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Help Troubleshoot the Small Stuff - Ensure Client Loyalty

6 Dec, 2007 By: Ronelle Ingram imageSource

Help Troubleshoot the Small Stuff - Ensure Client Loyalty

Educating techs, sales reps, customer service support and end users often
helps lower the overall cost of your prepaid service agreements. It also
instills confidence in the client that you have their best interest at heart,
which results in customer loyalty. Any MAs, CPC, rentals and warranty work that
can be fixed over the telephone, instant messaging, email or fax, is money in
your dealership’s pocket.  One of the most expensive elements of servicing
equipment at the end user’s location is the cost of service labor and travel
expenses required to get to the equipment.  Anything your dealership can do to
quickly trouble shoot an end user’s problem without having to make a service
call is money in the bank. Here is a user friendly list of some of the often
overlooked problems, yet easy to identify and fix over the phone, through
instant messaging or via email.

Before any of these guidelines are followed you MUST identify the customer
and equipment. If the customer and equipment is not covered on a current (paid
for) servicing agreement be polite and end the call within 120 seconds. If the
customer has not prepaid for service (information) you can transfer the call to
your service dispatch to set up a billable call or give the caller a web site
address or phone number for direct help from the product manufacturer.  

Troubleshooting with your customer.

The question check list:

Sounds obvious, but first have them check the electrical outlet.
Is it working? If they have a power protection device, is the light on? Have
them plug something else into the outlet to make sure it works. (A desk top
calculator works great for testing.)  If the outlet is dead, have them call
building maintenance not your equipment servicing company. 

2. If their equipment is
connected to a network (computer) check to see if it can make a copy, fax or
scan, then manually, by walking up to the hardware and pressing  for a copy, fax
or scan. If it works with them pressing the button (walk-up functionality), the
problem is probably within their network, not the hardware. 

3. If they can’t
print, copy, scan or fax from their individual work station, have them try
another work station. If other stations are working, the problem may be isolated
to their work station. Have them log off and/or turn off their work station.
Allow it to reboot and have them try it again. 

4. If their copy, print, fax,
scan won’t work, ask them if any recent modifications been made to the network. 
“Has a new piece of software been added?  Has your system been upgraded? Did you
just change to Vista or other operating system?  Has new hardware been added to
your network?” If so, have them contact the network administrator first.

5. Have they been dealing with
erratic codes that require their hardware to be reset? Has there been any
electrical work done within their office building or near by?  Have them check
with their utility company.

6. If their hardware will not
print, copy or fax, have them first check for being out of paper or other
supplies. Have them check the operation panel for any unfamiliar lights that may
be on or off.

7. When in doubt, have
them try to reset their equipment. Next, have them turn off the device, and then
unplug. Have them count to 10, plug back in, turn on and maybe, just maybe,
their problems will be solved. 

8. Customers should look at their
operation panel before calling for technical help. Emphasize this early on. Have
them record any letters or number being displayed on the operation panel.  If
possible, have them run a diagnostic printout.  When they call for technical
help, it is much easier to have the make, model, ID or serial number, or problem
codes being displayed. Make sure you gave them the ideal contact number, the
name of the contact person, hours that the equipment is available to service, &
a complete address. If a special access or gate code is required to access their
building, instruct them to give that information to your service tech or

9. Advise customers to always
keep their equipment clean, away from direct sunlight, heating and air
conditioning systems. Tell them to allow for a minimum of 6 inches of
ventilation directly adjacent to the equipment’s cooling fan.  These precautions
are necessary for optimum product performance. 

10. Always have on file with your
customer’s information, the product manufacturer’s web site address and hotline
telephone number for additional assistance. Many vendors offer service after
hours, which is good for dealers that do not have 24-hour service.

Ronelle Ingram has more than 30 years of experience in the copier industry
and is currently the vice president of a service company in Irvine, California.
She can be contacted at 714.744.9032 or emailed at

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