Closing the sale on enterprise content management (ECM), document capture and other software solutions marks only the beginning of a relationship between office equipment technology dealers and their client base. The ability to deliver customer service and support on the back end of the transaction goes a long way toward increased customer satisfaction and the ability to sell similar or adjacent solutions in the future.
Regardless of the manufacturer’s name on the ECM or software solution, customers tend to attach a dealer’s face onto negative experiences with a product—after all, it is the dealers who made the customer’s workflow assessment and recommended the solutions. Guilt by association is guilt nonetheless. To have support or not to have support is a question the customer is oftentimes answering, but proper guidance goes a long way toward skirting disappointment.
The Gordon Flesch Co. of Madison, WI, provides several layers of post-sale support, notes Jeff Dotzler, director, GFConsulting Group. It begins with the implementation process and Gordon Flesch’s project managers, who work to ensure the client’s desired outcome is delivered.
“Post-project training accelerates user knowledge, along with access to training videos that reinforces the learning and can be used as a refresher,” Dotzler said. “When support is necessary, we utilize certified engineers to resolve the issue and ensure customer satisfaction.”
Frank DeGeorge, vice president of strategic services at Impact Networking of Lake Forest, IL, points out that his dealership’s meticulous approach to service and support differentiates it from competitors. “Being a combination office technology provider and a value-added reseller, Impact dedicates itself to having a customer-first mentality, both before and after the sale,” he said.
“We maintain complete control of deliverables to the client, including having our own system integrators, developers, help desk, project managers and sales engineers. This allows Impact to utilize its own expertise and provide a level of customer services that are unmatched among our competitors.”
While service and support requirements are determined by the customer, Access Systems of Waukee, IA, can provide a number of options that speak to their various and specific needs, according to Vince Sabotta, solutions manager.
“Whether the customer wants to have a turnkey solution that we support 100 percent, a tiered support structure with Access Systems and the software manufacturer, or if they want to pursue support certifications for themselves, we can customize the solution’s support component to ensure the project goals are met and user adoption is maximized,” Sabotta said.
Nano Zegarra, chief technology officer for Cleveland-based Blue Technologies, notes that the software maintenance Blue Technologies provides for solutions like Hyland Software’s OnBase and iManage’s WorkSite include tier one, two and three support without manufacturer intervention. Extended support plans for all other applications are also available. Maintenance is optional, and if customers decide not to renew it, Blue Technologies will still support the solution on a time and materials basis.
“We offer 24/7 support for legal and professional services, while on the ECM/document management side, it’s only 24/7 by request,” Zegarra stated. “We’ve never had to do that, because the systems when configured properly function without error. Every person who touches any of our software is certified and has to maintain that certification every two years. That provides a high degree of customer assurance.”