Monday, October 18, 2010

Webster, Revamping FingerTec Support

The moment I thought about how to explain more on Webster in my next blog entry, a compliment letter landed on my desk. In this letter, a local client, Advance Lens Trading, appraised FingerTec technical support for the unexpected prompt replies that had solved his critical problem at a critical time, when our reseller, or his vendor, took a longer time to respond.

Yes, we receive compliment emails quite regularly on our swift and precise solutions in tackling technical issues. I particularly like the way my senior marketing manager, Norana Johar shared the pride with the sales and technical staff. She wrote in her email:

“Yesterday we received a compliment letter from our satisfied client on our prompt technical support service, the compliment is particularly directed to Hasrie for the job well done. The management would like to congratulate Hasrie and we hope that you keep it up. In the meantime, we also hope that our FingerTec teams would make prompt replies as our standard practice at all time. Please keep in mind that a delay from our side could cost clients a significant amount of lost and our concern on their issues could save them a lot of trouble and money. This letter is a confirmation that we are doing something right but it doesn't mean that we could take a breather and relax. There is still more room for improvement to keep our promise to make things easy for our clients.

But for now, please do enjoy the compliment, as we deserve it once in a while. :) Have a good weekend.”

I exchanged experiences with a good friend, whose company also implements Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System in their daily operations. The system is deployed merely in his sales department to improve their sales. But in FingerTec, even though our Salesforce CRM covers both sales and technical support, we prioritize technical support.

As our business grows rapidly in these past 5 years, technical support is always our major concern. While most suppliers channel technical inquiries of end-customers back to their dealers, we printed a noticeable line that says, “For enquiries on technical matters, please forward the email to", in our user manual. Besides solving technical problems received from our resellers at a regular basis, we are also willing to take direct technical inquiries from end-users. By doing this, we help our resellers to shoulder some of the their support burdens, and in return we get two happier customers.

And, I always want to go a step further in solving technical problems. One of the best solutions should be a direct login into the affected terminals to avoid inaccurate elaborations of problem by any non-technical end-users.

This time, with web technology, we develop Webster, with three clear objectives. First, it would be a fundamental tool for customers who opt to use our web application, TimeTec. Second, it is for big corporations to enable centralization of the terminal data management in many branches in remote locations. And third, it could be used as an effective technical support tool as mentioned earlier.

When a reader comes with Webster, authorized personnel can remotely talk to the machine. Therefore, authorized staff, resellers or suppliers can diagnose the machine from far away to correct some settings or to update a new firmware that is meant to fix the problems, without having to return the terminal back to us or to send any technicians to the site, if the errors are not caused by the hardware failure.

I really am excited for the development of Webster, and stay tuned for the official release date.

by Teh Hon Seng, CEO, FingerTec HQ

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Social Media Tool – Like it?

I came across this full-page recruitment ad by CIMB Bank on a daily in Malaysia, hiring someone to fill up a new position, which did not exist in the past. The position is known as a social media executive or manager or director, for some big organizations, it might even evolve into a large department.

There is another interesting article, titled “Twitter, Twitter Little Stars” in Bloomberg Businessweek (July 19-July 25, 2010 issue); it is not a special report to cover Twitter, a mini blog engine, but it is intended to discuss the rising needs for corporate to include social media in their daily operation.

The article quoted Felix Gillette, a media reporter’s observation, “Layoffs? Not in the social media departments of corporate America. As customers make or break brands online, companies are rushing to hire social media directors … ” Quite a number of the big brands in the market have hired social media experts. And all of them tap on the online social media tools like Facebook and Twitter, and some even include RSS, YouTube, or Flickr to build a closer tie with their customers, and some may use the social media engine as a direct marketing tool to promote their products.

The change is fast happening. Today’s business has to build a better relationship and to have a more straightforward contact with the clients such as posting customers the latest news, or having their feedbacks read by the people at the top. Yes, it’s time for shopping malls to scrap the less efficient drop-off message boxes.

The outbound advertising media like newspapers, TV or billboards used to be popular for advertisers to broadcast their one-way message to customers, becoming old fashion nowadays in a more interactive-demanding Internet Era. In the past, not many big organizations would want to entertain customer that has zero complaint. Survey form is circulated whenever they need to gather customer’s opinions, and Customer Service Department is set up as a formality and normally only receiving and dealing with barking customers.

The arrival of Web 2.0 and Internet social media tools have changed the way we communicate. Businesses fast detected the opportunity to improve the conventional lopsided communication with customers by adopting the new wave of social media tools. Some activities (like FingerTec tagline contest) were organized within the social media sites to lure customers to “like” them in Facebook.

We are not selling consumer products, but as one of the world’s leading biometrics product suppliers, we do know the important of social media tool in helping us enhancing the way we communicate with customers.

It’s not hard to “like” us on Facebook, as we like to have many FingerTec customers riding the latest technology with us; “follow” us at Twitter as we also would like to follow you; and “subscribe” our video clips at YouTube, as we subscribe to improve ourselves for you.

by Teh Hon Seng, CEO, FingerTec HQ