By Mike Parsons
Hupp Electric Motors Co.
The purpose of this article is to provide the information you need to get the most effective and useful information from EASA’s Technical Support Department. This in turn helps you serve your customers quickly and efficiently.
Most of the information provided here is based on my own experience. I hope you find it beneficial.
Keep in mind that the quickest and most efficient way for members to contact EASA Technical Support is through EASA’s website by going to www.easa.com/resources/tech_support. You can submit an online general technical inquiry or data verification and redesign request through the website. Or if you prefer, you can fax in your technical support request by downloading and competing the appropriate forms.
But when you need to make a technical inquiry by phone, the first step is to have your company identification number ready. When the EASA receptionist answers the phone, you’ll be asked to provide that number before being connected to one of EASA’s technical support staff.
All questions are important
When making a technical inquiry, it’s important to feel comfortable. Don’t feel like your questions lack importance or the technical support staff has better things to do. I remember the first time I contacted EASA Senior Technical Support Specialist Chuck Yung. I had a question that I asked one of the employees in our service center. He said, “Mike, contact Chuck Yung at EASA and see what he thinks.” I responded, “I will look stupid asking this.” He smiled and replied, “Mike, the only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.”
I shook my head, went to computer and forced myself to type out my question and hit send.
Chuck answered me within the hour with an answer and I was able to take care of my customer much quicker than thumbing through manuals or searching for a white paper on the subject. I learned a lot that day.
As a member, you are entitled to technical support. Asking for help before you take action just once may save you enough money to pay your annual dues — and maybe more.
When I need to contact EASA Technical Support, I look at it in the same way as when a customer contacts me. There is specific information I need to help them as quickly and efficiently as possible. That is no different from when I contact EASA. We all have had the customer who takes half an hour to describe to us what should have taken five minutes. Then there’s the guy who gives you details and it’s like pulling teeth. Let’s not be either of those guys.
Benefits of technology
Technology today has made contacting EASA far easier than it once was. Years ago we only had the phone (a land line), the fax machine, and the postal service. Today we can call or email from practically anywhere in the world at any time. We can send pictures and/or test data from the service center floor or in the field. I find this extremely exciting and I wonder what it will be like 30 years from now.
Today, with digital cameras and smart phones it is possible to email photos of failures. This can be very nice when needing help with the root cause of a failure. Be sure to include the key details of the scenario leading to the failure and the nameplate data of the failed machine. When emailing pictures, it is helpful to send both a wide screen shot and a close-up of the failure. It is also helpful to include pictures of other conditions, e.g., if the motor has a rub, take a photo of the complete rotor; if the windings are blown, take a photo of the failure (include a close-up) of both ends of the windings, the stator core and the leads. It would not hurt to take a shot of the grease and the bearings. Capturing everything helps in seeing the big picture and helps in determining the cause of a failure or explain an anomaly.
You’re not a bother!
When calling in with an inquiry, I find it helpful to have my questions written down. I use a notebook and will have all my data written down and hopefully ready to answer any question. If you need to leave a message, don’t speak too quickly. I know I’m guilty of this sometimes and it goes back to that old feeling that I was bothering them. I’ve learned to relax. We will be less of a bother if we slow down so we are understood the first time.
I know this because of my experience of being on the receiving end of that kind of message from others. I’ve learned that it actually helps if we speak slower than normal. Leave yourself a message sometime. It may sound strange, but it doesn’t hurt practicing. You will see what I mean. Be sure to leave your company ID number, full name, company name & city, phone number with area code, and your extension.
Describe the problem first and then the background data. When we give them the question first they know where we are going as we relay the background information. This saves time.
After leaving a message, remember to have patience. They will treat every call as an urgent one unless we say otherwise. The staff is busy; they receive 75-100 calls a day.
When we are looking for help with winding data we need to be sure to state what it is we want. If we send data but don’t address what it is we need, that requires a followup call or email and delays the needed answer. On a rush overtime job when the customer is losing money per hour and you are doing everything possible to finish the job quickly, you can see how this could impact your company.
Organization is the key
When you have a technical inquiry, it is important that we are organized before we make contact and tell staff what the facts are as we know them. They are here to help us.
As I look back at that time when our employee first told me to contact EASA, I see that it still holds true today. Two heads are always better than one.