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Noritz Boosts Tankless Water Heater Service Quality with New Technical Support Web Site and In-House Call Center
Targeting both trade and consumers, two new customer-service initiatives aim to deliver technical data and product literature more quickly and efficiently, while addressing common questions about tankless water heaters.
FOUNTAIN VALLEY, CALIF. (NOVEMBER 29, 2011) — Noritz America recently unveiled two customer-service initiatives – a Technical Support Web Site and an In-House Call Center – with the goal of delivering information more quickly and efficiently to customers, whether their preferred method is the telephone or online. Targeting both trades people and consumers, the web site went live on Nov. 1, while the new call center began operations inside the company's Orange County headquarters on Nov. 28.
The origins of both initiatives can be found in the product application and installation questions that contractors and homeowners routinely ask Noritz sales and service personnel on a daily basis, according to Scott Isaksen, manager of Application Engineering, who led the multi-department team that developed the initiatives.
"We are always looking for ways to enhance the level of service we provide our customers," Isaksen says. "The tech-support site is a readily accessible, easy-to-navigate place to locate Noritz product information and, most especially, answers to technical questions that arise again and again from our customer base. Meanwhile, the new call center will minimize waiting time and offer in-depth technical expertise to those contractors and homeowners who would rather get information over the phone from a live human being."
Technical Support Web Site
Most site visitors will be seeking technical information on specific Noritz products. These materials can be found via several different paths, such as the "Search by Model" window, or by clicking on one of the thumbnail photos depicting various tankless water heaters and boilers. The primary intent of these navigation aids is to smoothly guide the visitor to a "Product Info" page that provides answers to "90 percent of the questions a homeowner will ask or a contractor might encounter" about a given unit, according to Isaksen.
— For the trade, that Product Info data is displayed in its entirety on the screen and divided into five areas: Overview, Technical Specs & Installation, Accessories, Approval, and Warranty.
— For consumers, Noritz site designers have isolated the same information behind five different tabs to avoid overwhelming the average consumer with too much data on a single screen (inset graphic). Nonetheless, a consumer visitor may access the five segments individually or call them up all at once, whatever the preference.
Regardless of the path chosen, the new site provides a host of user-friendly prompts to minimize missteps:
In-House Call Center
Supplementing the headquarters team is a second, outsourced call center located on the East Coast. Active since 2010, this established call center has, with the opening of the headquarters operation, shifted from conventional, daytime hours to evenings and Saturdays.
The new in-house operation draws its personnel from the ranks of both existing staff as well as new employees. "We look for people with a knack for problem-solving – someone not afraid to get technical, but who also enjoys dealing with people," says Isaksen. "An agent must be able to ask the right questions to get the caller exactly what he or she needs as quickly as possible."
Four in five callers are trade professionals, often with challenging system design, installation or service questions. In such instances, the call-center agent moves immediately beyond Tier 1 Technical Support and refers the questions to a Noritz engineer. However, in locating the new call center in-house, Noritz expects the agents to obtain the needed technical information from their supervisor or staff engineers more quickly, while steadily expanding their own ability to answer customer technical questions directly.
"By having experienced managers on-hand to mentor the call center agent, we anticipate answering more customer questions on the spot, rather than making them wait for a callback," says Isaksen. "We see this face-to-face coaching process as a faster educational path to agent self-sufficiency, which is what the current service environment demands."
The call-center agents will also be able to further educate themselves by tapping the new Technical Support Web Site for product and application information. "The two innovations will feed off one another over time," says Isaksen, "helping us to reach our primary objective, which is to service the customer with increasing speed and precision."
For more information on the new Technical Support Web Site, the In-House Call Center and the full line of Noritz water heating products, visit support.noritz.com. You can also call us at 866.766.7489 or e-mail us at email@example.com.
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NORITZ AMERICA CORPORATION, a subsidiary of Noritz Japan, has corporate offices in Fountain Valley, Calif., as well as in Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago and Hawthorne, N.Y. Offering a full line of tankless water heaters to meet the hot water demands of residential and commercial applications. Noritz supports its products with a national network of skilled representatives and employees who are committed to providing the finest products and services to our communities by helping consumers live in a more comfortable, efficient and healthy lifestyle.
For more information on Noritz America and the entire line of Noritz's ENERGY STAR® certified tankless water heaters, please call 866.766.7489 or visit our website at www.noritz.com
To download a hi-res .tif file, click on the image below and a zip archive automatically downloads to your computer. Due to how various browers handle downloads, you may have to expand the zip archive manually.
Home page of the new Technical Support website offers links to a wealth of information on Noritz product, including thumbnail images depicting various tankless water heaters and boilers.
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Each of the Product Information pages is segmented into five areas. In the consumer version, shown here, this information is stored behind five different tabs. In the contractor version, all the data is immediately visible. A visitor can toggle back and forth between the two formats by clicking "Sheet" or "Tab" in the "View Mode."
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The Technical Literature section offers five different, downloadable items for each product: spec sheet, owner's guide, installation manual, parts list and certification listings. To help a visitor drill down to the correct product, three different filters can be employed: Model Category, Technology and Generation.
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The FAQ section is much more than a list of questions and answers. The page divides the questions into eight different categories, with the number of questions in each noted in parentheses. A visitor can quickly see which questions or "articles" are the most "Recently Added," the "Most Popular" and "Top Rated."
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Managed by a full-time superintendent, the new Noritz In-House Call Center is staffed by three customer service agents who are available from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Pacific, Monday through Friday. This core staff is expandable to as many as eight Noritz personnel during busy periods.
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