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🌟A Guide to Delivering Cheaper or Free Services Part One (5min read)


How do you deliver free or cheaper services to your customers without compromising your resources or losing revenue? In this two-part article we will provide a guide on how technology can enable this to happen, and better yet, it can be a good thing for the customer and for the instrument manufacturer.

While most free services tend to drain company resources, through technology implementation a service team can achieve significant efficiency. We also believe that this needs to be part of the manufacturer’s overall service strategy. Here are a few ideas in different areas, which can enable free or cheaper services.

❔ Where to Start?

Service executives are sometimes overwhelmed by so much technology, and just picking a place to start can be a daunting task in itself. Some leaders want a full ROI across a whole host of tools before they want to invest in anything, while others are comfortable deploying multiple initiatives simultaneously with much less planning. We believe that developing at least a simple roadmap is needed, but it is also crucial not to get into an analysis-paralysis mode. After all, even relatively simple and easy to implement technologies can have a major impact on the business.


💥 Consider Simple & Easy!

For instance, quite a few years ago when web chat was still kind of a new thing, I was involved in the implementation of this technology for a for a medical device manufacturer. The goal of the technology implementation was primarily to supplement the technical support team’s capabilities. Our technical support engineers (TSEs) had to deal with major fluctuations of incoming calls, sometimes going beyond their capacity and depending on the system non-conformance, resolution could take some time. After implementing web chat, we found that a single TSE could communicate not only with a lot more customers, but better via webchat than over the phone. TSEs leveraged a comprehensive knowledge base with canned answers, supported by images, documents, even videos. The average TSE was able to communicate with up to seven customers simultaneously over chat, while obviously only one over the phone. That’s up to a seven-fold efficiency gain, without even considering the convenience of communicating with someone immediately, without the annoying phone trees, or getting materials that helped them address an issue much faster. The additional metrics were nice, but the add-on bonus that nobody had considered was getting access to data that is collected in text format, which didn’t our TSEs simply didn’t have the bandwidth to enter into the system. And most importantly, many customers expressed how happy they were with this additional and better way of getting support.


The introduction of this relatively simple technology resulted in a drastic improvement in the call center metrics as well as better Net Promoter Scores (NPS).


🚀 Hyper-Charging Tools with AI

The advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) brings a whole host of new benefits to existing tools. Whether it is making data more accessible, easier to locate and process, or to support human powered functions, this technology is becoming more essential to service operations by the day.


Web Chat

The web chat example mentioned previously, can now benefit from a chat bot. This AI powered technology allows customers to access at least some level of support during non-working hours. That’s particularly valuable to organizations that don’t have a huge service footprint and can adopt the “follow the sun” model. This type of capability is typically incorporated in the platform itself. We do not endorse or recommend any specific company or technology as we believe the best solution may depend on the company’s needs. The recent Gartner report1 provides the names of multiple vendors and their assessment of those vendors. We believe the following factors should be top of mind to instrument manufacturers looking to adopt this technology.

·         Best match to your strategy (Omni-channel vs each component separately)

·         How well it incorporates with business systems (Salesforce, SAP, Oracle, etc.)

·         Specialization in your market segment

·         Support (implementation & hyper-care)

·         Vendor track record

·         Pricing


Knowledge Management Systems

The knowledge management system, whether it refers to a knowledge base, wiki or something else, is the tool that allows the service team (occasionally customers) to access the information needed to diagnose and address a system non-conformance.


Once again, we do not endorse or recommend any specific technology platform, even when we refer to one, the company that makes it, or representatives of such companies in our articles. We do however want to share some of the elements we believe are important for companies looking to adopt this technology.


Beyond Keyword Search

In a recent Service Council webinar2, a point was made that a legacy knowledge management tool, which had in the past relied solely on keyword search, can with the support of AI, sip trough data regardless of language and provide a better answer much faster than ever before. It was argued that the service team spends approximately two thirds of their time simply gathering the needed information. It is obvious that supercharging the data gathering and synthesizing process, significantly reduces the burden on the service team.

Structured and Unstructured Data

The most advanced tools can now leverage multiple types of data sources. Here are some of the mostly commonly used data sources:

·         Service manuals

·         Service reports

·         Service performance metrics, such mean time between failures and mean time to resolution

·         Machine data extracted directly from the instrument

·         Input from subject matter experts


The advantage of AI-powered platforms is that they leverage the above mentioned and other data sources, and learns over time which sources provide the best answers. This is especially important when conflicts exist in the data sources.



Ideally, the platform should be helpful to multiple stakeholders within the company, including customer service, technical support, field service and perhaps even parts logistics. Additionally, the platform should have an option to provide self service to customers.


Regardless of the company and their AI-powered technology, this is an easy to justify investment for most instrument manufacturers.

🚦 Part One Conclusion

Technology is playing an ever-greater role in the Service business for instrument manufacturers. While Service executives must navigate multiple priorities and decide where to invest, it is important to develop a roadmap and get started. We’ve presented how even a very simple technology like Web Chat can provides a lot of value by creating another avenue for customers to get support. Artificial Intelligence can significantly upgrade the capabilities of Web Chat and Knowledge Base, thus providing significant benefits to the Service Team.


In Part Two…

We will explore other technologies that should be considered to support the Service business and deliver better support to customers.



Cited Sources:

1. Magic Quadrant for Contact Center as a Service, Published 07 August 2023, Gartner®,

2. A Buyer’s Guide to AI for Service with Niken Patel, Service Council™,


Other sources:

Aquant Service Co-Pilot Demo,




The ServiceWise Marketing Blog consist of thought-provoking articles focused on various topics related to the business of Service. The views, thoughts and opinions expressed in our blog articles are solely that of ServiceWise Solutions and our contributors and does not necessarily reflect the views of other third-party platforms, institutions or other associated parties. Please reference ServiceWise Solutions as the author when sharing or re-posting content from the ServiceWise Marketing Blog.


#servicebusiness #servicesmarketing #medtech #medicaldevices #medicine #servicemanagement #servicesales

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