New England Controls Success Story
- Improve customer service.
- Track all aspects of service contracts.
- Enhance and automate process.
- Justify value of service contracts to customers, thereby increasing the number of service contract renewals.
- Improved customer service.
- Tracked all aspects of service contracts.
- Customer service improved dramatically.
- Significant increase in efficiency (eliminated dozens of spreadsheets, documents, and databases, saving numerous hours in service contract maintenance.
- Net increase of new contracts in one year is approximately twenty percent because staff spends more time pursuing new business instead of maintaining labor intensive processes.
The service division of New England Controls has been thriving since installing a CRM solution by Soffront® Software Inc., in June of 2005. New England Controls, a supplier of distributed control systems to automate manufacturing processes, installed Soffront CRM in their SureService division, the department that sells and supports all service contracts for the company’s process control systems.
Prior to implementing Soffront CRM, tracking and organizing service contracts and related activities at New England Controls was extremely labor intensive. “Our records were incomplete, consisting of paper files that were not organized and procedures that were not tracked,” explained Josh Brotherton, SureService Manager, New England Controls. “We needed a system in place that could better manage and track all of our service activities.”
According to Brotherton, the goal of the SureService group was to implement a solution that helped them justify the value of the support services they provide. “We realized that our service group needed to implement better business processes in order to increase the number of contracts and the value of those contracts. If one of our customers was considering renewing their service contract and wanted us to show them detailed records regarding all of the service they had previously received, we couldn’t supply that type of information,” Brotherton explained. “We needed an automated system in place to better track the all of the many aspects of service we were providing.”
New England Controls looked at numerous CRM options before choosing Soffront, a leading supplier of mid-market CRM solutions. “We selected Soffront because we wanted an on-premise solution that was also extremely flexible and customizable,” explained Brotherton. “Soffront met these needs better than the competition, providing us with a powerful tool to help us achieve our goals.”
Brotherton explained that they track everything concerning each service contract, such as all activities, work orders, field reports, invoicing – even which PDF files the customers have downloaded from the data base. “The metrics we track are extensive; we have a ticket for everything”
Two features of the software that Brotherton finds especially helpful are the knowledge management and customer portal modules. Soffront Knowledge Management is a web-based, self-help and knowledge management software solution. Soffront Customer Portal features a collection of gadgets for customers that include customer profile, product literature, alerts, purchased products list, product registration, surveys, web-based ticket submission, self-service, and integration with e-commerce applications.
New England Controls is the local business support for Emerson Process Management, a leading global supplier of products, services, and solutions that measure, analyze, control, automate, and improve process-related operations. Emerson publishes extensive self help articles for customers in numerous categories. The service group at New England Controls posts these articles to the Soffront CRM system, and the customer portal automatically emails appropriate articles to specific customers who have requested more information pertaining to certain topics.
“The customer portal with gadgets is wonderful; this feature of the software was a huge selling point for me,” said Brotherton. “As a matter of fact, two of our largest customers are so impressed with the portals, they asked me to set up some mini-portals for them to track information.”
According to Brotherton, “We have seen extraordinary results in our service division since we implemented Soffront CRM. The software allows us to demonstrate to our customers the remarkable value-add of our service contracts—a capability that has directly contributed to an increase in the number of contracts we sell and the selling price of the contracts.”
Soffront CRM helped New England Controls eliminate dozens of spreadsheets, documents, and databases. “The added efficiency has reduced the amount of hours our engineers and support staff require to maintain service contracts, allowing them more time to pursue new contracts, explained Brotherton. “Although the number of support personnel has remained the same, the net increase of new contracts in the past year is approximately twenty percent.”
Brotherton also explained how Soffront CRM helps differentiate their service division in a competitive situation. “Since we implemented Soffront, our competitors can’t touch us. None of our competition has such a comprehensive system for tracking service activities—a service feature that our customers now demand.”
Brotherton concluded, “Soffront is a crucial tool for our success. Soffront’s comprehensive features and flexibility helps us show our customers that we provide them with a service that is important for their success.”