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UST Leverages Help Lightning to Reduce Technician Training Time

November 11, 2021

Ready to reduce technician training time? Staffing shortages are a common problem for companies throughout the world, compounded by the “great resignation” spurred on by COVID-19. Over the last decade, experienced employees are aging out of the workforce and retiring. Replacing these skilled workers is proving to be a timely and costly challenge. United Service Technologies (UST) COO and co-founder Rodger Smelcer turned to Help Lightning to solve his company’s personnel problems. 

With 20+ years of experience driving sales, growth, and technology in the commercial food equipment service industry, Smelcer is responsible for training and onboarding new employees. Using Help Lightning enables him to effectively train and empower incoming workers. It also has the added benefit of improving operational efficiency overall. Help Lightning’s AR-enabled merged reality platform combines live video streams of field technicians with UST product experts. This allows them to interact and engage as if they were in the same room.

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Reduce Technician Training Time by 50%

UST leverages Help Lightning to extend the availability of experienced workers, allowing them to train new technicians from anywhere. In addition to real time remote training sessions, UST technicians can record what they are doing to create a library of training videos that trainees can refer to for assistance.

“Each Help Lightning session can be recorded,” Smelcer explains. “We are downloading these recordings, adding keywords to make them searchable, and using them to fill our learning management system. Providing this learning resource to our techs is incredibly helpful and allows us to scale what we are doing.“ 

With Help Lightning, UST has reduced new technician training periods from 12 weeks, down to just 6 weeks. 

Remote Knowledge Sharing Between Technicians 

Another goal with Help Lightning was to enable the most experienced employees to more easily impart knowledge on less experienced employees and incoming trainees. Using Help Lightning, technicians can connect with each other from anywhere. Technicians no longer have to be in the same room to share information. This means that travel time is greatly reduced and scheduling conflicts are less challenging.

“We use Help Lightning to bring the field into the classroom,” says Smelcer. “Our new technicians are able to connect with the experienced technicians in the field and see what they are working on. They are seeing exactly what they are going to be doing in the field and getting to interact with the technician in the field.” 

Help Lightning’s remote visual assistance technology enables internal experts to be available anytime, anywhere. 

Up Level Operational Efficiency 

Reducing technician training time was the primary reason for choosing Help Lightning. Improving operational efficiency was an added benefit for UST. Smelcer quickly discovered that Help Lightning allowed UST to improve First Time Fix Rates (FTFR). They also reduced duplicate issues and actually made technicians less reliant on technology.

“We wanted to see if Help Lightning would make a difference on the first-time fix rate, and the answer is YES,” Smelcer says. “In our trial, 14 out of 16 issues were resolved on the first call. Since then, it’s been about the same ratio with a whole lot more calls going on every day.”

Smelcer also paid careful attention to the number of duplicate issues. He wanted to determine if Help Lightning was supporting learning in the field. And to verify that technicians were not becoming dependent on it. He was pleased to discover that Help Lightning users were learning quickly and were not relying on the technology to perform their jobs.

Help Lightning has had a big impact on customer experience as well.

“We found a few other use cases as well,” Smelcer says. “One was to triage service calls with the customer. We receive many calls where the customer is calling in with a complaint, but we are unsure of what they need. So, we will reach out to them using Help Lightning. By sending them a text link, they can initiate a Help Lightning session and we can have them show us the problem. Many times, we can guide the customer on how to solve the problem themselves without dispatching a technician. As you can imagine, this has been a great relationship builder with our customers.”

Onboard Help Lightning to Reduce Technician Training Time

With “hands-on” guidance for technicians from internal experts, UST has been able to train new technicians faster than ever before and minimize the impact of losing skilled technicians to retirement. Smelcer also found that Help Lightning quickly adopted by employees of all ages, all saying that Help Lightning was user-friendly and intuitive. 

“Having Help Lightning is a game changer when you are training new technicians and we have a unique crew,” Smelcer shares. “Today, 70% of my technicians are millennials. They are used to technology and have a different level of expectation than the guys that have been with me for 16 years, especially as far as technology goes, and I think this makes a difference in retention level as well.”

Interested in exploring how Help Lightning can benefit your team? Connect with our team to request a no obligation demonstration and learn how Help Lightning can help you.

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