Panasonic reports significant benefits of ‘remote-first’ approach

Panasonic Heating & Cooling Solutions has reported that its IFS Remote Assistance solution has had a positive impact on improving customer service efficiency across Europe. The company reports that the initial response times have been improved, the remote diagnostic and fault resolution have been increased, and a higher customer satisfaction level was achieved. As the HVAC+R support teams throughout Europe have taken up the use of this tool, the appreciation for the benefits this technology provides has grown, and the need for on-site visits has decreased, reducing the environmental impact on travel and improving the customer’s overall experience.

When a customer contacts the Panasonic Service Department, an online video session, either by PC or mobile device, is initiated and this primary function is used to help determine the root cause of the issue. As the remote connection is compatible with all devices, the connection needed does not require any bespoke software to be downloaded. This provides Panasonic’s response team the chance to connect to the site directly to share videos and see the issues presented to determine the best course of action for the customer. This ‘remote access first’ approach has helped to focus activities where they are needed and provides the Panasonic Service Team with the resources to help their customers efficiently and without the need for excess travel.

Richard Bishop, Head of Marketing for Panasonic UK and Ireland explains: “We take customer service very seriously, and with this new approach, we are now able to provide the same level of technical advice as previously, but we are now doing it remotely. This means that the costs are reduced, travel is reduced and it’s much more efficient. For example, for a heating breakdown, where previously it may have meant that the customer would have to wait a day or two for an engineer to visit, has now been reduced to a mere matter of minutes, leaving the heating system operational again and the customer thrilled that we have attended to the situation quickly and effectively. We see many benefits coming from this flexible and dynamic tool. For example, it will be extremely useful for on-site training, especially when HVAC+R engineers are unable to physically attend a Panasonic training centre but can virtually join through the IFS Remote Assistance tool. This will provide the same level of interactive training they would be able to have on site.”

This system has so far been deployed across Europe, with Germany, Italy and the UK taking particular interest in the option to use this solution as it provides an easy-to-use tool for sharing videos, audio and text data from live projects on site. Not only can these high-quality videos and other sources be used as evidence for reporting the service issue, but they have also proved very useful when providing training to customers, who may not have the technical knowledge of that of a HVAC+R engineer and need the extra support when dealing with a difficult on-site issue.

The technical knowledge that this resource has provided has proved extremely useful and has been wildly shared across the Panasonic’s teams to enhance their regularly deployed skills and allow the teams to share their technical passion through this new, and exciting platform. This remote assistance resource may also make it possible to expand the future use of the tool to also provide on-site commissioning support for the installers, reducing the need to attend the site at all.

The IFS Remote Assistance solution has been proven to have many successful benefits to both the customer and the technical teams involved, and it will continue to prove to Europe and its other beneficiaries that this resource is currently the best of its kind on the market.

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