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Why is Customer Experience (CX) so crucial in After-sales?

In the field in which the majority of our customers operate in (manufacturing industry), I quite often come upon companies, which cater to their existing customers’ after-sales needs (service, support, maintenance, spare parts) by just offering an e-mail address or a telephone number to contact in case something breaks.

As I wanted to understand these companies better and research the current trends in after-sales services and the challenges they might be facing in the domain, I recently subscribed to Gartner’s Service and Support leader digest.

The most recent issue (volume 2, 2019) emphasizes the importance of self-service solutions in customer service and support offerings. Why is self-service important? What is there to gain for companies manufacturing and selling products?

Why is self-service important?

After reading the recent issue, I would summarize that there are two arguments in favor of self-service solutions:

  1. Faster time to resolution in customer service and after-sales needs
  2. Lower operating costs in arranging customer service and after-sales activities

My first point, time to resolution: According to Gartner’s study, the more support and service channels you offer your customers, the longer it will take your customers to get their issues resolved, as customers can’t solve their problem over the first contact channel, and might have to navigate over multiple ones. In the survey, Gartner demonstrates that companies that offer their customers a higher number of contact channels are the same companies that also perform the worst in promptly solving their customers’ issues:

To simplify, if your customers are not getting their after-sales and maintenance issues resolved fast enough, you should not add more contact channels but rather improve your already existing channels, emphasize the use of self-service, and possibly remove a redundant service channel altogether.

The second point, operating costs. Now this might be obvious to some readers, but employing two persons to answer phone calls and type in spare part orders or file in maintenance requests is going to be more costly for your organization than providing your customers with a self-service solution that can be online and available 24/7 for their needs. And using multiple channels for issue resolution is even more expensive! (as you can see from below Figure 5.)

Thus, we can conclude

  • Having more contact channels leads to higher costs
  • Maintaining human-assisted contact channels leads to higher costs
  • Maintaining fewer channels and providing better functioning self-service can help you lower costs

Now, when you are convinced, you should offer your customers a self-service solution for after-sales, you should make sure that you are at the same time offering top-notch Customer Experience (CX). If you fail to deliver sufficient CX, your customers will defect your self-service channel and resort to alternative contact channels (phone, e-mail, fax, visit your office, etc), which will effectually drive up operating costs for you as well as increase time to resolution for your customers.

Customer Experience is crucial in after-sales because:

  • It makes your customers happier because they get their issues resolved faster
  • It saves you operating costs in after-sales operations, as you don’t have to maintain multiple channels to complement the non-functioning ones

What was not mentioned in the Gartner publication, but what I see as an added benefit of better CX in after-sales is

  • You have a possibility of increasing revenues in after-sales (easier to sell spare parts and product upgrades)
  • You can improve your brand image and recognition through a better service offering

CT PUBLISHER and CX?

As the name of this web page indicates, ATR Soft Ltd. has developed a solution for providing better Customer Experience in after-sales. CT PUBLISHER is a one-stop-shop for all your customers’ after-sales and maintenance needs. They can log in securely over the web, on any device, any time of the day, and access only those products which they have purchased from you. The solution stores all relevant product information in one place.

Your customers can use the powerful search functions and intuitive visual models of your product to find correct spare parts or related documentation for the product they had purchased from you, and with just a few clicks, your customers can identify the right spare part, add it to a shopping cart and send the order (which the system will automatically e-mail you or even create a purchase order in your ERP system if you wish).

You can also provide your customers with documentation, instructive videos or checklists for service, which you can connect directly to relevant parts in your product structure. Having all relevant maintenance information readily available will empower your customers to solve most of the product issues by themselves, without actually having to contact you in most cases.

If you read this far, you are probably intrigued, who are the companies already benefiting from this solution? One of our first customers and I might also add the most successful users of CT PUBLISHER is Sonaca Aircraft from Belgium. In my next blog post, I will detail how they are streamlining their after-sales processes and generating extra revenue with the solution.

If you can’t wait, you can also schedule a demo with me today!

 

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CONTACT DETAILS

Olli Murto

Sales, Licensing

olli.murto(@)atrsoft.com

+358 407 784 386

Contact info

Olli Murto
Sales, Licensing

olli.murto(@)atrsoft.com
+358 407 784 386

Company

ATR Soft Oy
Joukahaisenkatu 1
20520 TURKU
+358 20 712 9620
atrsoft(@)atrsoft.com
www.atrsoft.com

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