“The ability to remotely view the customer’s screen using GoToAssist, and even take over a session with permission, makes it much easier for our support staff to resolve the issue. And it makes customers happy when they can get fast results.”
- Alister Maple-Brown National Marketing Manager www.rockend.com.au
Since its formation in 1979, Rockend has become a leader in strata (condominium) and property management software for Australian and New Zealand real estate service companies. The company provides and supports two business solutions: REST Professional and STRATA Master. These accounting-based applications, used by 2,300 organisations and more than 8,500 property and strata managers, must be 100 percent available due to regulatory requirements. Rockend is headquartered in Sydney, and has sales and training facilities in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.
The Challenge: Higher-quality customer support and service with less effort
Rockend provides software support to its customers as part of their monthly subscription fees for licensing. However, because the majority of customers are small businesses, typically without an IT person, they often request help with hardware and network problems as well. “They associate us with computers, so when the printer’s not working they call us,” said Alister Maple-Brown, national marketing manager. “To ensure customer satisfaction, we have two technical support people to handle backups, hardware and network issues. But it’s very hard to get customers to pay for hardware-related support, as they feel their software subscription should cover it. Since we were providing this service basically for free, we wanted to make it as efficient as possible.”
The combination of “blind” phone support and technically inexperienced customers meant huge amounts of time spent on step-by-step resolution. Further, if there was a problem with data, the customer would email a copy – causing delivery problems with spam filters and gateways. Maple-Brown said bluntly, “We were wasting our time and the customers were wasting theirs.” Rockend wanted to enable its two tech support people to handle more calls and reduce waiting time for customers.
Similarly, the company wanted to make its sales force more efficient. “We have ten salespeople across Australia and one of their challenges is servicing clients quickly and easily – especially in remote areas,” he said. “The cost of our software is relatively small, so visiting each customer doesn’t make economic sense. We used to send out demonstration CDs but if the prospect loaded it and found it hard to navigate, they got a poor impression.” To optimize sales efforts, the company wanted a solution for conducting remote software demonstrations and training sessions.
Maple-Brown considered several remote support solutions but chose GoToAssist because it was extremely easy to set up and initiated a session much faster than competitive products. It was also a very simple way for customers to connect to support staff. The success with GoToAssist led Rockend to GoToMyPC for remote, one-to-one software demonstrations. “There are tools that can do this for no charge, but there’s no comparison to the ease of use and reliability of GoToMyPC,” said Maple-Brown. The company also implemented GoToMeeting for online meetings so consultants can cost-effectively train customers on the software, and update groups of remote salespeople on new features.
By using GoToAssist for technical support, Rockend has achieved impressive increases in efficiency. The two representatives, who previously handled 12 to 20 calls per day, now complete 20 to 35 in the same period – an increase of 60 percent. This is due to the shorter time spent on each call – a drop from 30 minutes to 15 on average. “The ability to remotely view the customer’s screen using GoToAssist, and even take over a session with permission, makes it much easier for our support staff to resolve the issue. And it makes customers happy when they get fast results,” he stated.
One customer commented, “It’s great that they can see what we see, and do things on my computer as well.” Another said, “The fact that they took control and did it for me was much easier.”
With GoToMyPC, Rockend’s salespeople can invite a prospect or customer to log onto their PC via the Web and watch a real-time demo instead of spending significant time and money for an on-site visit. “For example, if a company in Tasmania wanted a salesperson to fly from Melbourne for a demo, it would cost us about $900 in travel expenses and lost productivity,” said Maple-Brown. “We can provide a very compelling demo using GoToMyPC for just the cost of the license and an hour of time.
“This is very effective even for local customers who just want to see a software module or a feature, and we don’t want to spend two hours sending someone out there. The whole interaction can be done in 20 minutes.”
Rockend is able to cost-effectively extend its reach beyond Australia using the GoTo Online solution. “Probably 85 percent of the New Zealand customers we’ve added over the last two years have been won using remote demonstrations with GoToMyPC.”
Rockend is also saving money by training groups of customers or salespeople via the Web. “To train our salespeople in person would require everyone to travel to Sydney, or a trainer to visit our other remote locations. In the second case, travel and time would cost about $4,000. Using GoToMeeting and conference call lines for a two-hour session costs a tenth of that,” Maple-Brown explained.
Rockend is looking into using GoToWebinar to conduct Web events for customers. He said, “Every year when we release new software versions we travel to each state and capital city for user-group meetings. The cost of the facilities, management and travel is large. And there are people we don’t get to because they are in remote areas. GoToWebinar could allow us to launch these new versions more cost-effectively.
“The GoTo Online services are a very important tool for our business. We keep expanding our use of these services because they are simple and cost-effective yet powerful and versatile. It is helping us grow, reach new customers and optimize our limited staff.”