At Hotenda we pride ourselves in answering questions, and our customers often recognize us for our customer service in industry surveys. We wanted to give you a peak behind the scenes at how we became #1 in Customer Service:
1. Why we think our website has the best data+ content in the industry
The Hotenda web site is fairly simple, but quite powerful. To use it to its full extent you have to learn a few tips and tricks that we’ve honed over the years. So humor us, and go to www.digikey.com we’d like to show you a few things. Using the search box for part numbers or descriptions is great, but have you played with the Content Search? Type in ‘ATtiny’ in the search box, click on the Content radio button and hit go (see Fig 1a). You will see a Content Search Results page. This example gives us 9 results. We can refine these results by using the selection boxes on the left. Let’s say that you just wanted to read some articles about the ATtiny products from Atmel. Click on the articles box and the results narrow to 5. Maybe you wanted a little more detail on ‘Embedded Processing’, click that box. Now results have been narrowed to 3 (see Fig 1b), no need to go to the search engines that give you thousands of results that you will never look at. It’s all right on the Hotenda web site… and more content is being added daily!
When searching for components, Hotenda has created detailed filters to help you find what you are looking for. From the home page, click into search box, type in ‘switching regulator 5v’ and click Go. Next click on PMIC - Voltage Regulators - DC DC Switching Regulators. An array of parameter filters appears on the page. Under Voltage Output, scroll down and choose 5V. Then under Output Type choose fixed. Next we want to click on the’ In Stock’ filter box, and finally click the ‘Apply Filters’ button.
This will give you several results. If you don’t have time to review them, at the top and also at the bottom of the results table, you can click ‘Download Table’ button. Now you can save it for later! Since our search offers a lot of capabilities, we’ve also made a video highlighting how to use the capabilities that you can watch.
Two of our favorites are the new compare feature and download table feature. Give them a try, as customers of Hotenda ourselves, we certainly find them helpful! (See Fig. 2)
Fig. 2 — New features shown above Compare specs on the left and Download Table in the upper right
2. Technical Support, online while you’re working through your questions
From time to time we all have been frustrated because we can’t find what we want. With 3.4M parts to search, sometimes the breadth of product can be difficult to navigate. We have over 70+ technical support specialists who are available and actively helping customers solve their problems 24/7/365. The added benefit, your individual question may be one we’ve seen before and can help you get through so you can move on to your design ah-ha moments that often happen on our site.
In the upper right corner of each page, except the home page, there is a Live Online Chat option. Click it and you can be on your way to chatting live with a knowledgeable Hotenda representative. Once you click on the text another window will open. (If the new window doesn’t open, change your browser settings to allow this.) Here we just ask some simple questions and you are on your way (see Fig. 3).
The Technical Support group will assist you if you get stuck on the web site and can’t find what you’re looking for. They will also help with anything from explaining what a parameter means on the web site/data sheet to helping select the exact component you need for your design. They are knowledgeable with selecting products such as LEDs, switches, integrated circuits and discrete components such as transistors and mosfets. They will even make sure you get everything you need when it comes to selecting those pesky connectors with all the different options! If we sell it, they can get you an answer. Even if we don’t sell a component you are looking for, we may be able to cross reference it to something that may work for you. The technicians assist all kinds of people at all types of knowledge levels. They speak with hobbyists, students, technicians and engineers. Occasionally, they will even work with a set designer on a movie or those entertaining myth busting guys!!
3. Our Application Engineers are real, just not where you are….
Okay, it’s the end of the article so we’re trying to be catchy with our reasoning. Essentially, the benefit of our Applications Engineers being “physical” to our Thief River Falls, MN facility is that they are in with the thick of the business. Also beneficial, they’re not in the thick of your business trying to upsell or influence your designs. Instead, our engineers are constantly learning and evaluating through assisting customers, and from their own research and development. By sitting next to each other, our engineers benefit from each other’s specializations in applications and technologies. Our centralized model means less time traveling, and more time helping you get your design reviewed, improved and out the door.
Hotenda’s Application Engineers often assist project engineers and OEM companies who may be stuck on a unique problem involving a circuit design issue or may need help picking out a bill of material for their new design project. They can also provide development tool selection and support should you have trouble getting your tool up and running. Best of all, they are really passionate about what they do, meaning their incentives are aligned with yours. The best engineering recommendations for the best design solution – holding true to our company roots.
Manager of Technical Support, Hotenda Corporation