We all have a lot of preconceived ideas on how things should be done and what we can expect from others. However, for most of us, all of that changed in early 2020 when Covid-19 entered our lives.
At first, our immediate thoughts went to how we could protect ourselves and avoid contracting the virus. However, as time progressed and we came more used to our “new normal”, attention turned to business and how companies would need to adapt to remain successful – and safe.
Luckily for me, I work for Nazdar, a forward-thinking company that is very serious about providing excellent product technical support to its customers and distributors in markets around the world. After processing the initial shock that Covid-19 was bringing the world to a near-standstill, we began to focus on how we would continue to provide high levels of service in this new world.
Adapting to a new environment
We identified two core changes that needed to be made immediately to ensure we could remain at full operational strength. First, we needed to ensure a large group of staff could continue to operate cohesively while working remotely, and second was to minimise travel to printing facilities to install and repair equipment, as well as troubleshoot problems.
As print was classed as an essential service very early on in the pandemic, this allowed our staff to continue working, meaning our inkjet technicians never stopped installing and servicing equipment at any point during the last year or so.
While their ways of working may have changed slightly, in that they are now following strict Covid-19 guidelines to remain safe while at work, their level of service has not dipped at all.
In fact, such has been the success of our Covid-19 working strategy that our inkjet equipment sales and services in 2020 were running at the same levels as they were in 2019, with the exception of backordered parts and machines.
Change for the better
While inkjet staff were largely unaffected by this new way of working, our technical support services team faced a great deal more change due to the many travel restrictions that were put in place when the pandemic began.
As all non-essential air travel was cancelled and group events ceased, we needed to make significant changes as to how we operated services such as on-site consulting, printing problem solving and trade show demonstration work.
This included restructuring our printing labs, designing one lab exclusively for remote video training and online technical support. We also invested into new audio and video equipment to ensure the best level of quality for customers accessing our content remotely, while the use of remote access computer software has allowed us to solve on-site problems over the internet.
While we had the ability to do all of this before Covid-19 entered our lives, the pandemic forced us to operate this way, and having done so for more than a year now, we have found out just how well we can solve problems remotely.
If there has been one overarching positive for us that has come out of the pandemic it is that this new way of working means we can solve many problems almost instantaneously, without the need to send staff out to a location.
Staff across the business know how to set up and attend a conference call, as well as share videos and presentations, and remotely solve issues that previously used to take weeks to fix. Add in that we can also remotely demonstrate a new piece of equipment in a one-on-one presentation with no outside distractions, and there are many advantages to this new-look offering.
To put it simply, the pandemic has forever changed the way we will provide technical support for the better, in that our new way of working is effective, saves money and is significantly more efficient than before.
Authored by Bruce Ridge, Director of Technical Services, Nazdar Ink Technologies
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