The manufacturing sector is facing increasing competition. Globalisation, the constant emergence of new players and new technologies means it is no longer possible for manufacturers to capitalise entirely on their products, they need to identify their differentiation. If players within the manufacturing industry are keen on developing an air of differentiation and their product and manufacturing process isn’t due to change anytime soon, maybe looking at how customers interact with the business is an itch to scratch. Customer service is an essential component for customer loyalty and company growth, as we have seen for decades in both the B2C and the B2B worlds.
The development of digital technology has transformed customers’ expectations, thus making them more demanding. They now want personalised experiences, support at all times and instant answers to their problems. Manufacturing companies must therefore pay particular attention to the management of their customer relations if they want to sustain their client base. In the age of Industry 4.0, manufacturers must maximise the availability of their products, the efficiency of their services and, above all, the experience of their B2B customers.
The sales process does not stop when a product has been purchased. The much neglected ‘Aftermarket’ is key for many manufacturers to analyse the total value that a product generates throughout its life cycle. This includes the cost of the product, spare parts, and diagnostic and repair services. A good customer relationship in the industry is thus partly based on the quality of a company’s after-sales service.
If manufacturers want to build better relationships with their customers, providing responsive and efficient customer service should be a priority for manufacturers. From helping with warranty issues, parts replacements, servicing, repair and maybe even user training depending on the product sold. With such an array of touchpoints with the customer, the manufacturer really has the opportunity to make a great impression, and turn the customer into a true advocate.
Any downtime or machine breakdowns that take the product offline can have a significant impact, particularly in terms of costs to the organisation. This is why clients expect first class service when purchasing goods. In the eras of online ordering, ecommerce, chatbots and even corporate whatsapp groups, how far does your aftermarket service go to reflect your product?
In SamsonVT’s free E-guide, you can read about the 5 simple steps that you can take to build an aftermarket service your product and your customers deserve.