One of the most common questions we get as we talk to clients about servicing their equipment is how many technicians we have in the area. This is a very logical question. Your institution revolves around your technology being operational and not down. Most of the time this question comes at a point when service is less than satisfactory and the client has been burned by another vendor in the past. While this question is logical, there are a few more variables that play a bigger role than number.
Care and Passion
While it's nice to have 5 technicians in your direct area to serve you, if none of them care about your account or have a passion to solve your challenges the right way, it does you really no good. If problems arise, and they always do, without care communication breaks down and you are left in the dark about what's causing the problem and when it will be fixed. Secondly, if there is no passion, the sense of urgency to correct your issue as if it were their own doesn't exist. Challenges can get blamed on corporate infrastructure, logistics, or other run-arounds. Look for a company that truly cares about taking care of your equipment and looks to solve problems with passion.
While the number of techs CAN affect response, it's not the key factor. A number of our larger competitors tout the NUMBER of technicians in your area, but sometimes that number can be misleading. For instance, some of those technicians are not cross-trained on your equipment and may only work on security equipment or retail accounts like Wal-Mart. So magically the number of people that can actually respond to your call can be cut in half. The other challenge with larger companies is they tend to have contracts with other larger accounts that take priority. So if you place your service call and Bank of America, Wells or Regions places a call, guess what, they are going there first because the penalties of not responding to those accounts hits their bottom line on the contract compared to yours. In this case, it's more important to have a company that prioritizes your business and can respond same day or close to it even if you only have one branch.
Many smaller independent companies tend to retain key employees better than the larger companies. Larger companies can view talent as expensive payroll items and have showed a history to have the talent train younger, more inexpensive technicians and then magically the trainer is let go to get rid of the higher salary number. In the last 5 years, many of the best technical assets from larger companies have been laid off, leaving a service gap all over the country as the less experienced are left to fend for themselves. We pride ourselves in focusing on talent, cross training and longevity to drive performance across our whole footprint. Things like internal discussion boards, tech bulletins and on-going training lead to a superior customer experience as we go to the market and solve problems quicker than many of our peers. We recently wrote an article on the 5 Myths of Partnering with a Large ATM & Automation Company.
Sometimes number of technicians can be an important factor, but the 3 elements above would far outweigh the number in terms of performance. Having a vendor that cares, communicates well with your staff and has the talent to fix the problem the first time more often than not is usually immensely more valuable than how many feet are on the street.