Transforming the customer and employee experience through technology
Golden Valley, MN
To service customers differently, you have to be different. Stand out amongst the competition. A fact that is well-known to the award-winning HVAC team at Total Comfort, who view every job, and every interaction as an opportunity to provide complete comfort to their customers in their homes. Delivering an experience that today’s customers expect requires a top-notch team in the field and one on the same page back in the office. Keeping those teams in sync and working together in unison adds to the challenge, but a shift in processes and tools can address those challenges and optimize how things are done so teams forget about exact workflows and focus on the customer and job in front of them.
In Total Comfort’s case, many of their workflows came from the comfort of paper and doing things how they have always done them. Their employees were used to a world in which their work was done on paper, their documentation was physically in hand, and customers completed their transactions the ‘old school’ way. Over the years, this had to change. Their customers expect a different experience and demand their contractors meet them where they are — in the digital world. The success of doing this was dependent on Total Comfort’s ability to onboard and help their multi-generational workforce find comfort with their devices, replace workflows with easy-to-use apps and software, and ensure uniformity throughout the company to keep everyone on the same page.
Transitioning to comfort in and out of the office
By definition, field service involves a remote workforce that goes wherever customers need them. The concept of working in an office forty hours a week is foreign. Technicians deliver a specialized skill to customers and clients, and to do so requires the right combination of tools and technology to stay efficient and keep quality high. From employee email, point of sale software, communication apps, appointment scheduling and more, all need to be managed, supported, reliable — and easy!
Total Comfort’s technicians are almost constantly mobile with an iPad and iPhone when in the field. A company iPhone is used to communicate with customers, with GPS apps to help get to their appointments, Salesforce for customer management, as well as email, company phonebook, and company-issued tutorials that are preloaded on the device. When it comes to customer interaction or customer-facing activities, it’s done on an iPad. Point of sale and any digital paperwork needed to complete work can all be executed on the larger screen.
The smooth digital setup a Total Comfort customer or new employee sees today was truly a transition filled with addressing the pain points holding them back. When devices were first rolled out, each employee had full access to the App Store which meant there were too many apps on the devices and little consistency from person to person. There was no policy put in place at the company level to maintain proper usage which was leading to little delineation between work and personal devices. When onsite, devices were getting lost or damaged, as well as, being taken when there was employee turnover. When devices did come back at the end of employment, they were often locked down by a personal Apple ID making them inoperable. It once took over two weeks to unlock a device in this state because it was unmanaged, according to Total Comfort’s Data and Technology Specialist, Binh Agarwal, who arrived when Total Comfort didn’t have a system in place. The final tipping point came when Total Comfort’s owner ran the numbers on the devices damaged or lost and realized this was becoming a financial matter.
The issues and uses went beyond just streamlining processes. Total Comfort didn’t have a method in place for ensuring their field workers were safely going about their device usage when operating company vehicles, and that was an insurance liability and risk they didn’t want to take.
Our owner realized that they were losing devices and the cost to replace was stacking up!
Replacing the system
Mrs. Agarwal saw the system Total Comfort had in place for device usage, or the lack of a concrete one, and knew that she could play a major role in making life easier on her coworkers. She wanted to take the onus off service technicians when it came to their technology and devices and manage it on their behalf from a central location. She dug in, did her research, read reviews from other IT Admins and determined that Jamf Now would solve many of their problems.
Jamf Now offered her the ability to have a central location that digitally documented and tracked Total Comfort’s device inventory, allowed her to push out Blueprints scoped to fit the exact needs of each device type — iOS and iPadOS — while eliminating the clutter of excess, unnecessary apps that her team were being bogged down by. By having devices enrolled in Apple Business Manager she was able to put in place steps that eliminated the issue of personal Apple ID’s locking down devices and suddenly there were clearer lines between personal devices and work devices that opened the door for her to do even more.
Binh now had a system in place that alleviated the concerns for her non-tech savvy users and could automate much of the work on her end. She was spending less time troubleshooting devices and she could track and lockdown any devices that were lost, damaged or stolen. Employees had access to all the tools they needed and were using the same apps and software to keep everyone on the same page and customer data secure with apps the company trusted.
It was a complete transformation of the way they did business - from paper to digital. But an increase of devices had the potential to lead to an increase in distraction for their field team — enter LifeSaver.
One of the costs of having a team of field technicians doing their job in company-owned vehicles is an increased cost of insurance and risk that they take being on the road. Total Comfort was looking to create a safety guidance program to ensure consistency across all drivers and sought out best practices directly from their insurance provider who suggested they look into LifeSaver.
LifeSaver Mobile focuses on crash prevention by automatically detecting drives and blocking the ability to text and use non-approved apps — all without having to install any additional hardware in the vehicle. From enforcing behavior notifications to locking the device, employees can be safer. To make this one step easier, Total Comfort could use Jamf Now to ensure that LifeSaver was on every iPhone a driver used for GPS and that it was an app that could not be deleted.
A safety program was put in place, insurance rates were helped, drivers were kept safe, and because there was a central management system already in place, deployment went smoothly.
The LifeSaver program prompted us to make minor modifications to our driving practices, helping our company technicians become much safer behind the wheel
New barriers broken
With a system in place that was addressing their issues on an individual device level, and already transforming much of their customer experience, Mrs. Agarwal had her eyes on rolling out something that Total Comfort had never had — a true data and device usage policy. A small win in the eyes of some companies, but something that Binh felt marked a true tech deployment. Finally, there was a consistent, reliable method of managing and accounting for devices that enabled them to write a policy. Each employee had their own devices, they were scoped to fit their roles and needs, and this meant Binh could truly establish a set of expectations that reflected the investment Total Comfort had put into technology.
Anything we can do to automate workflows is a huge plus. With Jamf it’s smooth sailing.
Everything from company data and the need for secure passwords to expectations surrounding care of devices was laid out. Because they had worked so hard to create a comprehensive plan, the terms were understood, respected and easy to uphold for both the company and the users. “I’m really happy with Jamf, and it’s smooth sailing since rolling out the policy. We haven’t had a single complaint from workers, they come to me with any issues and I get to play the hero and help them, and that is a really nice reward for putting together such a successful program.”
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