PC Perfect Enterprise Services is a managed service provider that provides IT services to businesses. Their services include everything from Office 365 and Windows Servers to web hosting and network management to VoIP. Chris Williamson, IT Architect at PC Perfect, is always looking for ways to make the customer experience better. A long time Flowroute user, Chris decided to innovate with the tools available on the Flowroute developer portal to spin up a customer-centric solution to deliver fast and easy technical support at scale.
We recently caught up with Chris to better understand how his implementation of Flowroute SMS has changed the way he communicates with his customers.
In a few sentences can you summarize the origin and purpose of PC Perfect Enterprise?
We are a managed service provider that provides IT services to businesses in the Mid-Michigan area. We provide everything from Office 365 and Windows Servers to web hosting and network management to VoIP.
Was there a specific incident that led you to want the capability to offer text support to your customers?
I was on hold (I think it was with my ISP) one day and I started thinking about how difficult it is to get support from them. Nobody really has a good solution for this in the IT industry. Sure, online chat is great, but if your computer or internet isn’t working, that’s not going to help you. Some providers offer apps for support, but they tend to be clunky and nobody wants to install a third party app on their phone for tech support that they rarely use. Then it hit me – SMS is perfect for this use case. This is almost precisely what it’s designed for – send someone a message, and they can respond when they’re available to do so. It’s crazy that this option isn’t being offered by more businesses.
What was your technology stack for building out this project?
We have support and PC management software that I have personally built in-house (it even includes a neat HTML5 remote control app for controlling customer PCs). Flowroute’s API is very straightforward and easy to use. It is simply a matter of adding a PHP webhook and a few functions to send SMS messages. Then it was just a matter of splitting the messages into different chat sessions for agents to pick up based on caller ID and automatically pulling the customer’s information based on their phone number, if it is available.
How do you think the ability to utilize SMS differentiates or adds value to your customers and company as a whole?
I haven’t really seen this done yet in the industry. I think it gives us a real first-mover advantage. I plan to leverage this as a selling point as much as possible before others follow suit. When people want support, they want it now, and they don’t want to sit on the phone waiting for it. I think that our customers are going to be really excited about this new engagement channel.
Any future goals for utilizing SMS within your company?
It’s likely that I will replace our existing emergency paging systems that are using email gateways with direct SMS in the near future. We haven’t really had any reliability issues with using email gateways, but some carriers don’t offer them and it would be nice to not have to worry about which carrier each technician is using.
What led you to choose Flowroute as your provider?
We’ve been using Flowroute internally for many years. Since we made VoIP phone service a part of our product offering we have been able to add tremendous value for our existing clients who are excited to move away from their incumbent telco’s insanely high rates and lack of support. They love Flowroute for the same reasons we chose Flowroute many years ago, Flowroute is the easy and high-quality solution for all our communications needs.