A customer care package can provide significant value over the life of your technology investment. Here’s how.
You’ve done your research and identified the survey equipment provider that offers the best combination of quality, service, and innovation. Before you finalize your order, your account representative or equipment dealer will probably ask you one more question: Do you want a customer care package (CCP)?
Offered at different coverage levels, a CCP provides software maintenance, hardware maintenance, extended warranties, and other benefits. But it’s an added upfront cost. Is it worth the expense? Here are three things to consider as you evaluate your options.
1. How Much Downtime Can You Afford?
All technology needs to be maintained through regular software and firmware updates as well as hardware calibration and maintenance. You might have good intentions of taking care of these issues on your own as the need arises, but it’s easy to forget or let it slide. In fact, outdated software/firmware and out-of-spec instruments are two of the most common problems technical support addresses on troubleshooting calls.
“Most firms diligently maintain their survey vehicles with regular servicing and cleaning, but this mindset doesn’t always translate to surveying equipment,” says Russell Snell, a Leica Geosystems sales engineer and technical support specialist based in central California. “High-end precision survey tools like total stations and GNSS receivers often go unserviced for extended periods because you’re too busy and it’s just working.”
Until, suddenly, it isn’t.
“It’s like an insurance policy. With an active CCP, maintenance and updates become part of a standard process that can include rentals, so you never have to stop for an unexpected situation with your equipment. You can just keep running and stay productive.”
—Tommy Nichols, Technical Support Specialist
The potential losses due to faulty or outdated equipment can be substantial. “I took a call from one surveyor whose crew fell several days behind on a topo because one of their GNSS instruments couldn’t get a position fix,” Snell says. “The problem was outdated firmware. It was an easy solution once we identified the cause, but the firm lost money on that project.”
Even the most basic CCP from Leica Geosystems includes software maintenance, and it’s easy to add hardware maintenance and extended warranties for additional peace of mind.
“It’s like an insurance policy,” says Tommy Nichols, a Leica Geosystems technical support specialist based in Virginia. “With an active CCP, maintenance and updates become part of a standard process that can include rentals, so you never have to stop for an unexpected situation with your equipment. You can just keep running and stay productive.”
2. Could You Benefit from Increased Productivity?
Snell, who is now a sales engineer for Leica Geosystems, notes that some companies decide to forego the CCP when making a technology investment. In other cases, firms either aren’t aware of all the benefits available to them under their CCP, or don’t have a process in place to take advantage of them.
Regardless of the reason, the oversight can be costly.
“I know of companies that have lost money on projects because of outdated firmware or an instrument that has gone out of spec,” Snell says.
While a CCP can help you avoid downtime by keeping your equipment serviced and up to date, it can also boost your productivity in other, less expected ways.
“A CCP keeps you at the forefront of innovation,” says Burke Asay, survey product manager for Leica Geosystems in the U.S. and Canada. “As part of our sustainability focus, Leica Geosystems regularly develops improvements that can be added to the technology through firmware updates available through your CCP. These updates can give you new capabilities and efficiency that would otherwise require additional investments in hardware.”
Every update Leica Geosystems provides for software or firmware is designed to improve performance. Additionally, certain CCP tiers include regular hardware maintenance designed to keep systems operating at their prime.
“One surveyor, after experiencing a 30% improvement due to a software upgrade, called me multiple times expressing his astonishment at the improved performance,” says Tommy Nichols. “His enthusiasm spread to others who also decided to update their systems.”
Todd Hermsen, customer service manager at Leica Geosystems, adds, “It’s not just about having the latest version; it’s about the value a CCP brings in terms of productivity, uptime, and overall performance. Keeping systems updated is vital for maximizing benefits.”
3. Do You Ever Wish You Had Backup?
Whether you’re a solo practitioner, small business owner or department manager in a large organization, there just aren’t enough people to do all the work. While a CCP won’t deliver more field or office techs, it can give you access to an experienced team of local support professionals who will work directly with you to improve workflows, increase efficiency, and provide guidance on new projects or challenges.
“One surveyor, after experiencing a 30% improvement due to a software upgrade, called me multiple times expressing his astonishment at the improved performance. His enthusiasm spread to others who also decided to update their systems.”
—Tommy Nichols, Technical Support Specialist
“In my former role as a survey crew chief, I had an issue on a project that required me to call Leica tech support,” recalls Russell Snell. “The rep not only identified and suggested a fix for the issue but also followed up several times during the week to make sure everything was working out, ask if there were any other issues, and see if he could provide further assistance. This level of service went above and beyond my expectations. But that’s exactly what you can expect with an active CCP.”
“We become friends with our customers,” says Tommy Nichols. “They know we’ve got their back.”
While customer service excellence is part of the culture at Leica Geosystems, “a CCP gives you an extra level of involvement,” Snell explains. “It’s the most active of active customer care.”
An Investment for the Long Term
By encompassing both product and customer care, CCPs ensure that your equipment is not only maintained at its optimal performance level but also stays up to date with the latest technology advances. It helps you minimize the risk of project delays while enhancing overall productivity and providing auxiliary support.
Ultimately, buying and maintaining a CCP is a strategic decision that yields long-term rewards. “Professionals aren’t always aware of all the benefits of a Leica CCP,” says Snell. “I would say it’s definitely worth the investment.”