Digitalisation of the after-sales service - Part 2: The challenges

At a time of digital and behavioural upheaval, offering a digital after-sales service appears to be a solution that responds to the needs of...

Mohamed BEN AYED
February 16, 2022

At a time of digital and behavioural upheaval, offering a digital after-sales service appears to be a solution that meets the various challenges of the business. However, for the digitalization of after-sales service to bear fruit, it is imperative to offer an experience that is as qualitative and effective as that of online purchasing.

Therefore, not all digital after-sales services are equal.

So what does it take to have a digital after-sales service that offers a similar experience to buying online?

1. Comprehensive services

Above all, a comprehensive, 100% online experience that offers services that are not only "responsive" but also complementary, related and innovative. This means covering all possible scenarios: workshop repairs, home interventions, spare parts orders.

2. Being able to decide and choose solutions

Then give the customer total autonomy so that they can carry out the job themselves: a very good level of intuitiveness, a fluid interface, and use artificial intelligence to replace the after-sales service advisor as much as possible.

3. Focus on omnichannel

Articulate the digital and the analog so that, for example, the customer can make an appointment online from home, but also receive the product and self-repair it when possible. But above all, an omnichannel solution that gives them the flexibility to switch between online, in-store and telephone customer service.

4. Be quick

Keeping in mind the pace and therefore the speed of the processes by reducing the entries that have already been made by the seller (invoice, product information, warranty eligibility) as well as by ensuring real-time monitoring of the various parameters (product location, repair status, delivery status, etc.).

5. Branding and harmonising experiences

It's about avoiding a disconnect between the buying experience and the after-sales service you offer by giving the feeling of an integrated journey:

  • Retain the brand's graphic charter because it is a moral and legal commitment
  • A true continuity of the purchasing experience, accessible from the orders in the customer area.

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What are the obstacles to the digitisation of after-sales services?

1. The financial issue

The salesperson tends to invest in the buying experience, which generates turnover, and the after-sales service is left out! However, while a bad after-sales experience can have a negative impact on a brand's image, the opposite is also true: a good after-sales service creates loyalty and generates new customers

2. The image of the SAV

Intrinsically linked to the first point, after-sales service is rarely highlighted because it is synonymous with problems, breakdowns, conflicts and, ultimately, customer dissatisfaction.

3. Its complexity

After-sales service is a complex area, with many technical, functional and organisational constraints. The complexity of these arrangements leads to a conservatism that hinders the desire to innovate in this field.

4. The diversity of actors involved

Several players, distinct from the seller, are involved in the after-sales service chain: suppliers, repairers, etc. Each of the parties involved in this process has a level of digital maturity. Also, they are rarely all at the same level, which generates interconnection difficulties.

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Although the conditions for a good digital after-sales service prefigure an innovative response to customer expectations, certain cultural and technical obstacles can discourage its implementation. To overcome these difficulties and develop an ambitious, intelligent and autonomous digital after-sales service, it is therefore necessary to consider the means and methods to be put in place. This is what we propose in our next post!

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