CE Pro holds its annual CE Pro Summit each fall (this year it lands on Wednesday, Nov. 1 in Orlando), and sometimes during a panel discussion or networking session, inspiration can strike that leads to a great new idea. That's what happened to Max Angst, CEO of Los Angeles area integration firm MAXSYSTEMS, who has attended the summit every year for the past nine years.
“Sometimes we come back with a whole bunch of ideas,” says Angst. “The time we spend together talking about our businesses is repetitious because we’re all talking about the same things. But, you get those little tiny moments, those little bells, those little sparkling lights where you say, ‘I could do that,’ or, ‘I could do this better,’ or ‘I could have an app that people can connect with me on.’”
That app was Angst’s big takeaway from last year’s summit. He says it didn’t arise from one specific revelation while there, but a combination of factors that came from being in the environment with his industry peers, including his time speaking on a panel about reaching out to clientele and discussing business strategies with fellow attendees.
Angst was thinking about his business and what he could improve. He says MAXSYSTEMS is known for being a service company, and its ability to be reached by its customers is important to him and all his employees. So, he developed a way for them to quickly connect without having to search for an email address or phone number. Now, it’s available to them 24/7.
“We understand that in a customer’s mind there isn’t a whole lot of difference between noon on Monday and 5:00 on Friday on Christmas Eve,” says Angst. “The app gives us an ability to be responsive, and it gives the customer an easy way to know that we’re at arm’s reach no matter where they are.”
By setting up the app, MAXSYSTEMS customers can request service simply by touching a button on their smart device. They briefly describe their issue and can indicate its level of urgency. Their request is then sent to three different people in the office. Generally, someone from the team will respond to the customer in a matter of minutes.
The app officially launched in June, and Angst has been letting his customers know it is now operational with directions on how they can access it. He says the response from both customers and colleagues within the industry has been very positive.
“I don’t know of another trade that gets its top people together to talk about the industry every year,” says Angst. “We know what products are available, but we don’t always know what the philosophies are. We don’t always know who’s using what software and what pitfalls and what successes they have. And, out of two solid days of talking, you may end up with five minutes that are really important. But, that makes the summit worthwhile.”