Many industries are using Okdesk for automation of their after-sale, field service and maintenance services. We've asked the representatives of several fleet management integrators (around 10, to be more precise) that implement and service GPS monitoring systems and various telematic equipment to tell us why they needed a help desk in the first place and what they achieved with it. As a result, we collected an exclusive insight from the industry's point of view.
Small and medium-sized businesses are on the same level of automation all over the world (we can state this with absolute certainty, having interviewed more than 10,000 businesses of different scales and profiles over the past few years). Just like their colleagues in other market segments, fleet management integrators are mostly using paper logs, email, and other non-dedicated record-keeping tools to keep track of requests from their customers, including CRM, ERP, or proprietary solutions. Requests are mostly distributed manually by dispatchers who receive them by phone: installers are either invited to the office or are contacted by phone (which is a more common situation).
"Our company was using Google Sheets with access shared to our dispatchers and our installers. When our customers called us, our dispatcher would add a new line into the table, then call the installer to tell him what line to look up for the new task and the customer's contacts," says Darmen (Omnikomm Alliance, Kazakhstan).
"Our record-keeping system was very haphazard. When our customers called us to ask whether or not our people visited the site or performed any work, we had to dig through our papers to find the relevant information. We never had it ready at hand," says Vladimir Chistykhin (Navitrade, Kemerovo)
Many integrators were satisfied with their existing workflow as long as they only worked with a few customers and requests. But everything would rapidly change as the company grows or reorganizes sales department & services processes.
In most cases, it's almost impossible to preserve the usual modus operandi when the business starts scaling up. The paper document flow, if any, becomes more complex and slows down. Without a help desk system, the situation critically lacks efficiency and structural integrity.
"As our business and, consequently, the number of requests started expanding, our employees started increasingly becoming 'forgetful'. The customers grew increasingly dissatisfied. We've decided to switch to a modern model—a help desk system and digital request processing," says Georgiy Shovnadze (Shturman, Kazakhstan).
"Previously, we had each manager personally guide our customers through the processes of installation and maintenance.But as the number of customers and, consequently, the number of requests increased, we lost the capacity to personally process each incoming request. We began losing requests. This was a sign for us. Things needed to change," says Evgeny Martynenko (Esmikom, Irkutsk).
"As our business grew, we lost our control over the situation: we couldn't manage the flow of incoming inquiries, the customer end of our workflow (as well as our internal works) became less transparent," says Alexei Karymov (IT-Service, Barnaul).
The only way to regain control over the situation was to ensure that 100% of all incoming requests were registered and the fulfillment process was automated.
When an automation tool has to be integrated, many companies try to save some money by integrating freeware solutions or creating proprietary solutions. Both of these options need humongous time investments. To move a project like that from a standstill, it needs an ideological leader. In many companies' experience, if such a leader leaves the company, integration stops dead in its tracks and does not provide any benefits. That is the reason why, ironically, a paid solution is usually more profitable — it can be launched out-of-the-box and does not require any maintenance efforts.
"We've been using a modified CRM systen as our help desk system. But eventually, our functionality and convenience demands were outpacing this system. Having tested several help desk solutions, we picked Okdesk," says Andrei Filatov (SynEra, Tula)
"We needed a system that could keep track of everything related to after-sale services for our customers. CRM systems — were not a good fit for that purpose. We needed a dedicated tool for processing customer requests. We've tested several solutions available on the market and went with Okdesk. It has already been used by our peers, who have shared positive experiences. We really appreciated the interface. All the tools we needed were just a few clicks away from the main screen. We liked that almost instantly," says Evgeny Martynenko (Esmikom, Irkutsk).
The request tracking is integrated rather quickly, but many companies have noted that configuring the inner workflow, which hadn't been implemented before the integration, can take a while. The integration of Okdesk is followed by building up a request processing sequence. Instead of information received by phone or by email, which used to be rather free-form, now a request becomes binding in many regards: a customer who submitted the request, service aims or vehicles, a specific sensor, and other aspects.
"We integrated this system pretty quickly thanks to its intuitive and simple interface. Okdesk features, tailored to the specifics of our work in the field of servicing the monitoring equipment for transport vehicles and agricultural machinery, have allowed us to evaluate the real customer satisfaction rate through multiple parameters of request fulfillment: fulfillment times, response times, quality of execution, etc." says Konstantin Solomatin (Omnikomm-Altai, Barnaul)
Among the respondents within fleet management integrator’s industry, many have deadlines for the initial response to the first customer inquiry, as well as time limits for request completion. Okdesk helps to keep track of the time limits for these requests (SLA).
Okdesk is a dedicated help desk system for service automation & field service. For that reason, in addition to a customer base, there are also tools for keeping track of partner transport vehicles and equipment (such as terminals or sensors). By using the full array of features upon the initial registration of the request, all the necessary information about the serviced structure is made immediately available. It can help reduce the number of visits to the customer's site due to providing in advance a list of necessary parts that may be needed for the job.
"It's very important for us to keep track of the vehicles we service. By looking at the vehicle's cards, we can view full information about it and see what's installed on it. This information was previously fragmented and we had to manually put it together for every request," says Evgeny Martynenko (Esmikom, Irkutsk).
"In addition to automating service processes & field service, today we're also using Okdesk for comprehensive tracking of important aspects of our customer equipment with some crucial parameters," says Grigoriy Makeev (Wialon-Service, Samara).
Coupled with a feature that keeps track of field specialists' location, the vehicles location will allow allocating the requests among the employees more efficiently, reducing the time needed to resolve issues, and saving some money on gas and other travel expenses. Esmikom is planning to transmit the vehicles (as per Okdesk) coordinates from the monitoring systems and ensure that the positioning of these objects on the map is always accurate.
"We're planning to integrate this feature but we're waiting on updating our own service. Once this feature is fully integrated, our company will be able to use standard tools to plan routes for our operators. They will know exactly where the vehicle is. We can't do that right now because there is no fixed address," says Evgeny Martynenko (Esmikom, Irkutsk).
Technician's mobile app is also quite popular. Installers often have to drive out to the parking lot accommodating the vehicles, so they often need access to the request tracking system outside the office.
"First, we were planning to roll out a help desk system locally, on our own premises. It was really important for us to connect our operators to the system via mobile apps. We needed the field specialists to see the requests they've been assigned to, so we wouldn't have to manually call them to give them the customer contacts," says Darmen (Omnikomm Alliance, Kazakhstan).
Some of the users have gone for the other mobile option — the customer self-service Okdesk portal. This requires modifications to existing customer contracts and general promotion of self-service to the customer. However, the customers who always have their smartphones in hand are already accustomed to such an approach. Besides, receiving tickets over a web interface or via a mobile app usually saves time for the controller at a service company.
"Integrating Okdesk has allowed us to implement a system of multi-channel communications via commonly used channels like mobile app, VoIP and email, and more modern ones, like Telegram and customer web portal," says Georgy Makeev (Wialon-Service, Samara).
"We always tell our most active customers how can they switch to self-service. Major vehicle fleet operators are usually interested in filing requests on their own," says Darmen (Omnikomm Alliance, Kazakhstan).
As it turns out, many of our users have already configured their integration with Wialon.
Wialon is the leading multifunctional GPS tracking system, and many companies in this segment are partners for this system and provide integration services for it. In Okdesk we have Wialon integration "out-of-the-box".
"We have been using another help desk solution but chose Okdesk because of its out-of-the-box integration with Wialon," says Mauricio Hinojosa Nanjari (Epol, Chile & Peru)
It ensures that the customers' connected devices and vehicles are synchronized between Wialon and Okdesk. This way, Wialon partners using Okdesk can save a lot of time on moving the data to fill out databases and customer requests. Synchronization is customizable: you may only send information to Okdesk about devices relevant for your support service.
"To automate maintenance and after-sale service processes for various telemetry, including fuel tank level gauges, we've been using Okdesk for over a year now, and one of the first things we tried was the complete Wialon integration. The main objective of this integration was to provide the tech support service with up-to-date information about our customers, their vehicles, terminals, and sensors. So we could associate issues with specific devices while registering a request. That way, we could collect the necessary statistics, including the sensors that get broken most frequently," says Igor Grachev (Navitrade, Kemerovo)
On the other hand, fleet management integrators are often finalizing scenarios for integration between Wialon and Okdesk on their own.
"Both Wialon and Okdesk features have allowed us to implement a handy and customer-friendly scheme where customers can send requests to tech support directly from the monitoring system. This allowed us to reduce our response time for incoming inquiries," says Georgi Makeyev (Wialon-service, Samara)
Another important and industry-specific point is the possibility of exchanging applications directly from Okdesk with one of the manufacturers of equipment for GPS monitoring systems like Omnicomm, Escort, GLONASSSoft etc.
"We forward some of the requests submitted by our customers to the manufacturer by creating a carbon copy of the request in their tracking system. Forwarding of the requests helps us avoid redundant info, and we don't have to forward the manufacturer's response to the customer," says Evgeny Martynenko (Emsikom, Irkutsk).
Apart from the industry integrations, our users are connecting Okdesk to their internal tracking systems through API. Many have opted for integration of Okdesk and CRM, which enables information tracking for subscription agreements like GPS7000 from Chile. With this integration in place, you can always view the payment status for every service period when communicating with customers.
"Okdesk is great! It helps automate all of our service & maintenance activities. We also did an integration with monitoring system via API according to our special cases. So now have an end-to-end integrated process from sale to service!" says Angello Mosso (GPS7000, Chile)
It's easier to register and track requests in Okdesk than in a paper log or a shared spreadsheet. Customer interactions become more transparent. Our users can see the scope of the job to be done and what has already been done.
Hand in hand with this system and its features, they are reshaping their workflow. Complete logs of all actions help to avoid disputes with customers. All Okdesk processes are automated in accordance with the specifics of the industry, which is important.
"Internal logic of many help desk systems is derived from support for the internal IT infrastructure of the business. But these processes don't map onto our industry very well. Okdesk is differs from other solutions: it allows addressing many issues specific to transport monitoring system service 'out-of-the-box'," says Evgeny Martynenko, (Emsikom, Irkutsk).
Maximizing the internal processes makes our entire workflow more efficient—grow a little while maintaining employee numbers, or grow bigger without exhausting the human resources of the region.
"We have received unbiased statistics for all inquiries, corrected all flaws that the system detected in our service processes, and made our interactions with our customers as transparent as possible. Most of the things we had had in mind we got 'out of the box'. Now, we can confidently state that Okdesk is a key partner for our business," says Alexei Karymov (IT-Service, Barnaul)
"By incorporating Okdesk, Epol has obtained in the short term a system that supports post-sale management and customer satisfaction. We believe that these types of tools are very important as they allow ordering key areas of modern and successful companies," says Mauricio Hinojosa Nanjari (Epol, Chile & Peru)
"By integrating Okdesk, we have eliminated the possibility of a 'forgotten' request, implemented redundant control of request registration and resolution, implemented quality assurance for fulfilled requests, and implemented time limits for request fulfillment that are fully transparent to our customers. But, more importantly, we've implemented a request queue, which took a load off the tech support department. Customer dissatisfaction rate is minimal—it's at a level we could only dream about, and in fact, the customers are giving us positive feedback about their requests now," says Georgy Shovnadze (Shturman, Kazakhstan)
"Okdesk is definitely worth integrating. It's more beneficial than an employee who does the same job and is paid a salary far exceeding the subscription cost," says Evgeny Martynenko (Emsikom, Irkutsk).
We have established a clear and direct feedback line between the customer, the office, and the operator. For every request, we now have a photo report about fulfilled or unfulfilled work which we can send directly to the customers, and they can send the same to us, which eliminates many potential issues and misunderstandings. I want to appeal to everyone who is considering buying Okdesk to help their business—take it, it's worth every penny!" says Konstantin Solomatin (Omnikomm-Altai, Barnaul)
We thank our industry peers who took the time to talk to us or provide their feedback. On our part, we can guarantee that we will continue to create solutions that will make companies more modern, more efficient, and start providing WOW-quality service!
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