ColorID's new CHOICE Support Program aims for nationwide on-site support
Finding the right fit
While SDSU used one of the options from CHOICE’s menu of services there are other options. Smith explains that there are certain criteria to identify the right candidates for this type of program, and crucially, how a campus can navigate the menu to get the most out of the program.
Smith notes that the program won’t be an ideal fit for all institutions. Small schools with minimal equipment, consumables and service needs are likely already well served by existing depot service models. “Campuses that can really scale this and benefit are those that have large operations where it’s more than just printers,” he says.
The profile of a typical CHOICE customer is a card office that employs multiple printer stations, and where it’s mission-critical that those printers are always functioning, Smith explains. “The ideal customer is also utilizing contactless credentials or considering doing so in the future. They may also have an interest in other advanced identity technologies such as biometrics and mobile.”
ColorID will provide a campus with a sample CHOICE proposal that gives a detailed breakdown of all the services offered under the program. The campus makes its selections from the list of offerings and selects the duration for the program. Most contracts, Smith says, range from three to five years.
A new approach to service
As Smith sees it, the traditional, regional model of on-site service has given way to a national model. “It’s not about protecting territories anymore,” he says. “The paradigm of local service being a good value has shifted, as customers see that they receive more value having an experienced expert provide service and support.”
With depot service, you may be sent a replacement and lose your old printer. It would be like your car breaking down and and a mechanic giving you a completely different car back
With the regional model, we were hearing from campuses that the earliest that an on-site service technician could arrive would often be the following day, and even then they might not have the required parts, explains Smith.
Under traditional printer replacement or depot service, campuses would be sent a new replacement unit and lose their old one. It’s a model that Smith says some campuses disliked. “It would be like if your car broke down and you took it to the shop for repair, and the mechanic gives you a completely different car back,” he explains.
As for pricing, Smith says the CHOICE program is comparable to what most institutions are currently paying for on-site printer service and preventative maintenance programs – plus they get value-added consultation and other services.
CHOICE in action
The program’s Instant Loaner option for printers can deliver both convenience and flexibility. If a campus orders four printers and opts for the Instant Loaner option, five printers are shipped. The fifth unit remains the property of ColorID to be kept on-site at the university. When a printer goes down and can’t be repaired, the card office can swap the broken unit out for the Instant Loaner printer and ship the malfunctioning unit back to ColorID.
“First the campus calls us to see if we can fix the printer over the phone, and if not, we activate the Instant Loaner,” Smith explains. “They can either ship the malfunctioning printer back to us or our service technician can repair the printer on their next scheduled maintenance visit.” The Instant Loaner can also include custom-configured units.
There is a variety of maintenance packages including an annual visit or twice per year option. Users can also access exclusive webinars, seminars and a custom web portal built for the campus. “We offer a price lock guarantee for all consumables – ribbons, cards, etc. – for the duration of the institution’s CHOICE agreement,” says Smith.
At your doorstep
ColorID employees staff the on-site service portion of the program.
“All of our current technicians – five on staff – are certified and trained, and are the ones jumping on planes,” says Smith. “We’ll do a Chicago trip, for example, and coordinate with all our campuses in the area.”
One of the on-site services being offered is a system review where a product manager evaluates the entire card system operation, and within ten days provide a detailed report with recommendations for future-proofing and refining the system.
Smith says that with CHOICE he’s most proud of the fact that the customer is the one making the decisions. “We can coach them and explain the benefits of each service, but it ultimately comes down to the client and their needs – it’s their choice.”
For more on the CHOICE Support Program, visit ColorID.com.