How Manufacturers Can Gain Competitive Advantage with After-Sale Services
Today’s business landscape has never been more competitive, and it is no different for manufacturers. Deloitte’s 2016 study of competitiveness in the manufacturing industry has ranked the United States as the second most competitive economy in the manufacturing industry, and is projected to take first rank in 2020. Though nations prosper in such an environment economically, organizations must seek unique ways to stay ahead in the marketplace.
Manufacturers, especially in North America, must rely on a strong and healthy brand, built on trust, to drive their marketing strategy to success. After-sale services is usually an overlooked opportunity that manufacturers fail to take advantage of. In industries where saturation is high, it’s after-sale services that can set a manufacturer apart from its competitors. Ensuring that the customer has ongoing support asserts customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. Ultimately it leads to a trustworthy and reliable brand, the well known foundation to any marketing campaign.
So, how does a manufacturer implement an after-sale service strategy in their supply chain? A Canadian manufacturer, Solex Thermal Science, has demonstrated that being in tune and understanding the customer pain point needs to be the first step. Knowing how your customers’ friction areas after investing in your product will lay down the foundation of any company’s after-sale service portfolio.
Some examples of after-sale services can include:
- Personnel Training
- Product Tuning/Repair
- Installation Support
- On-Going Customer Support Line
- Regular Check-Ins With Customers
Whatever services a manufacturer chooses to offer, it’s critical to price the offerings appropriately and ensure zero friction for customers to utilize available services. This means that the executing must be well thought-out from the start. A well executed strategy includes reducing the time it takes to deliver their services and setting the right expectations for the customer.
Placing importance on the hidden stage of the customer funnel, the after sale stage, has been widely adopted in the business to consumer industries for years. Yet when it comes to the manufacturing industry, only a handful of organizations have executed on it, therefore there’s plenty of upside left on the table. Companies that take advantage of it today will reap its rewards for years to come.