This summer, senseFly announced Always On, a new service package designed to keep professional drone operators flying. What inspired this new service package and how can eBee Plus drone operators benefit from it? Waypoint spoke with the company’s Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Jean-Thomas Celette, to find out.
Hi Jean-Thomas. Can you please start off by explaining what Always On is about?
Yes, of course. Always On is a new service offering that is available as a bundle option alongside every new eBee Plus drone purchase. The service guarantees that operators will be able to run their business with minimal disruption and at a fixed cost. We guarantee this by providing free replacements within 48 hours, with services and spare parts included.
Always On customers basically get a professional-grade, market-leading drone and software, packaged with the kind of professional-grade service level that we’ve come to expect with large professional machinery, vehicles and IT equipment.
What inspired senseFly to develop this offering?
Well, we try to listen carefully to our customers and to industry professionals who are interested in adopting drone technology, in order to properly identify their needs and concerns.
In doing this, we saw that large corporations and smaller companies alike would sometimes have doubts about the long-term cost of drone operations, particularly if they had used smaller consumer-type drones before. It was difficult for people to understand the cost upfront, before buying.
We saw an opportunity to address these concerns and give our customers peace of mind, by guaranteeing that they would always be able to operate their business. And we do this by enabling eBee Plus operators to virtually eliminate the issue of project disruption. And, while there is no comparable offer in the drone industry, this type of service is often offered for heavy or professional equipment.
Think about a bulldozer or a drill on a mine or quarry site—if there is an issue, you need a replacement or your equipment to be repaired within a short, guaranteed time frame, and that quick, stress-free fix is what we’re providing.
What, in your view, is the most valuable aspect of Always On?
Always On is really about giving customers extra peace of mind. First class, professional-grade customer service has always been one of the key benefits of buying a senseFly solution, and the eBee platform is known for its reliability and robustness. By adding free replacements, guaranteed in 48 hours, with free servicing and parts, we really have something that nobody else in the market is offering their customers.
Can you talk us through an example Always On scenario, in other words the step-by-step of how it works?
Well, if a customer needs a replacement for their eBee Plus—maybe a car comes and parks in their landing spot at the last minute (these things happen!)—and they have the Always On service package, then all they need to do is contact their local senseFly representative. Then, one of our Customer Service & Satisfaction engineers will do a quick remote diagnosis via phone or email, before dispatching a replacement unit. That replacement unit is guaranteed to arrive within two days, allowing the customer to pick up where they left off—carrying on with their UAV work like nothing happened.
What type of operator is likely to benefit the most from Always On?
I believe it will benefit large operations that run their UAVs at a high pace, with multiple flights every day. But then, at the same time, that’s not to say there aren’t many smaller companies that also want that peace of mind. Lost time, which can mean lost earnings, is an issue for every operation after all, big or small.
Can we expect Always On to be rolled out in other regions beyond the US and if so, when?
We will roll out Always On across different regions based on the market demand. For the first phase of our rollout, the demand in the US seemed to be the highest, as drone operations there are already highly professionalised and thus the need for Always On is the greatest. However, we’re already receiving lots of requests from other regions as well, so we’re currently evaluating this demand.
Update: As of August 31, 2017, Always On has been extended to Canada.
And if someone is interested in Always On for their business? What’s there first step?
Great, thanks for filling us in, Jean-Thomas.
It was my pleasure.