October 6, 2020
The installed base is an important indicator of a company’s success – this is particularly true in the machine and plant manufacturing industry. However, business in this sector rarely ends with the successful sale of a machine. Even after the purchase, customers want to be able to rely on competent advice and rapid support from their machine manufacturer.
A customer is only just getting started when they purchase a machine: production systems require regular attention to ensure their functionality, maintain their longevity and improve performance. This is not only about complying with mandatory operational safety regulations, but also about preventing expensive machine downtime.
Excellent after-sales support is crucial for the client company. Moreover, a smart concept for core services such as repair and maintenance also holds great sales potential for machine manufacturers. However, if you want to impress in the area of service, you should focus on one thing above all else: maximum efficiency.
In this blog post, you will learn why inefficient processes often occur especially in maintenance and repair, what problems this causes for machine manufacturers and how you can use digital remote support to ensure greater efficiency.
The implementation of digital service processes in mechanical and plant engineering is becoming increasingly important. How to benefit from smart remote support - now in our free guide!
Why does organizing service activities pose such a great challenge for machine and plant manufacturers? In short, because customers’ most pressing need is rapid support. If a machine breaks down during production or needs to be checked as a preventative measure, action must be taken as quickly as possible in order to prevent costly downtime.
For the service team in a machine manufacturing company, this means that all maintenance orders must be optimally planned and all work steps well coordinated. It is only in this way that you can respond promptly to customers, successfully classify their concerns, coordinate an appointment with an available service technician, and ultimately resolve the issue. In order to avoid gaps in knowledge and provide customers with information about the incident, careful documentation is furthermore required.
With such a great deal of coordination needed, it is no wonder that not all processes run seamlessly at the help desk of most machine manufacturing companies. Both the service provider and the production company must be prepared for negative knock-on effects due to this complexity.
Low employee productivity
What is the daily routine of employees in many service departments? Coordinating all aspects of a service case, especially communication with customers, is often significantly more difficult due to a lack of suitable solutions for efficient organization.
Service experts usually communicate with customers via various channels such as email, telephone or chat. Alternatively, instant messenger services such as WeChat or WhatsApp are also used to analyze and resolve problems. However, these applications are not ideal for ensuring fast and seamless preparation and follow-up or coordination with an expert, and also do not guarantee secure communication.
On-site service calls also require a lot of time on the part of the expert. They spend precious time travelling by car or plane; working time which they could otherwise be using productively.
High demands, great time pressure and tools that are not suitable for the application are simply part and parcel of employees’ everyday lives. This leads to a greater number of errors and reduced productivity.
Long response and processing times
Employees and customers send images and documents back and forth via email and chat. On the phone, an operator on site explains a complicated problem on the machine constantly having one or both hands occupied. If the employee quickly needs a specific report on a ticket, they have to search for the right file on all communication channels.
These are just a few examples of how working with inadequate applications in support can lead to lost time. For employees, this means spending more time on a service case and processing fewer tickets per day. For customers, it means waiting longer for an agent to respond to their request, which in turn leads to increased processing times.
Decreasing customer satisfaction
For your customers in the manufacturing industry, longer waiting times not only mean that they have to exercise patience. The longer the response and processing times of your service team, the longer the customers’ systems will be down – and this can lead to expensive production downtime. Poorly optimized processes in your help desk and the associated delays until the problem is resolved should therefore be avoided at all costs if you want to satisfy your customers in the long term.
Significant loss of turnover
It is not only your customers who lose valuable income due to unnecessarily extended system downtimes. Slow and poorly organized support also leads to reduced revenue generated by your machine manufacturing company’s service department. Fast and competent support proves to be an attractive competitive advantage especially in times of crisis with export slumps, and can unleash valuable sales potential. So, if you want to prevent dissatisfied customers from switching to your competitors, you should ensure greater efficiency in your support.
As digitalization progresses, systems and machines are becoming more and more complex. Not only do your customers place high expectations on your service team; maintenance and servicing also involves increasingly complicated processes.
One of the main reasons why it is so difficult for many plant and machine manufacturers to meet the increased support requirements is that service processes are not sufficiently digitalized.
For this reason, the best way to respond to the challenge of service organization is to use innovative technologies. Adopt a smart solution for remote support that is tailored to the specific use case in your industry and that helps you to simplify and accelerate daily processes for both your service team and your customers.
- Direct connection with the technician on site or with one or more experts. This makes support available to the customer faster without having to wait long for an on-site visit.
- Digital remote support eliminates the need to travel to the service call, enabling experts to make better use of their working time and support a greater number of customers each day.
- Image and sound transmission via video chat and real-time image annotation facilitate communication between the service technician and the operator on site, allowing problem analysis and resolution to be carried out more seamlessly.
- Multi-room support with user management and configuration of user groups provides greater control over who can view what information. Managing customers and documenting the various service processes is made simpler.
- All exchanged documents such as PDFs, Excel spreadsheets and log files are categorized and made available in a central location, which in turn shortens the time it takes to process a ticket.
- It’s easy to send and receive messages and voice recordings, which means that instructions conveyed by telephone are also recorded and accessible at a later date.
- Automated documentation of the service process ensures that a malfunction is fully recorded. The available information serves as the basis for processing a new ticket and any knowledge gaps can be closed.
Digital remote support accelerates the handling of customer issues through location-independent communication and simplified help desk procedures, resulting in shortened response and processing times. Your customers can rely on competent advice at all times and avoid expensive production downtime. Your company also saves unnecessary travel expenses and can reap the benefits of higher support productivity.
Would you like to learn more about the right solution for digital remote support?
Get to know SERICY live.We would be happy to show you in an individual consultation what advantages our IIoT platform offers your company. Arrange an appointment now.