Case Study

After-Sales-Service

When a customer relationship needs fixing

Consumer electronic retailers can either excel at providing after-sales-service to their customers or become a part of the problem. Those who get it right, however, will be a step ahead when it comes to customer retention and satisfaction.

Communication, social media, shopping, booking travel, banking transactions: Digitalisation has taken almost all aspects of our lives by storm. Digital devices have become indispensable companions in our everyday lives. When they develop a fault, it can be a very unpleasant experience for many consumers. At the same time, after-sales-services for consumer electronics is a rather neglected area – both across the industry and around the globe.

Many stakeholders, heterogeneous structures, different technologies: The greater the challenges, the more convincing the solution.

The challenge:
Device service on hold

A global retailer approached 2B DIGITAL to improve their device services across Europe.

The call center could only cope with a small number of customers whose digital device developed a fault. In-store employees, however, had little or no access to information about a service case opened over the phone. The typical solution was to send the seemingly faulty devices to the central repair centre. However, the fact that too frequently this resulted in a “No Fault Found” report has caused a great deal of frustration among customers.

The objective:
Define processes – optimise service

The objective was therefore to make the after-sales-service faster, more efficient and transparent as the basis for a more positive customer experience. Numerous different customer channels, repair service providers, device manufacturers and logistics partners: With so many stakeholders, technologies, heterogeneous organisational and information structures, this was a real challenge, which 2B DIGITAL wanted to approach holistically.

First, 2B DIGITAL brought all stakeholders together. Next, information from different departments was collected and analysed. On this basis, the team defined the ideal positive customer experience and designed the necessary services. The external view of an experienced service designer and project manager such as 2B DIGITAL played a decisive role in the detailed design of all elements.

The project:
A question of asking the right questions

What would be the optimal business cases and best practices? What concrete added value can be generated for the end customer? How do you “translate” strategic information into clear instructions to ensure that they can be easily implemented? What initial funding is required and what information does the executive management and controlling need to make a decision and to give approval? It soon became clear that external support in the areas of software development and system integration would also be needed to ensure timely development and implementation of an effective solution.

2B DIGITAL knew that the key to success lay in innovative process and product design. In the next step, the team drew up a precise set of requirements to search for the optimal solution partner in liaison with the respective purchasing and specialist departments.

This approach conserved resources, saved costs, accelerated the entire process – and increased the motivation of the whole project team. Finally, transparency and traceability were also important psychological factors that promoted the identification of each individual with the project.

The result:
Fewer repairs – simpler handling

Experience shows that different approaches can complement each other in an effort to find an efficient overall solution for a project of this size.

One approach was to develop a special diagnostic device that would be implemented in all the company’s retail stores. Here, the defective device was analysed by local employees. This allowed for software errors to be corrected on site and for hardware issues to be identified.

In the next step, a self-service diagnostic tool was offered across all customer channels, which further optimised the avoidance of unnecessary repairs and relieved the stores. Another step in the development was to offer the customer the opportunity to book and manage the repair online. This was the first web-based service tool of its kind in the industry.

In 80% of the initiated service cases a repair could be avoided. The remaining repair processes were made considerably easier overall – delivering a significant increase in customer satisfaction in this area.