The demand for repairs was continuing to rise for Microtec, and their capacity to meet high standards was at risk without the right tool. We were happy to step in and help out.
Microtec has been in the "technology business" since 1990 and has built their reputation through world-class customer experience. They're currently authorized service providers for Lenovo and Apple in Nicaragua.
The demand for repair has grown exponentially over the past few years and they've had to adapt to meet the demands of the increase in business. They wanted to ensure that they kept their promise of providing great service.
An important part of this change was to find the right tool. Microtec knew what they wanted — a service-oriented global software platform that could solve four key things.
- Information on the status and location of each device at any specific time. This would improve efficiency in repair management.
- Time from check-in to check out, and time spent working on the device. This would be key in understanding the performance of their service team.
- Customer self-service updates on the status of their device. Frequent updates ensure that customers would have a better repair experience.
- Software that completely integrates with Apple GSX (Global Service Exchange). Integration would mean less paperwork, less copy-pasting, and faster repairs.
They would need a solution that could maintain the high levels of customer service as well as support the business to grow.
A Good Problem to Have
To become an authorized service provider, one must meet the "Service Excellence" requirements set out by both Apple and Lenovo.
Service Excellence is focused on the customer's demands. The rules make sure that repairs are completed fast, and that the customer has a great service experience. Microtec's existing solution was adequate until the rapid increase in customers. They realized that only a scalable platform could manage the volume of repairs Microtec had to handle.
The team was quick to act and analyzed the situation. They understood there was a need for greater control of the repair process. The demand would only continue to rise, and Microtec's capacity to meet high standards was at risk.
"We had a higher demand, and while what we had been doing had worked, it was time for a change. It's a good problem to have but it was still a problem. Since there was a chance it would affect our customers, we took immediate action," says Ricardo Vargas, Managing Director of Microtec.
Microtec was having trouble improving their turnaround time because they lacked a tool that could help them keep track of the repairs and prioritize work.
This is when they found Fixably.
We had a higher demand, and while what we had been doing had worked, it was time for a change. It's a good problem to have but it was still a problem.
Ricardo Vargas, Managing Director, Microtec
Service Excellence Guaranteed
Turnaround time is a critical service metric, measuring how fast a repair is completed. The number that Apple uses is the "average number of days from the time a customer requests service until the time the service provider marks the transaction complete."
Microtec worked hard at reducing the time it took to complete repairs. "The way we improve efficiently is by managing the time (it takes to complete a repair)," explains Ricardo. "From when the device is brought to the service center (it is being tracked).
"How many days since it was moved to the service department? How many days did it take to complete the repair after we got the part from Apple? It's helpful so that we can comply with Apple's recommendations."
Apart from several configurable ways to track and maintain an organized repair workflow, Fixably has features that influence directly customer satisfaction.
For example, the customer portal. "We like Fixably's web access for customers, so they don't need to call us for updates on their repairs," says Ricardo. "They can go on the web portal and use their repair ticket number to get updates and information."
Net impact? There's only one thing that matters. "I've heard customers recommending us to others, and that's the aim."
There are plenty of reports available, and it's been helpful to find out things like who's the better technician, how long do we have devices waiting for service, the average time it takes to complete different kinds of repairs.
Just as Important for Users
Fixably is built by repair business experts, and while excellent customer experience is the main goal, the platform has also been designed to make it easier for technicians, service managers, and logistics.
"Fixably is more manageable for technicians because... in the past, they had to work with two software platforms. They had to go to Apple GSX and upload the information they needed to do their repair, and then they had to go to the other software to update the same information.
"It's easier because they use only Fixably now. It connects directly with Apple GSX and sends information to Apple, and you also get information from Apple coming to GSX."
Fixably's leading-edge GSX API integration is built into the workflow. Device lookup, for instance. You can get all information on the device — warranty status, serial number, and so on — while creating the repair ticket or order.
You can also open the Apple Service Toolkit to run diagnostics (non-interactive tests) and view results or send the 'Ready for Pickup' status to GSX to close Apple repairs. Essentially, there would be almost no need to open up GSX outside of Fixably.
Service managers can use Fixably to keep daily operations efficient. "It's easier because they know how many devices are assigned to each technician," says Ricardo. "We can see how many days a technician has taken for each device.
"There are plenty of reports available, and it's been helpful to find out things like who's the better technician, how long do we have devices waiting for service, the average time it takes to complete different kinds of repairs."
It's also easier to manage unexpected interruptions. For instance, Fixably can provide service managers details of all repairs assigned to a technician who is out sick. And someone else can take over the most important of these repair orders. The point is that it only takes a couple of clicks and under 10 minutes to do all of this.
Change Without Disruption
Fixably offers extensive onboarding support to ensure that the change is not disruptive to the business. Repair providers have to deal with customers every day, so it is essential to have an uninterrupted transition.
"Fixably's support team was helpful with the onboarding, and I don't think it was tough for us," Ricardo says. "It took us about a week or so, we had a couple of phone calls, and we were told in advance what we needed to do for us to get started. I would say it was simple, and we were up and running in a short time.
"There are some things that we wanted to change, and we asked for it during the onboarding. Apart from tax rates, some things did not work the way we wanted. But I remember we spoke to the support team, and we were able to find solutions. I would say 95 percent of the things that we asked for were done immediately."
Fixably is a global Saas (Software as a service) offering. So we use English for business. However, we have clients all over the world. We understand that language support is necessary, especially when repair businesses must communicate with their customers.
Microtec is Nicaraguan AASP but uses Fixably in English. We do offer support for Spanish clients, of course. "We don't have an issue with the language, especially since the software uses technical terms that are familiar," says Ricardo.
"We're used to working with software in English. We can translate some parts of Fixably to Spanish, so I guess we use 'Spanglish.’ And we don't have a problem with this."
It does not mean that customer communication needs to be in English. We offer support for multiple languages. The customer portal, for instance, has been translated into Spanish.
All automated messaging, whether printed out, email, or text messages (SMS), can be presented in the customer's language of choice, including invoices and shipping labels.
Fixably allows repair providers to create short messages for frequently used communication. Apart from making sure that the brand and tone of the message are consistent, it also saves a technician or a service manager time.
Microtec's Expanding Future
Microtec has begun to expand its operation and is opening other stores with service departments in different locations in our country. "We're going to continue expanding, and we think Fixably will be a necessary tool to keep control of what's happening at each location," adds Ricardo.
The expansion also means significant challenges, and there is a reason why Ricardo is confident in relying on Fixably to help — starting with the ability to handle multiple locations. One account is enough to manage multiple service centers and repair shops on our platform.
It doesn't mean that all the data and workflows are mixed up together in one view. Location-specific data, workflows, users, and configurations are separated, but Ricardo and his colleagues can get a comprehensive overview of their entire organization.
"We've already added the specification for the new location into Fixably, and we know it's going to give us the information we need to manage two locations," he adds. "We can have reports from each of the stores and what technicians are doing at each shop. This way, we can control the business and make sure that we exceed expectations of our customers."