The global, digitalized world presents both an opportunity and challenge for hardware manufacturers. On the one hand, markets have become increasingly permeable and open to new, innovative technologies; on the other, product life cycles are becoming shorter, trends more fast-moving and customers more demanding. To be successful in this market environment, providers of electronics and IT products must play the digitalization trump card as intelligently as possible. This is particularly true for the post-sales phase.
Regardless of whether a manufacturer offers smartphones, e-scooters, office equipment or devices for electronic payment services – the sale of a product always marks the beginning of a new critical phase in the customer relationship. Studies reveal that more than 80% of all customers think that better service is a compelling reason to prefer a competing brand’s product when making their next purchase decision.
- 81% of Millennials and Generation Z have already bid farewell to their favorite brand due to a negative post-sales experience. (Source: Customer Care 2025)
- 42% of customers who contact you on social media expect a response within 60 minutes. (Source: Convince & Convert)
- Customers allow a maximum of 10 minutes for a company to answer a question about a problem. (Source: B2X)
This is why the customer’s post-sales experience is one of the most crucial factors for device manufacturers when it comes to building their brand presence.
How Do Post-Sales-Services Become a Distinguishing Feature?
Digitalization provides manufacturers with the tools to transform post-sales in such a way that it makes it a differentiating factor in their brand strategy. In order to leverage the potential of these tools, however, you have to understand what the digitalization of post-sales service actually means – and what it doesn’t mean. After all, digitalization is simply understood as the addition of digital tools to existing processes, e.g. creating interfaces, implementing digital features or automating individual processes.
By adopting such an approach, companies can achieve partial success in post-sales service, but will quickly reach new limits since many processes remain non-transparent and are inadequately tailored to the specific requirements of the industry. This is also because positive effects fizzle out after a short time since they cannot keep up with the development of customer behavior, changes on the market and technological possibilities. This has been confirmed by a study conducted by Capgemini: although 75% of the businesses surveyed described themselves as customer-centric, only 30% of customers agreed with this estimation.
For the digitalization of post-sales service to be successful, device manufacturers need an approach that fits their business model and ensures their business area is ready for the future. This can only work with a disruptive approach that makes tomorrow’s service holistic and digital from A to Z at all levels.
Greater Transparency Through End-to-End Processes
A significant challenge in building a global post-sales service is the increasingly fragmented service infrastructure caused by the differentiation of customer behavior and markets. Customers today need to be addressed with a wide range of service options in order to receive a customer experience that meets their expectations. It’s no longer enough to simply deliver spare parts and offer repairs: customers are demanding service solutions that cover the entire product lifecycle, meet high user experience standards and do not hinder their productivity.
On the other hand, device manufacturers must build up a service and fulfilment network that is as global as possible. This network should include functioning warehousing and storage solutions, guarantee reliable order processing with appropriate services, and provide efficient returns logistics. In practice, this often leads to a confusing service network that is difficult for management to control.
Digitalization offers device manufacturers the opportunity to get to grips with this complexity via a single-source approach. You can use a software-based end-to-end solution to centrally control the entire rollout and delivery management from the start of the project to its completion. This way, you always keep an eye on all relevant data and can control all processes in a comprehensive and transparent manner.
More Flexibility, Agility and Control Through the Ability to Scale
For technology providers in particular, it’s vital in today’s world to remain flexible and agile in the go-to-market process. This cannot work well if the respective logistical and organizational infrastructure has to be created at great expense each time new products are launched. With software-driven post-sales service solutions, you can implement go-to-market processes quickly, scale them flexibly and adapt them effectively to the respective customer segments.
Using an integrated service technology platform offers you improved control of all processes. The software solution serves as a single control point for all post-sales operations, enabling you to secure service level agreements (SLA) and achieve cost savings. This way, you not only boost efficiency; you also gain deep insights into all critical control points in the areas of service and fulfillment.
Better Customer Support Through Interaction on all Key Channels
The biggest challenge for customer support today is keeping pace with the ever-increasing expectations of customers. The fact that the customer experience is among the most crucial success factors for companies has long been considered commonplace in management literature. How this requirement is implemented in practice, however, is another kettle of fish.
Customers rarely have such direct contact with a brand on their customer journey as they do with post-sales service. This is because at this point a brand becomes a real interaction partner for customers, whose behavior can have direct emotional consequences. The two most vital aspects of this customer communication have to do with the accessibility and quality of customer support. Particularly in the case of technology providers, customers expect maximum flexibility, convenience and a modern approach when it comes to communication.
In a global study, we asked 1,700 Millennials and Generation Z users about their support preferences – a target group that represents the customer profile of the future for manufacturers. Their expectations are clear, with their preferences moving very much towards digital channels:
- For 49.5%, Google Search is their port of call when seeking quick help.
- 49.9% would prefer communication with an intelligent bot over dialog with a call center.
- 43.7% say that the inaccessibility of customer support is the most influential negative factor on the overall customer experience.
Device manufacturers must respond to this expectation by embracing an omnichannel strategy that creates a personalized, consistent service experience across all channels and platforms. This is made possible by digitally capturing and accompanying customer journeys in post-sales services, combining different types of support as well as incorporating real-life interactions with customer support staff. For example, this could include intuitive self-service portals tailored to the respective customer segment, remote support solutions on various channels, and efficient and personalized 1st and 2nd line customer support.
Bottom Line: Lean Processes Ensure Better Focus on Core Business
The consistent digitalization of post-sales service helps hardware companies stand out from their competitors and positively reinforce their brand image among users. In addition, digitalization offers the opportunity to streamline and outsource processes without having to relinquish control. This way, electronics providers can offer an effective and efficient service while remaining dedicated to their core business – the development and production of innovative devices.
As a provider of holistic post-sales solutions, we support electronics manufacturers from various industries in implementing digital service and logistics processes. Get in touch if you’re interested in arranging a non-binding consultation.