By Sherry M. Adler, Xerox contributor

As he went about his business, he heard a person in distress in the background. He became intensely aware of the situation when a supervisor shouted for help. Then for some reason – “by the grace of God,” in his words – Aron Roberts stopped what he was doing and administered the Heimlich Maneuver to the man in trouble.

Aron Roberts,

“It’s our mission to get machines in perfect working order with the least amount of disruption and the most efficiency.” – Aron Roberts, Customer Service Engineer

“I had seen this life-saving technique on TV and posters, but never used it,” said Aron. However, moments after Aron went to the aid of a choking victim, the person regained the ability to breathe and uttered “I’m okay.” Just like that, the crisis was over. And, in a snap, Aron casually went back to his task at hand.

Is that part of a typical day for a Customer Service Engineer, CSE, as they’re called at Xerox? “Not really,” our impromptu hero noted.

But it does underscore the credo of the job: Customer “sat” is paramount. Satisfaction, ingrained in the role, is so pervasive that it takes this shortened form. “We know that customers experiencing a problem with their equipment are inconvenienced,” commented Aron. “It’s our mission to get their machines in perfect working order with the least amount of disruption and the most efficiency.”

The work life of a CSE is filled with technology. This fix-it wizard addresses hardware and software issues and brings them under control at customer sites. “The good thing is,” said Aron, “our products are reliable. That quality reserves a CSE to handle issues of wear and tear, misuse and troubleshoot whatever else comes up.”

Aron is part of the Office Group, which focuses on higher-end multifunction printers. These range from the size of a 50” TV to a dinner table that accommodates 8-10 people. He works in Riverside’s (California) “Inland Empire” as a member of a seven-person CSE team that serves more than 1,000 customers.

Office technology that keeps pace
Xerox ConnectKey Technology
turns your printer or multifunction printer into a smart workplace assistant.

How do these CSEs look after the needs of that many customers? With technology, of course!

Xerox Service Assurance Technology (XSAT), along with Click Scheduling Software, is used to help plan the CSEs day. It schedules service call activity based on the customer’s priority, the CSE’s skillset and availability. This technology monitors the activity and makes scheduling changes throughout the day to ensure that service is delivered timely and efficiently.

Before XSAT arrived 10 years ago, scheduling was handled by a group of dispatchers who assigned the service calls. Each CSE would get several activities to fill their day, and at times, the activities were not evenly distributed, resulting in delayed response times to customers. “It was tense trying to get to everyone in record time. Those near the end of the list would, by necessity, be without the help they needed for hours,” Aron explained.

Using technology in the dispatching process has improved the ability for the CSEs to respond to their customers’ needs. Here is a simplified view of how this works:  A customer calls the Welcome Center to initiate a service request. A Xerox agent reviews the situation and routes the call to a helpdesk or enters the request into the system for onsite support. The XSAT, along with the scheduling tool, determines the best resource to send based on availability and skillset. The schedule is optimized every few minutes to ensure that a CSE will be available for the customer within the estimated time of arrival communicated to the customer. This technology has been a win-win for all.

XSAT helps “Set the Page Free” by balancing customer demand with CSE supply.

This seamless method matches workflow needs on both sides of the equation.

Similar to doctors in the distant past who used to make house calls, CSEs arrive at customer sites with two black bags. “At least two,” Aron clarified. One has the tools and parts deemed best for the job; the other holds a laptop – “portable workstation” – for researching, retrieving information and, if needed, contacting other Xerox specialists. The CSEs’ Xerox-branded vehicles are their mobile offices, which includes an inventory of mechanisms and lots more.

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A CSE’s technology and know-how is a moving target. Take product updates and launches. A CSE requires technical training for both; and they occur regularly. For updates, the CSE gets up to speed via computer-based learning modules. For major rollouts, it’s off to a Xerox facility for formal coursework.

With all of the ins and outs, requirements and issues of the job, what is the biggest challenge for a CSE? Traffic! “Those of us in Riverside may be pulled into San Diego to help meet promised ETAs for customers,” noted Aron. In the course of a day, he may end up 300 miles from home. No matter the distance, traffic is a constant battle.

“Part salesperson, technician, Dr. Phil and even Fred Astaire,” in Aron’s words, a CSE ensures “Xerox service is the best on the planet.” Sometimes, they even save lives.