We all have experience with good or bad restaurants and have developed our own criteria on how we rate them. These criteria ultimately decide whether we visit the restaurant again or recommend it to others. And in the same way as it is for you in the restaurant, it is for customers and prospective customers to interact with your company.
All of these experiences are called Customer Experience and comprise three factors:
Customer Experience is not limited to a single function in a company, but is an interdisciplinary topic. It extends across all media, communication channels and corporate divisions.
However, while many concentrate only on marketing, sales and delivery of their products and services, much potential in after-sales remains by the wayside. But this is exactly where there are undreamt-of opportunities to turn customers into fans or even brand ambassadors.
Products and machines alone offer hardly any differentiation potential in competition. Manufacturers are challenged to develop unique selling propositions in other areas and to retain customers in the long term.
The strategic and operative role of the service business has gained massively in importance over the last two decades. Manufacturers and their service organizations must actively shape this change and find the right focus. In order to skim off the growing profit streams, companies have to build up differentiation features against their competitors and strengthen customer relationships sustainably. This includes not only the development of appropriate offers and capacities, but also the assurance of the greatest possible customer satisfaction.
Customers' service requirements have changed drastically due to new usage and purchasing habits in the age of digitalization. Your organization must also adapt accordingly in order to remain successful. Because digitization not only changes products and processes, it also affects the demands of users. The usage habits of private life are increasingly being transferred to the business world. Customers expect the service to be available via various channels, as well as simple possibilities for error messages and short response times with satisfactory proposed solutions.
67% of B2B customers expect Omni-Channel communication from their business partners. To ensure customer satisfaction, successful service organizations must be able to handle a variety of tickets through multiple channels, even at peak times.
Increasing cost pressure and the low availability of resources force service organizations to use their existing resources highly efficiently. In addition, repair assignments are becoming increasingly special and complex. On the one hand, the operating budget of customers is declining and on the other hand, qualified technicians are hardly available. An uncoordinated dispatch of technicians in the field and incorrect route planning can lead to unnecessary idle periods and tie up important capacities. The use of technicians with an unsuitable skill set also leads to avoidable second appointments and customer dissatisfaction.
Without the use of digital diagnostic and troubleshooting tools, technicians remain up to 25% below optimal repair time. Enquiries accumulate and demand additional resources. More than every third service organization criticizes the efficiency of its own personnel scheduling and service planning. Since personnel is usually the largest cost block, service organizations must create the greatest possible efficiency in order to remain profitable.
The transformation to a proactive service is already mandatory and challenging. Customers' tolerance for downtime is constantly decreasing. They expect 100% availability of machines and products. An unexpected downtime of machines is a great nuisance for operators and service organizations. It causes production downtimes on the customer side and puts the service organization under pressure, as unforeseen deployments can lead to bottlenecks in day-to-day business. Quality and customer satisfaction suffer as a result.
Customers will trust the service provider who can guarantee the least downtime. In the near future, the service organization will be required to recognize and remedy imminent failures of production equipment before their effects become noticeable.
They enable the acceptance and processing of service requests via mutlichannel such as social media, contact forms and chatbots. At the same time, visibility and compliance with SLAs are guaranteed and tickets are systematically categorized. Coordinated management in a central system provides transparency, shortens response and processing times and thus increases customer satisfaction.
It automatically deploys technicians according to requirement profile (skills) and availability (location) and plans the fastest possible deployment. The optimized personnel disposition maximizes the efficiency in the operative business, releases new capacities and accelerates the problem solving massively.
This supports and relieves the technician in the field with dynamic checklists, access to knowledge databases and to the machine file. The use of mobile applications helps technicians to solve complex tasks systematically, shortens repair times and answers the first-time fix rate. At the same time, the apps help the technician with up- and cross-selling and make him a valuable sales representative.
You control service requests and involve the customer in the service process. The customer can transmit and retrieve information or order activities via the portal. In this way, the customer can contribute to solving the problem or solve minor problems independently. In addition, the customer receives comprehensive transparency about the course of the service process. The integration of the customer relieves the employees of the service organization and reduces the number of avoidable tickets, allowing the employees to focus on complex tasks.
These filter out general enquiries, communicate with customers in real time and are available at all times. As an upstream instrument, digital assistants reduce the effort of human interaction within the service organization and automate communication as well as simple tasks.
It provides the right resources at the right time. The planning of upcoming service orders through SLAs and IoT-based machine data reduces the number of unplanned deployments in day-to-day business. Real-time control and visibility of inventory and feedback with the ERP system ensure that materials are always available when they are needed. Long waiting times due to missing spare parts are thus drastically reduced and peak demand is better anticipated and controlled.