From the global market leaders to the regional niche players, every company is at some point faced with the question of which business processes belong to its core business and which are better outsourced to specialized service providers. The decision whether to outsource your after-sales service is a particularly delicate one. After all, it concerns direct contact with your customers and no company wants to lose control over this crucial element.
Customer service is one of the most important interfaces to your most valuable asset: your customers. The selection of your after-sales outsourcing partner should be a carefully considered decision. Read here to discover what the most important success factors are in after-sales outsourcing.
The topic of customer experience has been at the top of the Digital Marketing Trends Report by Econsultancy and Adobe for years. An excellent customer experience stands or falls with the quality of the after-sales service. Brand loyalty is only fostered when customers feel consistently well looked after by your brand. Against this backdrop, we have researched six compelling reasons why many companies can benefit from after-sales outsourcing right now.
1. Capture New Markets at a Rapid Pace
Young startups launch new hardware products every day. Whether smartphones, wearables or IoT devices, the market for tech innovations seems to be exploding – especially in emerging markets such as China. For young companies, perfect timing is everything. Their new devices should capture the world market as quickly as possible. While sales can be organized via distributors and online shops, after-sales service is the real bottleneck.
Specialized after-sales outsourcing providers manage a global customer care ecosystem. New brands benefit from comprehensive coverage at the touch of a button and can use outsourcing partnerships to accelerate their expansion. However, this infrastructure also helps established companies in that they can outsource their after-sales service in markets where they cannot afford their own infrastructure.
2. Offer Service Through All Channels
Customer care is a complex business. Whereas customers used to be more or less satisfied with a call center hotline in the past, companies now have to be present on all channels. From smart self-service solutions and personal help via chat and telephone to walk-in service centers, brands must offer their customers the full range of after-sales service.
Companies face a dilemma since the necessary investments in innovations hardly bear fruit for a single company. On the other hand, they cannot do without an extensive customer service experience. In partnerships with outsourcing providers, companies benefit from innovations that become feasible thanks to economies of scale.
Some time ago, Microsoft outsourced the after-sales service for mobile phones to B2X. From self-help solutions to device repair within and outside the warranty period, B2X manages customer service on behalf of Microsoft in 132 countries. Find out here what the strategy behind this is and how Microsoft benefits from after-sales outsourcing.
3. Benefit from Efficiency Through Technology
Global customer care networks are made up of a large number of partners. These include call centers, repair shops, spare parts suppliers and logistics service providers – often hundreds of organizations are involved in global after-sales processes. The challenge lies in the lack of standards for data exchange and absent standard operating procedures.
Competent after-sales outsourcing providers connect all partners to a globally integrated network based on technology. For example, at B2X we have consistently invested in our SMARTCARE Technology platform over many years. We thus ensure we have efficient processes based on standards, transparency and automation – an investment that a single provider cannot afford but from which many companies can reap the benefits together.
4. Utilize Local Specialist Knowledge
More than almost any other business discipline, after-sales service depends on the consideration of regional customer requirements and the specific circumstances of individual markets. Only those who are directly present on site can really solve problems. It is for this reason that specialized after-sales outsourcing providers adopt a global outsourcing approach with local implementation and execution.
From the most demanding consumer protection standards in Brazil to complex import processes in Russia and rapidly growing customer requirements in a country like India, brands benefit from proven best practices in after-sales outsourcing and thus a wealth of experience that a single organization cannot build up on its own.
Excellent customer service has become a decisive competitive factor for smartphone and consumer electronics brands. Customers expect a seamless customer service experience – around the clock and anywhere in the world. Read here to find out why only a few after-sales outsourcing providers are able to meet these high demands.
5. Don’t Lose Sight of Customer Focus
Given all the complexity of after-sales service, companies must not forget to focus on the customer experience. The operational challenges in global after-sales service are so great that customer care organizations quickly stop focusing on the essentials and waste valuable resources and time on technical and operational details.
One of the best-known pro-outsourcing arguments is more valid for the after-sales sector than for almost any other business function: reduce distraction and concentrate on your own core competencies. Successful brands focus on the needs of their customers at a strategic level and outsource after-sales operations to specialized service providers.
6. Transform Fixed into Variable After-Sales Costs
And last but not least, it’s the numbers that speak for outsourcing your after-sales service. In dynamic industries such as the smartphone and consumer electronics business, product sales revenues can vary very fast. Whether companies are winning market share fast or going through a period of fluctuation, outsourcing provides flexibility in costs and resources.
Your own fully fletched after-sales organization mean fixed cost that are not easy to change while outsourcing allows companies the costs of after-sales to be made variable and hence more manageable – a strategic and financial benefit especially in times of accelerating market dynamics.What is your after-sales outsourcing strategy? Which best practices and lessons learned can you share? Write to me – I look forward to hearing from you!