Why field service and aftermarket supply chain are key to improving customer experience
To remain competitive in today’s on-demand society, manufacturers are looking for every opportunity to optimise and automate the supply chain process. From initial conception through to production, meticulous planning is applied to every system and tool that goes into manufacturing a product. However, there is a final step that many don’t think to take. And that is improving the area of the business that interacts with your customers most often – your field service organisation.
The quality of customer interactions with durable goods manufacturers is becoming increasingly critical to company success. Customers expect services to be faster and more reliable than ever before, and this relies heavily on having an efficient aftermarket supply chain, which includes the field service team.
Aftermarket service shouldn’t be a headache
Most companies are well versed in the importance of reducing response times and empowering customers by providing the necessary information for them to fix issues on their own. But where many fall down is in the ability to provide the right part when it’s needed. In terms of aftermarket service, such as repairs, it’s all too often that the technician arrives on time, is highly-skilled and eager to help, but does not have the necessary part to get the job finished. Suddenly the investment in the field service management technology is hard to justify. And what’s worse, the customer is left unsatisfied and disgruntled.
So what’s the solution?
In reality, resolving these types of customer issues and experiences is perfectly feasible with the addition of service parts management and scheduling solutions. These technologies can integrate to ensure that when your technician arrives at the right place at the right time, they have the right part to repair whatever was broken in the first place.
Essentially, using technology within your field service organisation will result in three key benefits:
Better customer & technician relationships
By improving how and when a maintenance visit occurs, while also ensuring the adequate parts are in stock to provide time-efficient service, customers are more likely to view technicians as trusted advisors.
Technicians are the ‘face’ of the brand, and are the people who interact with your customers most often. Being able to repair a product quickly will not only save the customer time and money, it will also leave them with a positive brand experience.
You can predict upcoming maintenance
Using the right technology, manufacturers can quickly see any repeat patterns in repair jobs. For example, they can tell if technicians are making visits to multiple customers to repair the same issue on the same piece of equipment. This means it’s easier to predict when another customer may experience an issue in the future.
Increased technician capacity
Ensuring that technicians are stocked with the right parts and are able to repair products during the first appointment with a customer means they can make more visits each day. Ultimately, this will increase opportunities for business and improve ROI.
Businesses need to realise that the barriers for customers to switch providers are lower than ever. The landscape is becoming increasingly competitive, filled with more rival OEMs, but also with more independent service providers. By ensuring that your service part supply chain is as efficient as possible, you can drive more value from your field service operations. To remain competitive, make sure that your technicians are equipped with the right tools for the job, so you can provide the best possible customer experience.
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