It Actually is Rocket Science

Sometimes inspiration comes from unexpected places. Like space and a government agency.

NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) is shrewdly launching (pun intended) the GOES-16 satellite and sharing their excitement with the public.

Service contractors can learn from two things that NOAA did exceptionally well:

  1. They engaged their audience throughout the process of adding new technology
  2. The way they shared data made it meaningful to their audience

NOAA has been building awareness of GOES-16 for months. The communication picked up when the new weather imaging satellite was nearing launch in Nov 2016. Now that GOES-16 is in orbit, NOAA shared the first images from the new satellite.  

Follow the GOES-16 Launch Sequence

You can build a lot of goodwill and interest in new customer service technology you’re putting in place if you include customers early in the process.

  1. Tell customers it’s coming
  2. Give them updates throughout the launch
  3. Once you’re up and running, share information and give it context
  4. Give examples how the new technology will help you do better work for them
  5. Repeat #3 and #4 liberally

Then answer their question: What’s in it for me?

Like NOAA’s shiny new toy, great customer service technology can help your company provide customers with rich information, like photos, to help them make informed decisions. However, like the images collected by the GOES-16, the pictures you can collect in the field require technical expertise to understand. Fortunately, NOAA has provided another great example of customer education to overcome this technical hurdle.

NOAA smartly used photo captions to explain their new technology: How it’s better, what it tells us that it didn’t before, and what they’ll do with this information. They did a great job of this in just a few simple words. Click through to their website for the full article, or here are some examples that you can click to enlarge.










Photos from your service calls are critically important, but a lot of times they aren’t enough to tell your customers exactly what you want them to know.

  • Don’t just share raw data, tell people what they’re seeing
  • Don’t let them draw incorrect conclusions, apply your expertise to explain the current situation and how it could impact their future
  • Tell them why it’s better than what you gave them in the past
  • Share your enthusiasm and excitement! 

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2 replies
  1. Robert Baird
    Robert Baird says:

    This is an area of Service Trade that our company would really like to utilize via Service Link. However the process to utilize the photo option is very limited and cumbersome. In our services we take hundreds of photos every day. Service Trade’s ability to arrange, comment/caption is basically non existent. Additionally, within the Service Link to the customer, the view “file” option is lacking both in the way the customer can view the photos sequentially (to small) and downloading photo(s) (has to be done individually). For the exhaust cleaning business and our company specifically, the matter of a quality viewing experience of before and after photos, sets our company apart from almost all other companies. If you want to help to make exhaust cleaning companies more professional and enhance the customer experience, the Service Link photo option needs work. If Service Link would allow the customer view to be like The NOAA example you presented, would be a really go start.

    By the way, our company enjoys utilizing ST as our primary service software. We have found it to be extremely stable and customer service has always been excellent. Keep up the good work.

    • Shawn Mims
      Shawn Mims says:


      Thanks for the feedback and I wholeheartedly agree that ServiceTrade could do a better job at helping you manage and display pictures to your customer. Fortunately, this fits right into our greater vision of helping our customers (you) improve the way you engage with your customers online to provide them with the information they need to make good decisions about their facilities and equipment. I can’t tell you exactly when we will be improving the service link to better serve your use case, but I can guarantee that you will see plenty of improvements to the customer-facing features within the application over the coming years.


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