The purpose of any company is to sell quality products. It is still necessary that these production goods give real satisfaction to the buyer.
Otherwise, the latter will turn to another supplier. This doesn’t only mean the loss of a client but also a huge hard blow for the company’s image which will find it difficult to find other outlets. This is where the ASS comes in.
After Sales Service: an essential link of the industry
Thanks to quality after sales services, the performance of provided products is maintained and the customer’s trust is preserved or even reinforced. The distributor will make everything possible to respond to the slightest request for maintenance or repair of the goods he gives to his customers.
Therefore, this is the strategy of after sales service comprising the follow-up of contracts, starting up, management of spare parts, technical assistance and the organization of interventions which is to be elaborated in a perceptive way.
These ASS activities are part of the customer relationship management process. One of the principles it includes is the need to ensure that the customer respects the operating modes delivered with the products and their potential improvement following the feedback of the user.
Finally, as it participates in the evolution of the distributors’ services and therefore of its competitiveness on the one hand, and in integrating the users’ criticism, on the other hand, the ASS becomes a true vector of continuous improvement.
Suppliers must be more responsive
The accelerated evolution of industry means that the manufacturers’ response to their customers’ needs must be increasingly efficient and fast. Let’s take the example of production units that cannot afford to endure long production shutdowns, and therefore rely on maximum responsiveness from their suppliers.
The latter do not only strive to reduce the response time but also apply preventive maintenance programs which systematically contact their customers when machines draw near their predictive wear or failure threshold. In other words, manufacturers of production goods are working to anticipate the demands of their client companies and no longer just wait for them to place orders for spare parts or consumables.
A preventive ASS policy that is profitable both for the customer and the supplier. The former spares costly downtime and the latter makes his after sales service activity profitable and can even reap palpable benefits. We can illustrate the example of the laboratory equipment distributor Getinge Life Sciences which achieved 15.4% increase in turnover from its ASS department in 2013 thanks to the reorganization of its after sales services processes.
Also check our article on: How to reduce the number of errors and improve the quality of production
ASS: the selfcare option, its advantages and its limitations
More and more suppliers of goods are making help and support interfaces available to users. These are generally web pages and applications that can be consulted from most mobile terminals. They are the selfcare. We also talk about the “autonomous customer” because these interfaces constitute guides, instructions for use for the customer who can thus rely on them to carry out himself the maintenance of the equipment or the repair. A selfcare medium has many advantages for the customer who can use it to track the status of his account, place orders quickly and easily, transmit his requests to the supplier and benefit from a shorter response time (which brings us back to the responsiveness mentioned above). All this is without having to go to the manufacturer.
To meet the customers’ needs, the supplier is required to update his ASS approach just like Getinge Life Sciences and to develop more effective CRM (Customer relationship management) tools. When the company develops an effective self care strategy, it reduces its management costs as it leaves a part of maintenance and upkeep procedures to the customer.
Nevertheless, the selfcare system conceals an aspect that is important in the relationship between a company and its customer: the direct contact and its human dimension. Nothing beats the face to face meeting to know and assess the customer’s feelings about the services provided. With a selfcare interface, exchanges become exclusively virtual and contacts are reduced to their simplest form which does not necessarily help to enhance the company’s image.
Picomto is the solution to create, manage, share, consult and analyze ASS media, selfcare guides, diagnostic and problem solving guides. Contact us for more information.