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24/02/21

A strategic priority: the benefits of technical services & support excellence

Marc Sanderson

With the role of technology, customer expectations and the competitive landscape all evolving at an unprecedented rate, the many benefits of technical service & support excellence are pushing these functions to the top of the tech agenda.

With reliance on technology products growing in every sector of the economy, this is perhaps no surprise.

As their reliance increases, so customers start not just wanting, but also needing and ultimately demanding, guaranteed capability and performance. They start to expect – and perhaps not unreasonably – an exceptional customer experience not just during the product presale and sale processes but throughout the entire customer relationship lifecycle.

And as some manufacturers respond to this challenge by raising their service levels, so others are forced to follow suit – taking technical service & support from a ‘nice-to-have’ to a ‘must-have’ function and making it a key battleground across all technology sectors.

technical service challenge

The cost of failure

The cost of technology failure is no longer a matter of inconvenience.

In retail, one estimate puts the average cost for technology downtime incidents at £3,675 per minute.

In highly automated manufacturing environments, the impact on product-line costs could be many hundreds, or even thousands, of times larger.

A huge proportion of the technology used in medicine is care critical and fundamental to the safe and efficient running of services.

Transport and supply chain infrastructures are increasingly unable to work without the technology on which they rely.

In all these environments it is obvious that no customer – whether end-user, distributor or retailer – can realistically tolerate repeated equipment failures, slow engineer response times or low first-time fix rates.

Strategic priority

As you might expect in the highly adaptive and agile technology sector, manufacturers have been quick (in many cases at least) to respond to these challenges.

Technical service and support has risen to top of the agenda in many boardrooms as leaders have recognised not only the pull of customer demand but the push of opportunities to secure competitive advantage – particularly in markets where real technology advantage has become harder and harder to secure.

Inevitably, as some businesses raise their game in this area, so others are forced to follow suit.

The result is that technical service and support excellence has moved from being a nice-to-have to a must-have.

consumer

The benefits of technical service & support

Technical service and support excellence delivers three broad categories of critical advantage for technology manufacturers.

1. Competitive advantage

Ever more sophisticated consumer research (B2C) and procurement processes (B2B) mean customers are increasingly looking beyond simple comparisons of product features and benefits.

Today’s customer wants to know that the product is backed by first class support, from initial dialogue to after-market warranty.

2. Sales advantage

As technology products grow in sophistication and complexity, so technical expertise and support is required to provide customer advice, configure equipment, install it, and train operators in its use.

By getting this right, manufacturers are reducing friction and helping their customers make a purchase.

3. Brand advantage

Customer experience and word-of-mouth travels faster than ever in today’s connected business landscape.

Outstanding customer experiences at so-called ‘moments of truth’ quickly build into quantifiable brand value. Poor customer experiences inevitably destroy it.

Delivering technical services & aftermarket excellence

Recognising technical services and aftermarket support as a strategic priority is an important step for many businesses. Delivering on that can be another matter of course.

The challenges of service and support are unique, and distinctly different from the core capabilities of most manufacturing businesses. You can read about these challenges and how to meet them in our guide to in-house vs outsourced technical service & support delivery.

Alternatively you can start to explore the advantages of Qcom’s outsourced technical & support services.

Or simply get in touch today to discuss in complete confidence your technical service and support requirements.

 

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