Picture this: It’s 12 noon, and your copier’s jamming (not in a good way). The paper in your multi-function copier is literally jamming, creating a backlog of print and copy jobs at your office. To make matters worse, it’s a busy time of the year, and it seems that everyone and their mother has a document to print or copy. You and your co-workers fret about missing deadlines. You curse the name of your copier dealer, vowing to never work with them again.
Your team has a queue of documents to print and work on, and any further delays will really push you up against more than a few pressing deadlines. Your office manager hurriedly picks up their phone and calls the copier dealer.
“We need service, ASAP!,” they bark into the phone. “Our system’s down and no one can print, copy or scan anything!”
Sound familiar? Well, I hope not, but surely more than a few offices have suffered through some version of the ordeal just described, at least once. Even we here at ClearView Business Solutions have heard of such horror stories from organizations. We worked with more than 1,000 satisfied customers since we got started many years ago. From this experience, we’ve learned how to keep an organization satisfied with its copier lease.
Timely, professional copier service is essential for any organization with a copier. Let’s take a look at the timeliness and other ways to judge the quality of copier service.
How long will it take for my copier to receive service?
Well, good question. It depends. It depends on whether the copier can receive service remotely or on-site. Taking that into consideration, most copier dealers guarantee service within four hours.
The four-hour figure, however, comes with some disclaimers. First, although most dealers guarantee a four-hour service response time, they are not held accountable for meeting it. They don’t track it or provide details to the customer. For most dealers, if they don’t respond to a customer within four hours, they still don’t provide any kind of compensation to the customer.
So although dealers say their response time is guaranteed, customers would do well to ask dealers if they provide any kind of compensation if technicians don’t meet their response time. Also, even if a dealer’s technician shows up in 30 minutes, he or she could still potentially take three hours or more to resolve the issue. For example, a technician might have to leave the location to pick up replacement parts, only to return many hours later.
As a potential customer, one consideration impacting a copier dealer’s response time is if they offer remote maintenance and monitoring. If you don’t have to wait for a technician to arrive at your office, then you can get service much faster.
Finally, here’s some insider information on dealers: You should be aware of their on-site response time and call-back time. Know the difference between the two. Call-back time measures the time it takes to call a customer back. True response time consists of how much time passes between when the dealer finds out about the issue and when the technician begins to address the issue. The technician can address it by physically arriving at the customer’s location, or by diagnosing and resolving the issue remotely. Customers should feel free to ask dealers what kind of compensation (if any) they provide if they don’t meet their specified response time.
We here at ClearView guarantee a response to a service call within four hours. That is, we respond to most service calls, on-site or remotely, well within four hours.
What factors affect a service response time?
Various factors affect a dealer’s service response time. These factors include:
- Availability of parts
Generally speaking (and all other things equal), the more available that a dealer’s parts are, the faster its service response times will be. The ideal dealer in this context will have its very own full supply of parts that it can swiftly and easily transport to your office. In crowded cities with heavy traffic, parts should be as readily available as possible to help dealers in the uphill battle they’re fighting against traffic.
- Availability of supplies
Similar to parts, readily-available supplies are very important. Look for a copier dealer with a full, easily-accessible inventory of supplies like toner. Dealers that remotely monitor customers’ systems (including toner levels) can send customers replacement cartridges before they completely run out of toner. A proactive approach practically eliminates a response time entirely by preventing an issue from arising in the first place.
- Availability of technicians
Simply put, the more technicians a dealer has, the more quickly it can respond to service calls.
- Location and geography
Customers’ locations affect how fast technicians can get to them. If a dealer has customers spread out far apart from one another, then it will obviously take technicians longer to get to those locations. If, on the other hand, customers are close to one another, concentrated in one area, then technicians can speedily get from one customer to the next.
- Technical expertise
The response time is also affected by the skill level of the technician(s) servicing your system. Higher-skilled technicians won’t take as many attempts to fix the issue. It takes considerably less time overall to fix the issue the first time compared to a technician traveling to the same customer on three separate occasions to fix the issue.
- Efficiency of dispatch and processes
How efficient is the dealer’s dispatching process? How quickly is a technician dispatched to a customer after the customer calls for service? That matters, too.
- Priority of call
How high a priority is the service call? A busy dealer with multiple service calls has to juggle higher-priority and lower-priority calls. Needless to say, if your call’s a higher priority, it will be addressed faster than a lower-priority call.
What’s important besides the service response time?
Perhaps contrary to popular belief, the response time to service calls is not the most important indicator of a dealer’s service performance. These other indicators are pretty important:
- First call efficiency
As its name suggests, first call efficiency refers to the rate at which a dealer’s technicians fully and properly address a service call and repair a system. FCE is reduced by call-backs and incomplete calls. Call-backs result when the first call is finished, but the system then malfunctions later. The malfunction leads to another, premature service call. Incomplete calls occur when a technician can’t fully resolve an issue (requiring another technician), or when the technician lacks the appropriate parts.
Industry-wide, the FCE is 82%. In other words, about four out of five service calls are fully resolved the first time.
ClearView’s FCE is…(drum roll, please)…89.3%, good for more than seven percentage points above the industry benchmark.
- Average repair time
What about average repair time? The average repair time is the time that a technician spends on-site at a customer’s location, from the moment of arrival to the moment the repair is complete. Dealers in this industry have a standard for the duration of an average call: 1.2 business hours. Most calls, however, average out to take less than 1.2 hours. Over the course of the repair time, technicians should completely and thoroughly address all facets of the system. For example, if a technician receives a call for an issue that already needs addressing, he or she should also provide preventative maintenance like vacuuming and cleaning the system. Such an approach results in fewer call-backs and improved system performance.
ClearView’s average repair time clocks in at 0.73 hour (about 45 minutes), considerably faster than the industry average.
How do you judge a copier dealer’s service performance?
As you can see, with a copier dealer’s service response time, there’s more than meets the eye. By this point, you can tell that a copier dealer’s service response time is an important, multi-faceted aspect of a copier dealer’s performance. As your organization shops around for its next copier dealer, it needs to be able and willing to ask dealers some not-so-easy questions about their service performance.
Ask prospective dealers about their first call efficiency, average repair time, parts availability, supplies availability and the skill level of their technicians. You should also ask them about their service response time, while ensuring that a “response” actually consists of a technician showing up at a location rather than simply returning a call.
After asking these questions, your organization will be more than well-prepared to choose its next copier dealer. Go ahead and give ClearView Business Solutions a call at (844) 282-2737. Ask us anything you want. We promise that you’ll like what you hear.