Digitization in Service: After-Sales-Service 4.0

What is After-Sales-Service?
05/02/2020
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More about the term “4.0”

What does Industry 4.0 mean?

The term Industry 4.0 stands for an aspired fourth industrial revolution, which is connected with the extensive digitalization and networking of industrial processes.

The central technology is the Internet.

By linking intelligent systems with each other, a largely independent production is achieved in which humans, machines and robots work side by side. The digitized processes are to accompany the products throughout their entire “life cycle”: From their development, production, distribution and use to disposal and recycling.

Digitization leaves employees more time for complex tasks such as development, planning and organization, while routine and assembly line tasks are automated by machines.

Digital networking requires uniform standards and norms for the integrated sectors so that interfaces can communicate smoothly with each other. Legal requirements and security standards in the IT sector must also be complied with.

Digitization in Service: After-Sales-Service 4.0

After-Sales-Service 4.0

After the purchase is before the purchase! After-Sales-Service is crucial to satisfy a customer not only at the moment of purchase, but also to confirm the customer’s decision afterwards. It is crucial to determine whether a customer will make another purchase from the same salesperson or service provider in the future and whether they will recommend the product or service to others. Due to the intensive use of the Internet in today’s world, word-of-mouth advertising has gained considerably in importance.

In addition, After-Sales-Service is often responsible for a large part of the sales volume; for example through repair work, the sale of spare parts or extensions, consulting activities and upgrades.

After-Sales-Service 4.0 links up with the development of Industry 4.0: It refers to the digitalization and automation of the after-sales processes.

What is the innovation compared to the conventional service?

Extensive Networking

Service 4.0 allows you to work across departments, which means that you can satisfy the customer with fast and good service. By giving all employees equal access to the centrally stored information and the entire history of the customer, previous actions and problems can be precisely tracked at any time and independently of the end device and used to process the case.

Time-consuming queries, waiting for an answer and reassigning it to the current case are a thing of the past: Concerns such as complaints, queries, support requirements, requests for spare or extension parts can be processed quickly and reliably.

The possibility of working across channels is also extremely efficient and customer-oriented: Communication channels such as e-mail, SMS, telephone and social media are bundled in one system.

Integration of the entire production chain

Several companies are usually involved in the production of a product, and they all play their part in its completion. Their networking in the course of Industry 4.0 enables intense communication and coordination of the individual steps.

This is also helpful for many after-sales issues: for example, in the event of complaints due to serial defects or suggestions from customers.

Real-time communication from a distance

By exchanging information via the Internet, extensive communication is possible in real time. Documents, image, video and sound files can be exchanged at the click of a mouse, eliminating costly and, above all, time-consuming postal channels. The same applies to joint appointment scheduling at a specific location, which is linked to travel routes and possibly the adherence of specific opening hours.

Are you wondering how you can digitalize the After-Sales-Service of your company?

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Goals of the Service 4.0

As in many B2B companies, the service still runs analogue. In order to achieve higher sales and remain competitive in the long term, it is essential to switch to digital alternatives as soon as possible.

The goals of digitization are an improved, cross-channel customer dialogue, higher customer satisfaction and considerable time savings. A digitized service therefore enables a significantly higher turnover.

A high degree of networking of the various channels on one data platform is essential for this. It can be quickly and easily determined which areas still need improvement.

With a digital service you can stay on the ball in international competition, improve communication between your departments and increase your customer service.

Service 4.0 makes services available at the right time, in the right place, in the required quantity and with the best possible quality.

After-Sales-Services: Possibilities for improvement

Paperless Documentation

With a digital service, you save costs for paper and printing, storage space for archiving and the time-consuming manual search for documents, and also do something good for the environment: documentation is completely digital and is stored centrally, which means that data can be accessed from anywhere.

For customer service, this has the great advantage that customer concerns can be processed quickly and easily. In addition, potentially fewer errors creep in if analogue data acquisition with subsequent manual transfer into the system is dispensed with; instead, all data is recorded digitally from the outset.

Finally, changes to data records and processes can be carried out more flexible.

Digitized Workflows

Digital workflows not only make your everyday work much easier, but also ensure linear, consistent processes: By having your software respond automatically to predefined actions in a certain way, you avoid inconsistent workflows; because even well-trained employees can interpret and process certain situations differently. Even changes that do not immediately reach all employees can lead to variations.

This problem does not occur with a workflow that is reprogrammed once and immediately implements the new procedure.

Your customers will also gain a professional, reliable impression of your company if their reactions to identical requests or actions are consistently consistent and therefore comprehensible.

Live Service Support

The virtual transfer of information in real time helps you to optimize processes, to react immediately in case of a problem and to be able to handle unexpected situations flexibly at any time.

Employees in the field service can be “controlled” appropriately: Resource planning is optimized and the exchange of information in real time increases the first-time-fix rate on site at the customer’s premises.

Remote Services enable immediate customer support via remote diagnosis and maintenance. Increasingly popular are video live streams to interact with the customer remotely and without delay: The customer is helped immediately and travel distances are avoided.

Condition Monitoring

Machines can be checked permanently or at regular intervals for their safety and efficiency by automated measurements of various parameters. The sensors used transmit the collected data in real time, which allows problems to be detected immediately.

This is not only important for safety, but also to prevent incorrect procedures and thus financial damage. Manual checks are costly, time-consuming, can contain errors and have the disadvantage that errors are not detected in the entire time between two checks.

Automating the monitoring process is cost-effective, reliable and allows for immediate response.

Predictive Maintenance

Good condition monitoring also enables so-called Predictive Maintenance: By analyzing the measured values, not only are existing problems detected, but a prediction can also be made as to where problems are likely to occur soon and when the next maintenance is required.

Summary

After-Sales-Management 4.0 must be well planned and professionally set up; but the investment is worthwhile! If you want to remain fit for the future, you have to switch from analogue to digital processes in the long run in order to hold your own against competitors.

In addition, a modern, virtual service significantly increases customer satisfaction. With an ever increasing number of companies digitalizing their processes, customers’ expectations are also rising: A modern and accordingly fast, smooth, cross-channel service is increasingly taken for granted.

Adtance offers you modern, secure software solutions to help you make the transition to your After-Sales-Management 4.0 a success.

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