2020 has been a tough year to increase customer satisfaction. We have seen crises on so many fronts: wildfires, a contentious political climate, the coronavirus pandemic, and a global economic crisis. Many of us are tired of lockdowns and travel restrictions. We are all ready to see our friends face-to-face and to hug our extended family members again. A few of us have lost love ones in a time when we can’t even travel to pay our proper respects. All of these crises have touched me in 2020. I know I am not alone.
Yet I remain grateful for 2020 and hopeful for 2021.
Grateful might not be the first word you would choose for 2020 :-). I certainly understand. Yet tremendous innovation and resiliency have been displayed by so many in the past year leading, surprisingly to increasing customer satisfaction. From small businesses switching to online/pick-up services to healthcare workers fighting directly to overcome the coronavirus, it is hard not to be impressed by the global response to this year that has confronted us with so many challenges. But why grateful?
First, we work in the area of innovation. We are always looking for problems that we can solve in innovative ways. 2020 has given us plenty of problems – and I have seen such tremendous innovation from those around me. One non-profit used spare restaurant capacity to feed healthcare workers. Another added an option to train surgeons virtually using Help Lightning. We are supporting remote experts installing child safety seats correctly and doing workplace safety inspections when travel is banned. We have seen customers add new use cases when travel restrictions prevented travel across state boundaries.
We have heard your stories of ramping up new Covid-19 testing capacity around the globe, saving patient’s lives on the operating table using a remote expert, and bringing up new manufacturing lines around the world to make sure we have the latest electronic devices in time for Christmas. Some of our customers have actually increased service revenue and margins this year by offering virtual support. Another achieved a first-ever perfect customer satisfaction score by delighting customers with virtual support. You have helped your sales organizations by providing remote installation/training and keeping your supply chains moving. Wow!
Second, many of our customers are in the service industry. Every day we wake up to provide some type of service to those in need. Even our company name, Help Lightning, points to how we are providing help as quickly as possible – fast as lightning. Solving a customer problem in minutes instead of hours or days can certainly deliver business value by reducing cost and by increasing customer satisfaction. But more than that, we are making a difference in the lives of real people: supporting work-from-home employees, keeping the power on, delivering life saving medical procedures, and avoid food spoilage at the grocery store. What could make you want to get out of bed every morning more than having a job that is providing a critical, valuable service to your fellow man?
Finally, I am grateful for you, our customers. We may provide the technology, but you are doing the valuable service. Each week we have stories pouring in about how you have innovated to provide valuable services to your customers. Those stories inspire us. We are grateful to play a small part in helping you fulfill your mission and create value with your customers. These stories are the fuel that drives us to be a better partner to you. Do you have story to share? What word do you have to describe this year? Drop me a note.
Gary York, CEO