In my opinion the point of service isn’t to manage a customer's pain and make sure that they get just enough service, or parts to keep them happy. This is what I saw taking place with the OEMs and is is the reason I left. The concept of iCare and what we brought to the industry was for my people to give the customer the best experience possible. Not to just meet their needs but to far exceed what they ever expected they could get from a provider.
This idea comes from a passion for helping people. If it's a customer, if it's an employee, if it's a vendor, it really doesn't matter. Helping people is the most enjoyable and most fun. The goal is to empower people, to give them the ability to help customers, to make a customer's experience as good as possible.
If you are familiar with service engineers you know it's common for an engineer to walk in, fix the equipment, be finished, and walk out of the building and just leave a note and not even talk to the customer. That's not the experience that a customer wants, deserves or is looking for. A few years back, we developed the concept of iCare, and brought in people with the sole job to make sure the customer experience was better. Our iCare department is all about taking care of the customer experience.
At SWMR there are CSRs or customer service whose sole job is to take your service call and make sure that everything you need and you want is taken care of. The engineer is there to fix your equipment and the CSRs job is to fix the customer experience. That evolution has been an epiphany to Southwest Medical Resources in our way of delivering service the way we really want to.
"Thank you for getting us back up and running"
We have situations which we call, 'a system not yet repaired'. We still think they're partially down, and I'm getting messages from customers that are saying, "Thank you so much for fixing our equipment." And it's because the customer care rep has fixed them and their issue and makes them feel confident and comfortable that it's being fixed, even though we don't think it's fixed to our standard. We still have more to go before we get it completely finished.
It's unique in imaging, primarily in MRI and also in CT, that you can keep scanning and they are on to the next patient even though your scanner might need something or be broken. You might not be able to do a knee coil image but you can do everything else. So we'll be working on a system where you might have a fully working scanner but the table drive is driving in but a little bit lumpy. We'll fix the system and get it running, but we see that the table drive is bumping along a little bit. We still don't think it's fixed, it still has a return visit to be made, but the customer is already thanking us because we fixed the issue that was keeping them from scanning. The iCare rep has communicated that to them and not only told them that's happening but there is outstanding work to do, when it will be completed and will follow-up to make sure they're taken care of. This level of communication with out customers has changed the way we deliver service.
The iCare rep's job is to hear the customer, hear what they need, as well as empathize and make sure we are working on the right solution in the right time frame. The engineer's job is to hear the equipment, hear what it needs, and repair that equipment to get it back up and running to its optimum capability. In an ideal world, the service engineer would be able to do both and all the iCare rep would be doing is just making sure that the continuity of one call to the next is being fulfilled. But in reality engineers need the connective and relational ability that a good CSR can bring.