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When Hardware Breaks - How Service Calls are Changing

By Keith Byerly | 3 minute read Advisors, Customer Stories

 

Even though we don’t want to admit it, there are very few things on our operations that have 100% uptime. Everything that is mechanical or electronic is subject to a breakdown. Now when that breakdown happens to something mechanical like a tractor or center pivot, we have options. If you call “your person” you might get help right away, but there is also a good chance you will have to leave a message and wait. If you call the dealership, you will get a person, but you don’t know what their specialty is and if that is the person you need. But when it comes to your Precision Ag equipment, it all changes. You might not have more than “your person” that you can call about your problems. That all changes today.

Last spring, we began using a system in our ACS department called AgriSync. Very simply explained, AgriSync is an app for a Smart Phone that lets us serve you in a few different ways remotely. Let’s say that you called one of our equipment technicians because you were having trouble getting a guidance line to load up properly on your display. Now, usually, you would call in, and we would try to decipher what page you were on, what you were seeing, and talk you through the problem while you pressed buttons. The problem with this is that sometimes the party on either end doesn’t communicate exactly what they see or need, so it can take several minutes to get through the problem. With our app, we can stay connected to you on the phone, but also start a one-way video call with you. You answer the call on your end, and we can see the outward facing camera on your phone. So instead of describing what you see, we see the same thing and have you up and going in a few seconds.

But what about when the problem is bigger? What if you pinched a wire while the planter was folded up and now nothing is working? You and I both know that you are going to need somebody to come out for a service call, so how would AgriSync help in this instance. By making that call with your AgriSync app, our technician can see the harness, and know if they need to plan on fixing it, or bringing a new harness out of inventory. Having the right part when they arrive can easily save you a couple of hours or more of downtime, when downtime is unacceptable.

And so those options were available to a limited number of growers last season as we got used to the technology platform that it worked on. This year we are going to go bigger and expand it even more.

For this spring we are launching the ACS Equipment Support Hotline. Previously when your Ag Technology is broken down, you often only have one person to call? Well, with the ACS Support Line, a call to 402-704-4614 (yes, that is the number you need to get into your phones) will do more. It doesn’t just connect you to Ross, Chris or Jeremy (our equipment manager and equipment techs) it connects you to all three at once. When you call the ACS Support Line, all three phones will ring, and whoever is available will answer. If for some reason none of them can answer, it starts a support ticket, and leaves a message for all three of them. That way we can respond faster than if you are the fourth voicemail on just one person’s phone. And best of all, this is part of the service you receive when you are an ACS customer.

So I know that old habits die hard. You have “your guy” programmed into your phone, and want to just keep calling him. But I can tell you a couple of reasons to make the change with us. First, as I said before, service will be faster for you to call all vs. calling just one. Second, using the ACS support line will be the only way to get a hold of our technicians after normal business hours. This lets us manage your call better, and also lets us make sure that there is a person on call and available to you when “your guy” has a family commitment and has to be away for a while.

Just like you would do maintenance on your planter or sprayer to get ready for spring, this is doing maintenance on your phone. We want you to get on board, and it is as easy as 1,2,3. Just text ‘App’ to 402-704-4614. Click the contact card to save Central Valley Ag Precision, and then click the link to download the app. This will set you up for minimum downtime and maximum productivity this spring from your Precision ag system.

This blog was originally published at Central Valley Ag.

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