Efficient after-sales communication: How digitalization curtails the “Tennis Match”

Jan 26, 2024

Almost 77% of business leaders agree that offering personalized customer service leads to higher customer retention (Zendesk, 2023). Picture this: a world where after-sales communication isn’t a headache but your organization’s strength.

In the fast-paced realm of OEMs and machine distributors, the post-sale process often becomes a tangled web of emails, calls, and missed opportunities.

What if there was a way to streamline this chaos? This article dives into the power of digitalization in after-sales communication, exploring how it changes interactions, boosts aftermarket sales, and strengthens customer relationships.

Here’s what we will do:

  • Unpack the challenges and solutions of After-Sales Communication
  • Explore strategies to maximize Customer Service
  • Discover the best digital strategies for efficient After-market Communication

As we delve into the dynamics of digital transformation in after-sales communication, it’s important to recognize the role of tools like Makula. Makula stands out with its intuitive features, simplifying otherwise complex processes and allowing businesses to concentrate on growth and development. This tool is making the journey towards digitalization more manageable and strategically advantageous.

The Current State of After-Sales Communications

In the world of OEMs and machine distributors, after-sales communication often relies on traditional methods. Phone calls, lengthy email threads, manual documentation, and even WhatsApp messages are the norm.

This scattered approach consumes valuable time and leaves room for error and miscommunication. It’s a familiar scene, yet one that begs for innovation. 75% of customers desire a consistent experience regardless of the medium used (Salesforce, 2023).

Traditional Methods of After-Sales Communications

Phone and email dominate after-sales conversations. But let’s face it: these methods are time-consuming and often inefficient. Manual documentation is prone to human error, and instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp, while quick, lack organization and official record-keeping. This disjointed communication mosaic isn’t just outdated; it’s a hurdle in today’s fast-paced market.

Impact on Customer Satisfaction and Business Efficiency

Customer satisfaction can plummet when responses are slow or miscommunications occur. For businesses, this inefficiency means lost time and resources, directly impacting the bottom line.

In a world where speed and accuracy are king, sticking to old ways can leave you trailing behind. It’s high time for a change, and digitalization might just be the key to transforming customer service into an integrated business function (PwC, 2023).

Pressing Challenges in After-Sales Communications

The after-sales journey is riddled with challenges with almost 60% of customers saying they will switch to a competitor after just one bad customer service experience (Zendesk, 2022).

From endless back-and-forths to logistical nightmares, these issues can turn post-sale support into a complex puzzle for OEMs and machine distributors.

Navigating this maze requires a keen eye and a smart approach.

  1. Back-and-Forth Communication

Frequent back-and-forth communications test client patience and lead to inefficiencies. Constant clarification requests and follow-ups are time-consuming and often frustrating for both parties. This endless cycle can significantly hamper productivity and customer experience. 46% of businesses have lost one or more clients due to poor communication (Zippia, 2023).

Let’s understand with a short example. You receive a call from your customer who requires a spare part. When you inquire about the spare part, the customer has no idea and emails or texts you the image. Then your maintenance team manually identifies the spare part servicing the customer. The whole process is highly inefficient and with huge waste of time and resources.

  1. Traceability Problems

Without a centralized system, tracing the history of customer interactions becomes a maze of lost threads and forgotten conversations. This lack of traceability can lead to repeated issues and customer dissatisfaction.

Similarly, in the absence of streamlined processes, response times suffer. Delays in addressing customer needs or queries can significantly impact client satisfaction and trust. Timely responses are critical in maintaining a positive customer relationship.

  1. Fragmented Information Flow

Workers may spend up to 17 hours a week resolving ambiguous messages from customers (Zippia, 2023). Information often gets scattered across different platforms. This fragmentation means key details are misplaced or overlooked, creating gaps in the service provided. Such disorganization can lead to inconsistent service delivery and increased operational challenges.

Moreover, miscommunications are common in traditional after-sales processes. Ambiguities in emails or phone conversations can lead to incorrect assumptions and unhappy customers. Clear, concise communication is vital to avoid costly errors and maintain customer trust.

Digitalization: The Game Changer in After-Sales Communications

In the landscape of after-sales communication, digitalization provides a competitive edge. It transforms cumbersome, manual processes into streamlined, efficient operations. For OEMs and machine distributors, using digitalization is a strategic move to stay competitive and responsive in a dynamic market. Digital solutions bring a plethora of advantages: speed, accuracy, and unparalleled traceability.

Enhanced Customer Engagement

By using personalized communication strategies, digitalization fosters stronger, more meaningful relationships with customers. The ability to provide immediate feedback improves the efficiency of services and boosts customer satisfaction. Moreover, the use of digital platforms ensures accessibility around the clock, offering support whenever customers need it.

Increased Operational Efficiency

The introduction of digital solutions in after-sales services greatly increases operational efficiency. These technologies automate routine inquiries, which drastically reduces response times and frees up resources for more complex tasks. This automation, along with the streamlined workflow facilitated by various digital tools, optimizes the entire after-sales process, making it more effective and less prone to errors.

Cost-Effective Solutions

Cost efficiency is another significant benefit of digitalization in after-sales communications. By reducing the need for a large physical infrastructure and minimizing overhead costs, businesses can allocate their resources more strategically. Furthermore, the automation of many after-sales tasks lowers the requirement for extensive manpower, leading to substantial cost savings and a leaner, more efficient operation.

Benefits of Implementing Digital Platforms in After-Sales Processes 

The shift to digital platforms in after-sales processes is a strategic move with tangible benefits. OEMs and machine distributors using digital tools witness improved response times, enhanced customer satisfaction, and a significant boost in operational efficiency. This digital leap is key to staying relevant and competitive in a rapidly evolving market.

Self-Serve Approach for Customers

4 in 10 customer agents say that they become angry when customers cannot complete basic tasks themselves (Zendest, 2023). The self-serve approach pioneered by digital platforms like Makula translates to higher efficiency for OEMs. It streamlines internal communication, allowing customers to access information and services independently. This approach empowers customers and frees up valuable resources, enabling OEMs to focus on more strategic tasks.

Additionally, the self-serve approach significantly reduces the workload on customer support teams. This shift enhances overall productivity by allowing these teams to concentrate on more complex issues that require direct intervention. This leads to higher satisfaction but also cultivates a stronger sense of loyalty towards the OEM or distributor, as customers appreciate the empowerment and convenience offered by such digital tools.

Makula as a Pioneering Digital Platform

Makula.io showcases cutting-edge solutions like work order management, parts and inventory solutions, customer portals, and digital maintenance forms. These tools streamline the entire after-sales process, from tracking work orders to managing inventory efficiently. Digital maintenance forms and customer portals offer an unprecedented level of clarity and ease in service requests and management.

  1. Work Order Management

Work order management enables control over maintenance and service processes, enhancing operational efficiency and customer satisfaction in after-sales scenarios. The product facilitates seamless collaboration and real-time tracking, vital for effective after-sales communication and service delivery. For OEMs, the tool offers transparent service reports, crucial for building trust and maintaining strong after-sales relationships with customers.

  1. Parts and Inventory Ordering

Parts and Inventory Ordering significantly reduce issue resolution time, directly enhancing the customer experience. It also streamlines customer requests for specific parts, improving interaction and order management.

Moreover, the tool provides excellent stock management and insightful reporting, ensuring prompt part availability and informed decision-making.

  1. Customer Portal

Makula’s Customer Portal is designed to enhance customer interactions and operational efficiency for OEMs. It offers seamless communication, allowing for effortless conversations and timely updates about service requests and machine performance.

The portal simplifies customer outreach, with features for easy parts ordering and service requests, and real-time job tracking. Additionally, it provides a customized customer experience with tailored services based on machine requirements and service history.

  1. Digital Maintenance Forms

Digital Maintenance Forms provide a digitized, efficient approach to maintenance, replacing manual tracking and complicated spreadsheets. Each procedure attaches to the machine’s history, ensuring a comprehensive record of all maintenance and service activities. The integration of procedures with work orders offers a clear picture of completed work, aiding in progress tracking and data accessibility.

Future State of Aftermarket Communication

According to McKinsey, B2B companies saw online customer interactions as 2 to 3 times more important than conventional engagements (McKinsey, 2020). Innovative solutions are essential tools for reshaping the landscape. For OEMs and machine distributors, adapting to these new trends is crucial to unlock additional revenue streams, reduce roadblocks, and streamline operations. Staying ahead in this dynamic environment means embracing change and leveraging digital advancements.

Streamline your Aftermarket Communication with Makula

As we’ve navigated the complexities of after-sales communication, it’s clear that the future is digital. You’re now equipped with insights to transform this often-overlooked aspect of your business. Let’s recap the key takeaways:

  • Use digital tools for efficient communication.
  • Utilize platforms like Makula for enhanced customer satisfaction.
  • Recognize the importance of streamlined processes in staying competitive.

Makula offers a convenient solution to enhance your after-sales communication. With its innovative features and user-friendly approach, Makula aligns perfectly with the future of after-sales communication. It’s time to accept this change and let Makula lead the way to a more efficient, responsive, and successful business operation.

The only CMMS offering 3D capabilities for businesses involved in selling, servicing, using, or operating machinery and assets.

With Makula’s digital solution, streamline communication and simplify operational tasks in maintenance activities .

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