A large part of our changing world is the continuation of emerging technologies that are affecting after-sales services. From drones, to augmented reality, IoT, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, and more, it’s clear that after-sales service needs to adapt alongside with these changesBut what’s changing the most rapidly? Customer service expectations.

In this constantly connected world, customers have access to the same (if not more) information as manufacturers. In some instances, customers can find reviews, competitive information and faster than a manufacturer even knows it exists.

With over 53 million millennials working their way into the customer landscape and workforce, today’s manufacturers must think differently about their changing customers and invest in technology designed to optimize the performance of their after-sales service. It’s time to stop looking at millennials as the generation that’s “killing” our economy, but instead as the ones who are taking it by storm.

In our newest eBook, “2018 After-sales Service Predictions: Strategies for Empowering Manufacturers to Deliver Game-Changing Value,” we asked some after-sales service industry thought leaders to share their insights on what this change in the customer landscape will look like in 2018, and here’s what Siemens’ Carsten Knudsen, along with Syncron’s Anders Grudén and Johan Stakeberg had to say.


Carsten Knudsen on increased transparency as a competitive differentiator.

An outstanding product is no longer a significant competitive differentiator. Today’s customers expect ‘just-in-time’ service, where repairs, maintenance and updates are performed before it ever becomes an issue for the customer. Digitization and globalization have created a homogenous world, and brand loyalty no longer carries much weight in the decision-making process. If one brand isn’t performing up to a customer’s standards, they will switch to a competitor. To win, manufacturers must outperform in lead-time, quality and price.

In today’s ever-evolving world, transparency is more important than ever. The connected world we live in creates an opportunity for manufacturers to connect their internal technologies and processes, making operations more visible than ever. It’s critical for teams to see immediate results of their work and see it benchmarked against competitors’ performances.

Anders Grudén on redefining service to meet evolving customer service expectations.

It’s no secret the world is changing, and it’s changing fast. A big part of this change includes evolving customer service expectations. Today’s customers expect quick, reliable service on demand. For manufacturers, this especially impacts after-sales service. The status quo is no longer sufficient, and companies must invest in human capital, new technologies and business practices to succeed.

So, how can manufacturers adapt to these major social, demographic and economic trends, while still increasing customer satisfaction and improving financial performance? Redefine service.

Johan Stakeberg on fading brand loyalty and the risks manufacturers face today.

As manufacturers are continuing to seek new and alternative ways to boost margins and revenue, they face more disruptors than ever. One of the most prominent risks comes from third-party parts providers entering the service parts space, especially companies based in far-east and African countries and major ecommerce players like Amazon and Alibaba.

Manufacturers must adopt new business practices and invest in sophisticated cloud-based technologies that enable them to remain competitive – and win – against these large, well-known brands. Customers will pay for convenience, and brand loyalty is less of a factor than ever, so the manufacturers that succeed will make the necessary enhancements to compete.

Simply put, we’re in the middle of one of the most impactful demographic shifts we’ll experience in our lifetime. Millennials are well on their way to becoming the largest generation in the global workforce and the evolving customer landscape. And, this tech savvy, always connected, social media enabled generation has a reputation of being impatient and needing immediate gratification; especially when it comes to service demand.

Customers’ rising after-sales service expectations and increased competition for new product sales are driving manufacturers to move beyond the status quo and embark on journeys to transform their after-sales service functions and look for new ways to impact revenue and profits. It’s a game of survival of the fittest, and only the manufacturers who embrace the evolving expectations will make it out alive.


Want more insight into 2018? Download our ebook today to hear more from some of the industry’s thought leaders on the major trends manufacturers will see in 2018 and beyond, and how to implement new business processes and technologies to win.

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