For years, integrators have struggled to keep up with the growing service demands of their clients. Yet, for many, this critical part of the business is still handled in a piecemeal fashion. Client calls and emails flood in from all directions. Service information is scattered across disparate and siloed systems. Teams struggle to communicate in the midst of jam-packed schedules. And the level of service a client receives is dictated almost entirely by subjective factors like how loudly they’re yelling or how much money they spent on their project.
Even for those companies who have tried valiantly to “fix” service, the challenges are myriad. Sales teams are ill-supported to educate clients about service. Client expectations are rarely, if ever, managed through formalized service agreements. Project teams struggle to close out projects and smoothly initiate the service relationship. Owners and managers lack the tools they need to hold teams accountable. And service teams are left perpetually swimming upstream.
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Service needs to be run like a well-oiled machine; instead, it’s the Wild West. This creates an inconsistent and subpar client experience, a chaotic internal operating environment, and a significant drain on the bottom line, to say nothing of the damage it does to the reputation of the home technology industry as a whole.
It’s time for a better way.
Close your eyes and imagine: What would your company look like if your service went from being a headache to an efficient, organized, and profitable part of the business? If recurring revenue was finally a reality? If 100 percent of your clients signed a formalized service agreement? If all support calls funneled through dedicated channels? If you had a smooth, repeatable process for closing out projects and initiating the service relationship? What would it mean for your clients and employees if you were able to bring order to the chaos?
Let’s stop imagining and go make this a reality.
If we’ve learned anything from our years of helping integrators lock horns with service at OneVision, it’s that looking at service in isolation doesn’t work. Service doesn’t start when the project completes; it starts the moment you speak with the client for the first time and carries through every touchpoint in the client relationship thereafter. Sales teams must be confident and well-supported in their efforts to educate clients about service. Project teams must have a repeatable process for closing out projects and smoothly initiating the service relationship. Service teams must have easy access to critical service information and a consistent operational playbook. And owners and managers must have the tools and information needed to drive change and promote accountability through every phase of the client relationship.
To solve these challenges, OneVision recently released ProVision, the industry’s first software tool designed exclusively to power the service departments of modern integrators. ProVision provides everything integrators need to manage client service relationships, market and sell premium support memberships, promote repeatable service processes, drive internal accountability, and, most importantly, provide clients with a consistent, world-class service experience. It’s a suite of tools designed to educate clients and to get everyone — from sales and project managers to service teams and company leaders — moving in lockstep toward a fundamentally improved service delivery model.
Of course, we’re proud of ProVision. But focusing solely on convincing you to check it out misses a broader point: whether you go with our solution or go another route, the only path to meaningful change with service requires a holistic approach. Trying to solve the service problem with piecemeal solutions is like trying to cure a heart condition with a pill while continuing to eat fried food at every meal. You can make tactical changes all day long to your service department — think setting up dedicated service phone numbers, creating a ticketing system, and tweaking your on-call schedules. These are all important and worthy steps, but, like taking a pill without making healthy lifestyle changes, no amount of tweaking the service delivery process alone will get you the long-term results you’re looking for.
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Transforming service from a liability to a thriving and profitable component of the business is a challenge that has plagued our industry for too long. It’s time for a comprehensive approach to service: one that puts people, processes, and technology together, with a laser-like focus on improved client education and delivering world-class support experiences. It’s time to fundamentally rethink service.
Jason Griffing is director of product for OneVision.