Digitalising after-sales service a lever for carbon impact

After-sales service often requires a lot of travel during interventions. Its digitalization is an action for the environment.

May 12, 2022

These days we talk a lot about global warming and the carbon impact on our planet. We know that there are national and global solutions being proposed today and more to come. Today, I would like to talk about reducing carbon impact through the digitalisation of the after-sales service.

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Since the advent of e-commerce, the shopping experience has been simple, convenient and seamless, with carbon neutral delivery in most cases. The same cannot be said of the after-sales experience, which is tedious, frustrating and involves a lot of travel from home to shop to repairer to supplier, with environmental impacts.

The challenge today is to offer an after-sales experience that is as pleasant as the purchase experience, but also to reduce the carbon impact of traditional after-sales service in order to remain in line with the objectives of the circular economy, of which after-sales service is a part.

In just a few clicks, the consumer can independently launch an after-sales service procedure, intervene directly and carry it out from start to finish until the complaint is resolved. Thanks to online shipping like e-commerce and online appointment booking like doctolib, there is no need to go to the shop. Thus, multiple trips to the shop will be avoided.

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Carbon reduction in figures

We will make an empirical calculation to put a value on this reduction in carbon impact based on the number of complaints resolved in self-care for one of our clients.

If we consider that the average journey between a consumer and the shop is 4km, a request for after-sales service requires at least 16km of travel by car (2 return journeys). Knowing that one kilometre by car emits on average 0.17kg of CO2. From the consumer's point of view, an after-sales claim therefore emits 2.72kg of carbon.

If we take the case of a customer who handles 100,000 service complaints per year, which corresponds to 272 tonnes of carbon saved for our planet, this corresponds to 272 return trips from Paris to New York by plane or 272 tonnes of paper.

Thanks to digital technology, other "carbon emission" optimisations are achieved, such as paperless and digital interconnection of contacts. In most cases, an after-sales complaint requires an acceptance document, a quotation and a report. These documents represent about 1.5 tons of paper for every 100,000 claims.

If we want to push the envelope further, a digital after-sales experience could offer self-diagnosis and or self-repair to save us from some of the false claims related to faulty usage. Such solutions will have an optimal carbon impact by reducing not only the consumer's journeys but also the product's.

By joining the digital age, after-sales service can reduce our carbon impact on the planet and will actively participate in decelerating global warming.

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