At long last, the day has finally come. Your brand new flat-screen television has arrived at your home and you excitedly cut open the packaging and set it up, the new focal point of your living room. Gone are the days of squinting because the picture is not clear. However, as you tune into the Master’s or your favorite movie, you begin to notice something isn’t quite right. The green of Augusta is a little too yellow, and the yellow brick road looks gray. While this is definitely a disappointing turn of events, for many customers, the trials and frustrations of the “after-the-sale” supply chain can be even more so.
As a major electronics manufacturer, these challenges can be especially discouraging as you strive to keep your customers happy amidst increased competition and lower margins. While responding to customers post-sale has been an understaffed and underfunded channel, there are new options that can make today’s digitally savvy market much more manageable after the sale. A strong reverse logistics process can be a significant competitive advantage. An Accenture Customer Service and Operations Pulse Survey in 2013 showed that 32% of customers felt that companies failed to uphold their commitments for warranty, repair, replacement and maintenance. So how can you leverage new communication and technology to improve your after-sales supply chain?
Take a New Perspective on Service
Thanks to advances in data storage and management, companies have access to all types of new customer information. Taking this and using it to contextually respond to consumer issues can make post sale interactions much more effective and efficient. By examining data trends, you may find that customers are confused as to how the returns process even works. You can proactively put them at ease by including return instructions (and even return labels) directly in the product packaging.
Cloud Based Monitoring
The connectivity provided by cloud technology is a great way to leverage inexpensive monitors, indicators and sensors in certain electronics. Routine maintenance and troubleshooting can be performed remotely.
Allow for New Communication Avenues
The popularity and emergence of social media is more than just a platform to promote new products and services. It can, and should, be used as an extension of your customer service operations. Using channels like Twitter and Facebook to allow customers to ask questions and present issues, as well as respond to them can be a great asset.
There’s no denying that customers have more options than ever before. Not only for where and what to purchase, but for how to make their voices, good and bad, be heard. Losing sight of a customer once they place an order or leave a store with your product in tow can be a mistake that dooms their potential lifetime value. The supply chain, whether it creates a sale or maintains the opportunity for a future one, is the vital tie between your product and your customer. Barrett Distribution Centers creates strategically designed supply chain solutions for the electronics industry.