Here's why Fuji Xerox is obsessed with customer relationships and how technology helps them. Source: Shutterstock

Here’s why Fuji Xerox is obsessed with customer relationships and how technology helps them. Source: Shutterstock

How Fuji Xerox is using technology to transform customer relationships

TECHNOLOGY is helping companies become customer-centric like never before.

In the world of hardware, especially enterprise-grade office equipment, companies are leveraging every technology available to get closer to customers. One that’s making the biggest impact is the internet of things (IoT).

IoT sensors, embedded in printers, scanners, and other office equipment, can really help their manufacturers gain an intimate knowledge of the needs, choices, preferences, and habits of end-users.

In fact, in the digital-first, customer-centric world we live in, equipment manufacturers are using IoT and other technologies to step into the customer’s shoes and create services that not only maximize uptime and productivity but also delight customers and strengthen their relationship for the long term.

Fuji Xerox is one such company, exploring different technologies that ensure it can go the extra mile to better serve and service customers.

“We strive to be the best we can be for our customers, throughout the customer journey. This means being committed to acting on customer feedback and seeking to understand our customers’ changing requirements or challenges,” Fuji Xerox Head of Customer Excellence Christiane Joussemet.

Joussemet reveals that the company has been using “device connection and remote monitoring technologies” (which are essentially similar to IoT) for nearly two decades now.

“In the past 10 years, we have expanded the connection to all eligible hardware. This has enabled us to offer proactive support and maintenance to all our customers.”

Fuji Xerox has been in the printing business for decades and has earned the trust of its clients and customers to produce equipment that not only gets the job done but provides a high degree of assurance and reliability when it comes to equipment uptime.

IoT and other remote monitoring technologies only help the company bolster that confidence customers have on the brand — and Fuji Xerox is using other technologies to make sure it continues to enjoy that trust and confidence for the foreseeable future.

“Initially, our focus is shifting from ‘reactive’ service (customer needed to contact us) to proactive service (device contacts us). New technologies, such as machine learning, have helped us shift from proactive to predictive service.

“Knowing when support will be required in the future, means we can schedule the service with the customer – minimizing the impact on their business.”

Talking about future plans, Joussemet reveals that the company is now focusing on using new technologies to achieve the holy grail for its customers: Self-healing machines.

If Fuji Xerox can bring such machines to life, it’ll definitely help the company shoot far ahead of competitors. However, in the interim, the company is tightening its focus on customers.

“We used to aim for “Customer Satisfaction No1” in our industry. It could be measured through market research, conveniently. Now our goal is broader, aspirational, and harder to define — but closer to customers.”

The company’s pursuit of customer excellence means that it’s making big investments into technology, and some of them are internal as well, to ensure support staff is better equipped to delight customers at every interaction.

“We have implemented several new digital technologies and are conducting proofs-of-concept to establish the benefits of technologies such as AI in our support centers and augmented reality in training our engineers.”

True, the company did face challenges when transforming its contact centers — after all, replacing highly customized systems that are embedded in service processes is not always simple – or commercially viable.

However, given its focus on customers, Fuji Xerox persevered and found that robotic process automation, another up and coming technology, helped overcome some of the challenges it faced in upgrading its contact centers.

“The increase in connected equipment has meant increased activity for our support agents, and more systems to check.

“Since we can’t easily replace the systems, we have implemented robotic process automation (RPA). These software ‘bots’ are handling the ‘grunt work’ that does not require judgment.

“Using RPA bots for the mundane tasks, and to eliminate the friction for our support agents, allows our staff to focus on the tasks that better service our customers.”

Joussemet, who will be speaking at Field Service Asia in Singapore next month, is excited about Fuji Xerox’s mission to find new and intelligent ways to transform and delight customers.

In her opinion, that’s what digital transformation is all about. After all, no business can go wrong with technology when it puts customers at the core of its projects, goals, and vision.