Epsonow Magazine

Page 34 - Behind the scenes

Technology Utopia

An ideal, perfect place where the first version of any new software always works without ever causing problems with your PC. A place where you really never need to read any document that comes with your hardware or software.

While software and hardware developers work toward Technology Utopia, people like Epson Australia - Epsonow Magazine Volume 1's Chris Reed and David Poke are going to remain pretty busy. Chris, who is Manager Customer Satisfaction, Service & Repair, bears ultimate responsibility for the entire Epson Australia - Epsonow Magazine Volume 1 service and repair infrastructure. David, having been with the company for over 6 years, is in charge of the Epson Australia - Epsonow Magazine Volume 1 Contact Centre, which handles many support calls and numerous e-mail queries every day.

"One thing many people aren't aware of is the scope of the Epson support infrastructure," stated Chris. "There are four separate divisions, which all perform key roles in providing a total Australia-wide support service to the hundreds of thousands of Epson product users."

Support Across The Country

The four support divisions mentioned by Chris are:

  • Main Service Centre - Located at Epson's Sydney headquarters, the Main Service Centre is the main workshop for repairs to Epson products;
  • Third-Party Service Centres - Located right across Australia, Third-Party Service Centres are Epson-approved companies that provide service and repair facilities;
  • Contact Centre - Situated near the Epson headquarters, the Contact Centre provides telephone- and e-mail-based support to customers;
  • Second Level Support - This is the top level within Australia to which technical support is escalated, and primarily deals with extremely high level technical support issues.

"If the need arises, which it does on the rare occasion, for a problem to be escalated beyond Second Level Support, we have a direct line of communication with product design and development teams in Japan," Chris explained. "Essentially, the Epson service and support system has been designed to take any Epson product-related problem our customers face and resolve it as fast as possible."

"For most of our customers though, the Contact Centre provides all the support they ever need; and that's where the expertise of David and his team really come to the fore."

Jack Of All Trades

Within the Contact Centre, technicians face a daily barrage of questions. "A technician can be helping a ten-year old connect a scanner to a PC on one call and minutes later talk to a graphic designer having problems setting up colour profiles in PhotoShop," said David. "It really takes a very special sort of person to deal with these calls one after the other, accurately diagnose the problem then come up with a solution."

Even though technicians in the Contact Centre are under constant pressure, staff retention rate is quite high in comparison to other support call centres. "Because our technicians are staying with the company, we're able to protect one of our most important assets: expertise," stated David. By the time a technician has been with us for around six months, their product and diagnostic skills are extremely high. This means that when a customer calls in, they'll be dealing with an experienced and knowledgeable technician."

While the Contact Centre technicians require high levels of product and diagnostic skills, finding the resolution to a problem sometimes requires simulating the caller's PC environment. To achieve this, the Contact Centre features a specially constructed room housing a bank of computers, each configured to run either Windows 3.1, 95, 98, NT, 2000, Me XP and various Mac OS versions. In shelves running along each of the room's walls, well over a hundred different Epson printers and scanners are stored.

"If a technician needs to simulate the caller's environment, it can be done," said David. "There is also a server, which has copies of the most often used pieces of software installed; and given that around 70 per cent of the problems we receive are software - not hardware - related, the ability to simulate PC environments is a major benefit."

Through the Ages

As with most areas of information technology, the advances being made with printers, scanners and other Epson product ranges are increasing at an enormous rate. To deliver these advances to users, Epson regularly releases new products. For Contact Centre technicians, this means one more product they need to know almost inside-out.

"Keeping up to date with new products is obviously very important," said Chris. "That goes for everyone throughout the entire Epson support system. Bear in mind one thing. When a customer calls the Contact Centre or leaves an Epson product at one of our service centres, there is an expectation that the call will be resolved or the product fixed. This expectation can only be met if our technicians are trained to work on equipment that ranges from the latest to the oldest.

"If an Epson customer calls the Contact Centre to get a problem resolution for a product that could be ten years old, we're committed to providing that resolution. This is really what it's all about. Customer satisfaction through problem resolution and nothing less!"

Contacting Epson Australia - Epsonow Magazine Volume 1 Contact Centre

To speak with an Epson technical support specialist:

Call 1300 361 054 When you call the Epson Australia - Epsonow Magazine Volume 1 support call centre, ensure:
  • You are sitting in front of your computer;
  • Your computer is turned on;
  • The Epson product is connected to the PC & switched on;
  • You have the product type & serial number;
  • You know the PC's operating system type & version.

To lodge a technical support question via e-mail:
Technical Query Form

To access the Epson Australia - Epsonow Magazine Volume 1 library of downloadable product drivers:
Downloads & Updates