Not only can telepresence robots help workers in factory or office settings, but they can also improve the customer experience. Medical technology provider Hill-Rom Services Inc. said it has expanded its educational processes and sales reach by using telepresence robots from Ava Robotics Inc. at its product showrooms in Irvine, Calif., and Batesville, Ind.
“There is momentum and excitement around tech like Ava,” said Pete Zawodniak, area vice president of sales at Hillrom. “But if we aren’t comfortable figuring out how to best use and package our technology, we can’t expect our customers to be. With Ava, our team feels confident that we can deliver a better customer experience than our competitors, and that confidence spreads beyond the sales team, throughout the company.”
Ava Robotics designs and builds intelligent robots for the workplace. The Cambridge, Mass.-based MassRobotics member said it focuses on user experience, safety, and autonomous mobility to empower people, while advancing business operations and access.
Scheduling a longstanding challenge
As a provider of healthcare connected-care products and services, Hillrom serves a high-profile customer base of large hospital and healthcare system executives. Accommodating schedules for on-site visits in their showrooms, even for small groups of three-to-five people, can be challenging, it said.
Well before the COVID-19 pandemic disruption, Hillrom was exploring new technologies for product demonstrations, educational workshops, and promotional events.
The company said it recognized the challenge its customers face in trying to satisfy complex schedules, geographical limitations and budget concerns. With Ava, Hillrom sales teams can livestream demonstrations globally.
Telepresence robots allow remote customers and prospects to experience physical products and understand how they’re used, and view supporting content in various formats in an inclusive, immersive way.
A telepresence robot at a Hillrom product showroom. Source: Ava Robotics
Hillrom integrates Ava with other platforms
While Hillrom's team initially focused on using Ava independently for demos and presentations, it recognized an opportunity to further the experience by bringing in existing equipment and additional screens to expand perspectives.
Ava Telepresence is fully integrated with Webex collaboration technology. It also offers use of multiple videoconferencing platforms, such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom, said Ava Robotics.
This combination of tools and technology allowed Hillrom to extend its sales reach by including unlimited remote attendees or subject-matter experts in the buying and decision-making process.
It also increased accessibility for rural/satellite and government facilities with limited travel budgets and capabilities, said the company.
“Hillrom understands the evolving hybrid work environment and is ahead of the curve in anticipating the changing workplace and related needs, like an enhanced sales and education experience for customers” said Marcio Macedo, co-founder and vice president of products at Ava Robotics. “Ava Telepresence Robots provide a compelling, reliable platform for virtual meetings and demonstrations without limits—showing what can be achieved and how workplace robots enable hybrid work.”
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