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Bell has launched the next generation of its MyBell customer portal, which now provides all Bell owners and operators access to the OEM’s online parts marketplace and opens up more self-service capabilities.
Among the more eye-catching additions is the ability for customers to now purchase spare parts directly through the portal with a credit card — a brand new capability.
Additional features include a new warranty system, and the ability for customers to submit questions or issues and track the status of Bell’s response.
Ronnie Ries, head of commercial marketing and customer experience at Bell, said the MyBell customer portal has been in development since January 2018. The system first went online later that year, providing customers the ability to single sign-on (using one user ID for multiple functions) and get to technical publications, with further capabilities added over time.
“Our goal was to create a one-stop-shop for everything that you need from Bell customer service and support, whether that’s buying parts or accessing information about the status of your issue, to contacting different areas of our support network,” said Ries. “We’re trying to make it as easy as possible for our customers to do self-service and get the answers and parts they need as quickly as possible.”
Ries called the March 23 rollout of the latest customer portal features “the highlight” of the two-year process, as it integrates a customer’s access to tech pubs, their spare parts experience, and their case management experience.
The capabilities of the system were informed by Bell’s customer advisory board, with the company also keen to have a more direct relationship with owners and operators of smaller fleets of aircraft.
“Having the ability to buy parts directly from us through a credit card is a feature that many of them have been asking for for a long time,” said Ries.
Bell is also excited about the portal’s “community feature,” which provides the status-tracking function of submitted issues.
“Whether it’s a product support issue, a spares order, or a training academy question, [customers] have insight into when it was submitted, who submitted it at their company, and what the status and actions are that we provided feedback on,” said Ries. “They have a history of not only what issues they have today, but also [the issues they had] a few months ago, and they have the understanding of how Bell supported them through those issues.”
The new customer portal is available to customers around the world, and Ries pointed out the utility of having such a capability during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“By empowering our customers more now with the MyBell experience, ordering through a single sign-on experience, allowing them to add their own users or change the permissions themselves. . . . In a very digital world where many of us are sitting at home, this digital enterprise and digital transaction space is something that we couldn’t be more proud of launching right now.”
However, Ries said the manufacturer is mindful of using the online system to enhance its existing channels of customer communication rather than replace them.
“What we didn’t want is to become purely a digital interface that loses that Bell touch that customers have known and love about the self-service that they can get through our technical reps, our order administrators, and the people they have had relationships with for years,” he said.
For straightforward transactions, the new portal should be able to provide the easiest way for customers to get what they need, said Ries. But for things like aircraft on ground (AOG) issues, customer service engineers and account reps are still just a phone call away.
“Those longstanding relationships allow us to understand not only what the customer is going through, we also understand their business and how critically important it is to resolve those issues and how to do it best,” he said.
This latest addition of capabilities is the penultimate part in the transition of the customer portal experience, Ries added.
“It’s not the end — we plan to continue to enhance the system and provide more capabilities going forward.”