications. So it makes sense that they should be properly set up to give the best possible performance criteria. However, how can this be achieved when on-site support is either not cost-effective or is prevented by travel bans, such as with COVID-19 pandemic restrictions?
To overcome recent challenges, and provide customers with lasting benefits, companies such as PI are exploring remote options to combat the servicing challenge. Meeting ongoing customer needs as they arise requires businesses to work dynamically and collaboratively to continue to provide service operations in the remote world while keeping disruption to productivity to a minimum. One of the unexpected benefits of this has been the creation of low-cost, remote set-up services, making initial installation even easier than before as experts in the field can guide customers through setting up their newly acquired systems from a distance.
New ways of working
In a production line environment, such as the automation sector, uptime is critical; when things stop working, companies lose money. Putting in place systems and services to allow rapid resolution of issues – whether during installation or routine operation – can therefore help to improve overall customer satisfaction. Crucially, these potential ‘pain points’ should be explored and understood before initial installation even occurs to ensure the right solution is selected.
Easy access to experts
Adopting new approaches, such as a triage system, is an excellent way to quickly guide customers to the most appropriate expert for technical questions. This remote way of working means that customers have access to experts worldwide, not limiting them to the resources in their own country so that they will always be in touch with the best possible person to resolve their problems. This also provides companies with data on the most commonly encountered issues, allowing them to build a guide for frequently asked questions so that others with similar problems can find answers even more quickly in future.
Saving time and money
Customers that take advantage of remote service offerings can save a significant amount of time, as they no longer have to trawl through manuals to follow the step-by-step installation procedure, and common set-up errors are avoided. Instead, they can take advantage of remote set-up support at a convenient, prescheduled time – including telephone support and screen sharing with an expert. This helps to ensure correct set-up and that the system is optimised and tailored to their application and environment.
The cost of providing on-site support is also something that needs to be considered. In many cases, the best person to speak to for your particular problem – especially with complex systems – may not be in a nearby location and could be in a different country. This means that the cost of that expert’s time and travel will be incorporated into the price of support. The resulting downtime while waiting for an expert to reach you could also be costly, especially with ongoing travel restrictions.
Upfront one-to-one remote support creates a more personalised service, allowing experts to guide customers through the set-up process to provide a better understanding of their systems. A quick phone call is so much more convenient for customers than booking an on-site expert and allows any questions or problems to be discussed and resolved in the most efficient way. Strategically working with customers as a trusted advisor or partner ensures that everyone is working towards the common goal of providing a fully optimised solution, and remote service offerings provide the basis for this relationship beautifully.