When the world started shutting down in March of 2020, many companies became concerned about how they could continue operating. The focus for many businesses was to simply stay in business. Growth and expansion during a global pandemic seemed unlikely. Remote assistance technology such as augmented reality enabled software quickly became in-demand so that employees could safely do their jobs while protecting customers. Turns out, it also helped many companies increase profitability.
The companies we profile in this article experienced growth and expansion during the pandemic using Help Lightning, a visual assist service offering remote assistance technology. These companies are now ready to thrive well into the future. This translates to jobs saved, new jobs created, and businesses and medical providers able to continue delivering to their customers and patients even when travel or in-person service is impossible.
Help Lightning’s remote assistance technology supports field service collaboration with technicians and engineers in the field. Anything requiring travel and in-person work can happen remotely as if all key players were working side by side. Work gets done faster with reduced cost for travel expenses and in-person time.
“COVID did not change customer needs,” explains Eduardo Bonefont, VP Life Sciences Technical Services at global medical device company BD. “It creates the opportunity to meet those needs with a different experience.”
Remote assistance technology became an essential tool when the pandemic hit. BD saw a 300% increase in active Help Lightning users, and a 400% increase in call volume. Several of BD’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) improved as a result of using Help Lightning. They were able to offer remote first service in countries where BD’s engineers could not travel. These locations needed to deploy machines to deliver health care, including Zambia, South Africa, and Kenya.
“Throughout the pandemic our net promoter scores got better,” Bonefont says. “For one of our units, it was perfect. I’ve never seen net promoter scores this high in my career.”
Using Help Lightning also highlighted a weakness in BD’s support model. Any issues that came up required them to deploy a field engineer for onsite service. Field installations were critical throughout the world, but it was often challenging to deploy engineers. They also ran into multiple situations where an engineer was not trained in a particular model. Experts can now remotely train the engineer no matter where they are located using Help Lightning. “Will you Lightning me?” is a common request among BD’s customers when they need support.
BD has also been able to expand manufacturing lines and plants where the company does not have vendors. They no longer have to fly vendors out to qualify the plants. “As we advance forward, we can use Help Lightning to train engineers on the job,” Bonefont says. “Restrictions are still happening, preventing us from crossing borders. I don’t know how we’d be able to continue supporting our customers without Help Lightning. It’s easy to use and it’s integrated into the tools we use every day.”
Industrial machine manufacturer Cincinnati Inc. redefined what service looks like. Their customers were very willing to try Help Lightning to help keep operations moving forward.
Director of Service Greg Wilson found that his team could use Help Lightning to shift the delivery model, and adapt it based on client needs. Travel restrictions at different points during the pandemic made it difficult, if not impossible, to deliver in-person service. With Help Lightning, Cincinnati Incorporated was able to redeploy service engineers with a different cost model.
“We went into this year thinking we’d have issues with margins and revenues,” Wilson says. “Now we adjust pricing and can do business with international clients where we have travel restrictions.”
Customers were understanding and willing to get creative with service solutions. Help Lightning allowed them to minimize the time extra people had to be in their facility. Customers had the ability to complete repairs and installations with remote service, and were willing to try things they may not have tried before.
Steve Dobbins is manager of the technical support call center for Gosiger. His team provides tech support throughout the United States and abroad. The company was providing remote service prior to COVID, but engaged in deeper integration to protect their employees. Dobbins’ team used Help Lightning to deliver collaborative remote service capabilities for clients.
During the pandemic, Gosiger was able to provide products and support to overseas customers. In the pre-pandemic world, this kind of support would have required traveling. Using Help Lightning, Gosiger was able to provide high touch remote service support and customers were able to do their own installations.
“We could have never imagined doing this before,” Dobbins explains. “And we will see a lot more of our business being able to provide this support. We can provide a high level of expertise anywhere, instantaneously. We can collaborate with other eyes on the product, and that’s invaluable. Being able to see, hear and nearly touch has been huge in our ability to support.”
Oxford Instruments entered the pandemic unsure how they were going to keep sales engineers busy. Using Help Lightning, the company was 16% ahead of where they were the year before and margins doubled. They attribute much of this growth to having remote service capabilities.
“We’re getting our customers addicted to it,” says Global Business Manager Dan Turner. “We have a range of products that we charge to install. In countries like Vietnam and Thailand, we can use Help Lightning to support installation. We get the same revenue, but with zero travel costs. We can get on a remote call a lot faster. We’ve moved into a new normal.”
Remote assistance technology allows support technicians and engineers to communicate even if there is not a common shared language. All instructions can be visually demonstrated and guided, every step of the way. Turner says that this advanced level of remote service amazes customers. Oxford Instruments changed a metric of success from volume, to core resolution times.
Oxford now has Help Lightning as part of their support offering. Customers can purchase a range of different support sessions depending on what serves them best. Customers no longer have to wait days or weeks for service. Now they get the absolute expert almost instantaneously.
You can hear Dan Turner share his perspective in this recent remote service webinar, now available on demand.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the rate of remote service adoption for the companies profiled here. Their stories are not unique. Most of our customers tell us that remote service capabilities allowed them to continue growing during the pandemic. None of them plan to return to pre-pandemic service models.
Sign up for a free, no obligation demo of Help Lightning. A skilled team member will demonstrate exactly how Help Lightning’s remote assistance technology can help your organization.