It’s no secret that our expectations of service and customer service have changed over the last few years.  In an era where Amazon has same day shipping and Google can provide instant information on virtually anything means – if it’s not immediate, then it’s not good enough. As a technology services provider, if you’re not addressing these changing expectations then you will soon find yourself on the outside looking in.

One of the buzz words in our industry right now is “Real-Time Service”.  This didn’t just come into vogue because it sounds good; this is the new expectation across the board whether you’re delivering a product, a service, a quote or even responding to an inquiry.  As technology evolves, so do the expectations on our industry.  In our case – it’s no longer acceptable to have a technician respond to an on-site issue in 1-3 business days or to respond to a request for a quote the following day. Customers expect a response in real-time and as services providers we should reevaluate and/or restructure our businesses to meet this escalating expectation!

In an effort to keep up with these customer expectations, our service department rolled out a Technical Service Desk allowing for a more expedient, convenient and less expensive way to resolve issues to better support our customers.  One of the benefits was our ability to provide remote support and diagnostics – our experts can analyze, identify and diagnose the root cause of a problem remotely and provide solutions in real-time allowing for a more cost-effective service response. Remotely accessing and servicing our customers’ critical life safety and communication systems was a good first step, but it’s not good enough.

To truly move to real-time service you can’t be reactive as a company, you need to be proactive. To do this a technology service organization has to be able to monitor their customers’ systems and even predict potential service issues or critical outages before they happen. Then and only then, can you confidently proclaim that you provide “real-time service” to your customers. If you are not moving quickly in this direction, you need to be. If your service provider isn’t moving in this direction, it is time to find a new one.

In a world run by technology, understanding that these technology systems are the essential infrastructure that enables modern businesses to operate safely and productively, and to acquire and server their customers is crucial. Meeting and exceeding customer service expectations will help your customers advance their own critical missions.