2016 Precision Farming Dealer Summit — Roundtable #9

A Precision Farming Dealer Staff Report

Three areas where dealers would like to see tech support from the manufacturers improve were in (1) tech support availability and (2) knowledge and (3) new and innovative tech support tools.

Dealers often go through every resource they have at the dealership before calling tech support as a last resort. When tech support is called, it’s often in a crunch when customers are looking for answers and solutions quickly.

“If we’re in the field, tech support needs to be available 24/7,” says roundtable moderator Jeff Stiers with Birkeys Farm Store based in Champaign, Ill. “It needs to be a priority.”

Being put on hold is often one of the most frustrating aspects for dealers when working with tech support. Dealers would like to be able to tell where they are in line while on hold or have a callback function in which tech support will return the call when there is a tech support person available.

Constantly working with new or inexperienced tech support is also a challenge for dealers and they would like a way to quickly transfer up to a higher level or more a experienced tech support contact based on the challenge they are facing. Otherwise, they may have to talk to three different people and re-explain the situation each time before finally landing on a tech support person who can help with the issue.

Dealers at this roundtable also wanted to see more advanced ways to connect with manufacturer tech support, like video streaming. Having the ability to show, rather than just describe over the phone, what issue a customer is facing would help cut down on the number of calls and trips out to the customer’s location to diagnose and solve an issue.

“I’ve been approached by companies that want us, the dealers, to use smartphone apps to connect with our customers to troubleshoot their problems,” says Stiers. “Why can’t we use something like that to connect with the manufacturers as well?”

Read full coverage of the Precision Farming Dealer Summit presentations, from how to recruit and retain precision employees, to developing a standalone precision business, to managing customers’ data, in the March 2016 issue of Farm Equipment.

Roundtable Discussion Topics

1. Keeping Precision Employees Productive Year Round
2. Troubleshooting Technology: Conquering Compatibility Problems
3. Putting on a Successful Precision Ag Field Day
4. How to Structure Your Precision Internships
5. Strategies for Selling Used Precision Equipment
6. Making the Most of Online Sales Opportunities
7. Spreading Precision Workflow Across Departments
8. UAVs: Practical Precision Tools or Toys?
9. Tech Support: Where Can Manufacturers Improve? (currently viewing)
10. Marketing: Where Will I Get the Most Bang for My Buck?