When 'Easy-to-Assemble' Is Anything But Easy
If you’ve ever been surrounded by instruction manuals and strange looking tools for putting together an “easy-to-assemble” piece of furniture, you will no doubt understand the pain of not having some assistance — someone, anyone — to help walk you through the job.
But what if you could have that helpful someone in your hand — on a mobile device — explaining and visually demonstrating the right way to proceed? That is the basis on which Help Lightning developed its mobile communication, collaboration, and cognition platform for users needing assistance with purchased equipment. With end-users currently spanning 85 countries, Help Lightning enables its customers to visually share directions with their users using live video on their mobile device.
Many of Help Lightning’s customers manufacture relatively complex pieces of equipment. To support these kinds of users, companies typically offer an 800 number that connects to a call center. If an issue can’t be resolved over a phone call, then a field service technician must be dispatched to help. However, that process can be extremely time-, cost- and labor-intensive for the manufacturer and end up offering a poor experience to their customers. For instance, many pieces of equipment are mission-critical to the customer; a delay in the help process might even result in a life-threatening situation. Therefore, it's imperative to fix the problem as quickly and effectively as possible.
Using Help Lightning has proven extremely beneficial to such companies. In a recent article in Field Technologies Magazine, IDC Research Analyst Aly Pinder notes that there is an extreme shortage of technicians in many markets, and having remote support capabilities can help fill those gaps. Pinder suggests that by using remote assistance technologies manufacturers can improve productivity, drive revenue and/or become more efficient while optimizing business processes.
According to Gary York, CEO of Help Lightning, “If you are a Help Lightning customer with users who have issues with the equipment they purchased from you, our app enables you to visually show your users how to solve the problem and at the same time lets you see what your user’s situation is.”
“Help Lightning blends two video streams. The user employs one video stream on their mobile device to show the technician the problem, and the support expert uses their phone’s camera to virtually reach into the field of view and demonstrate how to fix the situation. We merge the two video streams in real-time so that the process is truly interactive.”
One example of how customers depend on Help Lightning can be found at Becton Dickinson (BD), a major manufacturer of healthcare and hospital equipment. As part of the support for their blood testing equipment, a lab technician using the equipment is able to call BD support to get any issues with the product resolved quickly.
“Becton Dickinson uses Help Lightning to be able to see what is going on with the equipment,” said York. “But even beyond that, the lab technician can see the hands of the expert guiding them through the necessary adjustments to try to fix the issue. BD’s expert walks the lab technician through a process of inspection, maintenance, and repair to figure out what’s wrong, and in many cases, to resolve the problem.”