Live Chat Technology Helps Resolve IT Issues at Tobyhanna

Live chat technology is a fast, efficient and convenient way for computer users to get in touch with Tobyhanna Army Depot’s information technology (IT) customer service team.

Personnel experiencing problems with government-issued computers or peripheral equipment can click on the orange “support button” icon located on their desktop to live chat with IT experts trained to resolve any situation. Customers can reach out in the exact moment they have questions or problems they cannot solve.

Beyond improving the customer experience, the ability to increase team productivity – combined with data collection – can lead Team Tobyhanna to greater success with live chat as part of its customer support plan. 

“The new chat feature and corresponding support tool is a force multiplier for the customer service branch,” said IT Specialist Sean Malone, Resource Management Directorate, Information Management Division. “We are able to help more people, more efficiently, and with just a few clicks, it’s even easier for the customer to request and receive assistance.” 

The live chat provides an easy to use customer interface, while maintaining a robust set of administrative tools, features and options, which allows the help desk agent to quickly view, troubleshoot and resolve issues, according to IT Specialist Dave Kutch.

“This enhanced tool results in most issues being resolved quickly and within first contact,” Kutch said.

Army standards dictate the amount of time technicians have to respond to and close a request; it varies with each task. Implementing innovative ideas such as the live chat, walk in service desk, and knowledge base library help the organization meet those requirements.

“Everyone on my staff has access to the live chat capability whether they are working on or off the installation,” said Matthew Raup, Customer Service Branch chief. “The data we are able to collect with this new technology can help us track information such as how long people are waiting in the queue, the number of completed chat sessions and types of concerns.” 

The system also provides a transcript of each session that can be used for accountability and training, he added.

Personnel can use other methods to get help with their IT issues, but the new live chat feature will be a game changer for getting the support they need, according to Malone.

Personnel can submit work requests using the IT Service Desk link on the depot’s intranet site. For the do-it-yourselfers out there, the IT Knowledge Base link [also on the intranet] provides information on a number of topics. Technicians working at the service desk are available to address simple customer issues on the spot, loan IT equipment and assist users in entering help tickets for situations that require complex solutions.

Lastly, people can still request assistance by dialing 5-6677; however, using the legacy phone system offers fewer options to help the customer. According to Raup the best anyone can do is leave a voice mail message, which due to the volume of calls and work tickets, could go unnoticed.

The technician response time using the live chat feature averages less than two minutes.  Users can continue working while waiting for a technician to come on the line, plus watch as they progress through the queue. Customer service representatives can also see the people waiting in line.

“As a tech, I feel like I can be very productive using the chat feature,” said Jessica Holliman-Wilson, IT specialist. “I’m able to grab multiple chats at a time and work them all at my own pace.  I’m able to provide the same level of customer service as if they are talking to me face to face.”

Printer problems prompted a program analyst in the C4ISR Directorate to test the support button icon one day.

“I am so thrilled with the new app,” said Christine Shuleski. “The IT technician responded quickly and once I explained what was going on, he was able to resolve the issue in a matter of minutes.” 

Shuleski said the live chat was such a positive experience, she asked about two other issues. All three problems were settled within about 20 minutes.

The number of users and systems connected to the network far outnumber the IT experts who strive to meet or exceed customer expectations every day. The customer service branch continues to improve products, services or processes with conscious, deliberate intent to continuously invest and focus on getting better.

“We’re heading in the right direction with the steps we’re making to improve customer service,” Raup said. “My goal is to fix the computer issues through whatever means possible by providing the tools and information needed to streamline the customer experience.”

TOPP Business Solutions Acquires Technic IT Group

TOPP Business Solutions (TBS), one of the region’s largest family-owned office automation dealers, is expanding with the acquisition of Dunmore, PA-based Technic IT Group, LLC.

“This is truly a win-win for all involved,” said Brad Lehman, TOPP Business Solutions COO. “Our goal is to expand our focus and bring our excellent products and services to all current and potential customers within the Managed IT Services regional marketplace.”

Technic owner John Martines said, “When two of the best providers in the office solutions space join forces, it creates positive results for both the customers of TOPP and Technic going forward.”

TBS, now in its third generation of family leadership, employs approximately 100 people who operate from its four locations in Scranton, Allentown, Montoursville and Altoona. In 2019, TBS generated over $20 million in revenue and has been providing business and office technology services to the Northeast, Central and Leigh Valley of Pennsylvania’s local industries for over 60 years.

“We needed to further position ourselves as a leading force in the industry within our PA marketplace. With the addition of Technic, TBS will further solidify its position as the most advanced technology service provider available,” Chris Falzett, VP of Sales for TBS said.

“It is clear our customers are changing and expect more from their vendors,” Paul Falzett, Topp Business Solutions CEO said. “Many of our current copier customers have expressed interest in having one provider to handle both their print and IT Services needs and having the Technic team join us will certainly help us deliver on those customer expectations.”

TBS President Bill Truchan, an expert in the field of mergers and acquisitions, seeks to create further expansion for the company in the near future.

TBS looks forward to the new relationship with Technic customers and anticipates continued growth that fulfills the TBS mission created by Angelo Falzett in 1957: Give people quality products at a fair price, provide prompt, courteous service, and develop long-term relationships with your customers.