Contribute to success rather than taking advantage — The real winning formula is to help build, not just repair.
By leveraging The Industry 4.0 technologies, it is important for the Shift team to provide the best possible service to our customers. Our technologies are used in the manufacturing sector and have a direct impact on the progress of activities on the floor of these companies. Industries trust our applications and we are very proud of them.
However, this reality implies that we provide extremely reliable and stable technological tools, because any interruption of service generates high costs for the company.
In fact, our products are so reliable that we have no interruption of service or slow downs on our record. Our customers could all tell you personally: with Shift it works all the time!
But I can already hear you say :
“Yes it’s fine, but do you offer service contracts? Do you charge for your technical assistance? You can not just give free support to all your customers, you will not have any ongoing income if you work for free!”
We do not charge technical support, but I assure you, we do not work for free. Our money comes from our talent to develop tools for manufacturing companies. We have no interest in extracting a profit when our customer has technical problems.
Contribute to success rather than taking advantage
In addition to being an example of a good professional practice, there are many benefits to not charging for technical assistance.
There is nothing worse for a business than being in a vulnerable situation and the response to an urgent request for help begins with:
“The service charge starts at $ X for diagnosis and then the hourly rate will be $ X per hour. Would you like to move forward anyway?”
I avoid that kind of answer because in the end, the company is stuck and it has no choice but to accept the proposal. This way of doing things, however, has a very serious impact on relations with the client. They will certainly not want to collaborate with this company for other projects. Honestly, would you trust someone who asks you for money when you are already in need?
Developing a relationship of trust with our customers
Our customers do not have to call us often for technical problems. In fact, most of the time, the problem is not even related to the product we delivered. Nevertheless, we are pleased to help them and they appreciate the fact that they do not have to wonder if they can afford the help.
This way of doing things makes it possible to build the best relationships and it is from this confidence that projects are born. The customer knows very well that our interest is to help them move forward and that our team is dedicated to advising them in the best way.
I swear, it dramatically changes the way a project is run.
In confidence, confidences are born. Confidences lead to innovation.
Creating this environment of trust is not trivial. It directly serves our interest in developing better tools.
By replacing an abusive approach with a more generous one, customers are opening up and giving us access to privileged information about the reality of their business. The more we have access to this type of information, the more tools we develop that are useful and comprehensive. These are then built around the tangible reality of the companies we help.
This helps us to add value to our products and thus make us more competitive in addition to serving our customers with the best of services. This is what we like to call an entrepreneurial synergy. Every party wins!
Generate real pride for internal teams
Not charging our customers for technical support also helps us motivate our troops internally.
There is nothing worse than trying to help a customer by knowing exactly what needs to be done to fix a problem permanently and in the end being prevented from doing so by limited hours depending on the client’s budget.
In fact, this is the best way to make a team unmotivated. No one likes to do a half finished job.
This must leave you wondering how to reap the benefits of technical support calls?
Try to tell yourself that this is a kind of training. By documenting the problem and taking the necessary time to correct it, you can then generate a report and make sure it never happens again. Neither for this client nor for the others. All your customers will then benefit from this fix and your team will come out of this experience with additional expertise.
In addition, your business will look proactive, your team will be motivated to work better every day and this way of working will add value to your offered services.
The winning formula
The bottom line is that profitability, at any price, can seriously hurt your technology business. Remember that the market’s perception of your business is extremely important. It’s very difficult to change once the market connects you to certain practices.
What we want at Shift is to develop long-term relationships with our customers. We want to help them to move forward, to grow.
The real winning formula is to help build, not just repair. And yes, I can confirm, it’s profitable