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The Cost of Free Data Management Solutions

When we’re glued to our phones, scrolling countless apps, sometimes it feels like the last thing we need is a new piece of technology that claims to enhance our lives, especially when that technology comes at a cost. But, if you’re a field service business owner, trying to cut corners with free solutions is going to cost you.

Read on as we compare some of these “free” options with the solutions that XOi’s field service technology provides. At the end of the day, your tech’s professionalism and guarantee of data privacy will earn you more revenue than you may have saved using an inadequate solution.

FREE: THE SMARTPHONE CAMERA

We get it—your techs get it. Heck, even the older generations are using a smartphone at this point. It’s free (in the sense that you’re already paying for it,) it’s easy, techs know how to access the camera—they’re on site and take a picture of a job to ensure accuracy. Boom. Done. 

But now what?

That photo has likely been saved to your technician’s personal photo album, sandwiched between a hundred photos of family, dogs, meals, and endless other mementos. Unless your tech is an expertly organized smartphone user, that photo is bound to get lost. They’ll end up spending precious time trying to access the photo, source it, remember which job it belongs to, and figure out a way to send it to the customer. This free and easy solution becomes unprofessional and inefficient pretty quickly.

With XOi, capturing photo and video assets is just as simple as using your smartphone camera. The XOi app is built to work on a tech’s existing smartphone or tablet. On site, all a tech needs to do is open the app and take a photo. The photo is automatically saved in secure cloud storage within the XOi app, and instantly mapped to a specific job. What’s more, with one simple click, the photo, along with a recap of the job, can be seamlessly sent to a customer.


FREE: A (VIDEO) PHONE CALL
 

If your tech has an issue on a job, a personal phone or video call to the office or a seasoned technician can probably provide a quick fix. But, what if your tech is in an area with bad cell service? Same goes for remote diagnostics—it’s simple enough to video chat with a customer to try and diagnose the problem, but should techs be expected to give out their personal information to a customer? Can they reference the work done in that video call if the customer needs an additional fix?

What if there’s nobody back in the office to take your tech’s call? The phone call itself may be free, but setting up a virtual call center is the opposite. In fact, it can be very expensive to hire in-house technical support. Outsourcing support is an option, but it’s difficult to vet the hired call center employees and ensure the solutions they give will be relevant and helpful.

XOi’s video call solution, Vision Live, is hosted within the XOi app—so there’s no need to worry about dropped calls, connection, or privacy issues. Each time your techs perform a video training call using Vision Live, they have the option to record and save the call—allowing other techs who may experience similar issues to reference the information. Not only are you able to solve problems with remote diagnostics, you can save that diagnostic information for future fixes, ultimately saving you time and money on another call.

If in-house support isn’t an option for your business, to ensure a reliable and trusted virtual source for technicians to receive expert support in the field, XOi has launched the Journeyman™ Virtual Mentor Center (VMC.) With VMC, a tech can methodically request support within an XOi workflow from XOi’s team of in-house mentors. The VMC is XOi’s solution to hiring your own in-house technician support. It eliminates the need for expensive in-house technical support, and frees up your most experienced technicians to focus on their job, not assisting green techs with their work.


FREE: THE SEARCH

“Just Google it!” For field techs … that’s a phrase easier said than done. 

Techs using XOi save countless hours that would be otherwise wasted scrolling through search engines for answers to their field service questions. Our Knowledge Base provides thousands of hours of documentation and manuals on specific units. The “search” for answers is performed automatically—all a tech needs to do is take a photo of a unit’s data plate. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology indexes that data plate photo to pull up all job activity and service history for the unit—complete with photos, videos, notes, and even recorded support calls from previous technicians. Think of it as your virtual personal assistant. 


FREE: THE CLOUD + WEB HOSTED WORKSPACES

Trying to run a business on free, web-hosted workspaces and cloud software is certainly not a terrible solution. The products are familiar, easy to use, easy to access, and can be powerful if you know your way around. But, there’s one glaring issue that these free solutions do not solve—data privacy. What is this free solution actually doing with your data?

With XOi, your data is stored in a secure cloud environment, ensuring your data (and your customer’s data) is safe, all in one place, and always accessible. Your customer’s personal photos and videos are secure in a cloud environment, rather than living on a technician’s personal device. Unlike the free solutions that host your data in data centers around the world, XOi stores your data in our own environment. You’ll have peace of mind knowing you fully control your data—it will always be accessible and will never be shared with anyone outside of your organization. 

As mentioned, If you’re an expert in data management, analysis, and capital planning, the free solutions can be powerful. For the rest of us, there’s XOi. When you apply XOi’s Journeyman Insights solution to the data you’re already capturing in XOi Vision, that data is automatically analyzed to provide actionable insights that drive operational efficiency, improve customer experience, and identify untapped revenue opportunities. Leave the hard work up to us. 

On average, we’ve found that our customers collect 40% of their business’s assets in the summer months. While your techs are out in the field working long days, this is the perfect time to be capturing critical business data. XOi technology expertly organizes and optimizes that data, working automatically to provide you with opportunities to make your company smarter, better and faster. Get your data in during the summer, and you’ll have identified a bounty of revenue opportunities come shoulder season. 


The Cost Of Cutting Corners

We understand that saving money is top priority, that’s true for almost every business owner. But, ensuring your data is safe and secure should also be a #1 priority. When your customers can trust that you have their best interests at heart, and are able to provide an organized, efficient, and transparent look into the job at hand, it will be worth the cost of cutting those free services. In the long run, good technology will end up saving your business time and money. 

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