Removing the ‘friction’ from the last mile of customer service – Interview with Yuval Brisker of TOA Technologies

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Note: Tiny bits of friction

Today’s interview is with Yuval Brisker, the co-founder of TOA Technologies, which was picked in October 2013 as ‘A Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management’. Yuval joins me today to talk about what they are doing, what makes them stand out and how they are removing the ‘friction’ from the last mile of customer service.

This interview follows on from my recent interview: Real life lessons on how to build a social business – Interview with Bian Salins – and is number eighty four in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things and helping businesses innovate, become more social and deliver better service.

Note: Apologies for some minor issues on my voice during the interview……what can I say…..technology and technical hitches….that we were able to overcome. Apologies if it affects the interview. I’ve edited it and applied some magic and don’t think it is too bad. However, I’ll let you be the judge of that :)

Here are the highlights of my interview with Yuval:

  • The TOA in TOA Technologies stands for ‘Time Of Arrival’
  • TOA Technologies provides the most advanced, cloud based enterprise software solution for managing mobile employees when they are ‘in the field’ doing service, delivery, installations and maintenance activities.
  • Their solutions use patented predictive technology to help organizations reduce costs and improve customer service.
  • Yuval was previously an architect and brings a unique perspective to this space as he combines his design and engineering experience to cloud based services and software design.
  • He is also doing a part-time film studies course at New York University. Firstly, as that is a passion of his but, also, as he truly believes that studying different disciplines promotes creative thinking about and approaches to problems in business.
  • The combination of left-brain, right-brain thinking seems to be a thread that runs through TOA Technologies’ DNA as Yuval’s co-founder, Irad Carmi, was an accomplished professional classical musician (flute player) before moving into technology and software development.
  • TOA Technologies want to solve the consumer problem of people waiting and not knowing when a service delivery person or technician will arrive at their home/office.
  • At the root of solving this problem is understanding what people are doing in the field and how long it is taking them to do stuff.
  • Most companies plan the workday of their field employees based on company averages.
  • Averages are good for measuring trends but people are not averages and averages are not good for planning individual workdays.
  • TOA started out with the idea that with computing power, connectivity and data they could create a solution that personalises the planning, scheduling and monitoring of each individual employee. Their solution that does that is called ETA Direct.
  • They also use analytics to help them predict and schedule future work.
  • The solution also brings the customer into the ‘loop’ by proactively keeping them informed of the status of their impending appointment.
  • Using their technology they can set 1-hour appointments throughout the day with 98% accuracy.
  • In solving this problem, they have built a whole suite of software solutions that helps organisations with logistics end to end.
  • Often a customer’s experience with a delivery or service person at their home/office may be the only face-to-face experience that they have with your company. Therefore, their experience will set the whole trajectory of their relationship with that company.
  • TOA Technologies focus on two things: One, respecting a customer’s time; and, two, removing the ‘friction’ from the experience that they have with that company.
  • TOA Technologies was recently picked (October 2013) as ‘A Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management’.
  • The three reasons that Yuval believes that Gartner picked them are: One, they are the only true enterprise cloud provider in their field; Two, their use of predictive analytics to track, learn and manage individual workdays and schedules for better delivery of customer service; and, Three, their focus on design and usability of their software and mobile applications.
  • Triumvirate of customers: the logistics function, the mobile worker and the end recipient of service.
  • The use of their software delivers huge efficiencies to a company’s bottom line.
  • How companies choose to use that efficiency gain is up to them. Virgin Media, for example, use the time gain to allow their mobile workforce the flexibility to spend more time with their customers so that they can help them set up or customise their new/fixed equipment rather than having to rush off to their next appointment.
  • One way that TOA Technologies measures their success is how much time their technology saves their customers.
  • For Saleforce’s Dreamforce conference, TOA Technologies developed a fun app called TimeSnap which is the first global crowd-sourced clock. Check it out!

About Yuval (taken from his TOA Technologies bio)

Yuval BriskerYuval Brisker is co-founder of TOA Technologies, he is a passionate customer service advocate and the thought leader behind TOA’s unique focus on the customer experience. With Irad Carmi, Mr. Brisker envisioned a predictive solution for the infamous problem of customers “waiting for the cable guy.” Before founding TOA, Mr. Brisker had extensive experience growing and managing various technology-related ventures at MaxBill Inc., an international telecom billing software vendor in Israel, and at Visual Information in New York. Before founding Visual Information, Mr. Brisker practiced architecture in New York City with HOK. Mr. Brisker has a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Pratt Institute and a BS in Environmental Design from Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem; he is completing an MA in Film Studies from New York University.

You can connect with Yuval on LinkedIn here, say Hi to TOA Technolgies and Yuval on Twitter @toatech and @yuvalb. Finally, don’t forget to check out TOA Technologies website and Yuval’s blog.

Thanks to Josh DiMauro for the image.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adrian Swinscoe
Adrian Swinscoe brings over 25 years experience to focusing on helping companies large and small develop and implement customer focused, sustainable growth strategies.

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