The cloud-based AIRe Link platform, which began piloting four months ago, is a browser based remote diagnostic system that enables technical support staff to guide customers though fault diagnosis and, where possible, repairs via their smartphone or tablet.
According to the manufacturer, the pilot scheme alone saved more than 1,000 onsite customer visits. Dozens of UK companies have already benefitted the platform as part of the successful pilot and as a result it’s rolling out the beta version with immediate effect.
Nick Ranson, UK director of value added services, Konica Minolta Business Solutions UK said: “We continually focus on improving the service we provide and this is no different during the current restrictions. AIRe Link enables us to not only improve uptime for our customers, but also to continue engaging with them directly and safely, in the new normal where physical interaction isn’t possible.”
The system works by the user logging an issue in their usual way, with the relevant support team then sending an invitation via SMS or email which the user clicks on to join the session. No special application or registration is needed, just access to a mobile device with a web browser.
Effectively KM’s technical support staff then sees what the user sees and walks them though the fault diagnosis, using audio, images, live pointer or snapshot annotations or document sharing. Once the problem is identified the technical support team member then, if possible, walks the user through the fix or uses the information gathered in the diagnosis to arrange spare parts for the user or in advance of an engineer visit, enabling a first visit fix.
According to Milan Lakhani, Konica Minolta’s head of strategy & business Development, Business Innovation Centre, of the thousands of implementations in the pilot scheme “approximately 51% of problems are solved after remote analysis with no onsite visit required”.
He added that the number rises to 60% if it “includes a successful initial root cause analysis, which requires offline action (e.g. order spare parts).”
The platform is available to all users, even those without a service plan.
The beta version of the system is also available free of charge to Konica Minolta users, dealers and “external companies” to aid their service support operations or interact with customers in other ways during the pandemic.
The beta period will run until the end of the year, after the current open beta will switch to a production version, which will include a free and paid for professional and premium versions with extra features.