Even well-designed products can fail. But, if the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is positioned to address failures and resolve problems quickly and efficiently, it can result in a positive customer experience. A good repair experience gives customers a sense of confidence that reflects positively on the company’s brand.
Of 7,000 consumers surveyed, 87% think brands need to put more effort into providing a consistent customer experience. For OEMs, a critical driver of customer satisfaction is the quality of repairs. The challenge these companies face is how best to deal with product failures and repair in an increasingly global environment and accommodate demands for quicker repair times. And, if the company is undergoing rapid expansion or a large-scale transformation, such as a global expansion, mergers or acquisitions, the challenge becomes even more daunting.
The effects of globalization on customer satisfaction
Competitors who prosper in today’s global economy have recognized that customer satisfaction is key. Operating in a global environment means OEMs must address additional considerations beyond simply producing and repairing a product. For example, language differences can affect customer satisfaction with products or services, as multicultural customer bases introduce different demands and expectations regarding repair processes and experiences. The company will have to receive and ship products across international borders, which can significantly affect shipping costs and time to repair, meaning customers may wait for equipment for a longer period of time. And, changing tariffs can confuse and further add to shipping costs.
Depending on a company’s client base and shipping patterns, it may benefit from having regionalized depot repair services to help ensure customer satisfaction. However, having regional centers may require more extensive repair inventory, expanding facility footprints and increasing global staff. Success depends on careful resource allocation to meet customer needs without overstretching budgets. To reduce complexity and expand their geographic footprint without increasing overhead costs, successful OEMs often leverage expert repair partnerships with repair service providers who are already established in their target global locations. By leveraging flexible contracts, repairs can be handled adeptly by expert repair services teams that understand the demands and cultural expectations of their customer base as well as the complexities of certain repair requirements.
Adopting new approaches and technologies during organizational change
Changing technical and organizational landscapes present additional challenges to a company’s ability to service repairs. However, change can also introduce new ideas and processes, as well as new experts and partners. Pursuing mergers and acquisitions continues to be a popular growth strategy for technology company executives. During a merger or acquisition, the two parties can combine knowledge and experience to develop a stronger repair and failure analysis strategy than either company had before.
The new organization can also benefit from partnering with an experienced global repair services provider, as they can examine existing processes and procedures and help devise a new, more efficient global logistics and repair service strategy before the company makes any large-scale staffing or procedural changes. The company may even determine that it makes sense to outsource repair operations altogether. An expert partner can provide focused repair services to help build and maintain customer confidence.
Using data to improve repair performance and product reliability
Having efficient global logistics is only one component of a successful repair services strategy. OEMs must also collect and analyze failure and repair data to identify potential flaws and inefficiencies in components, manufacturing processes and the products themselves. The right partner can provide a dedicated engineering team to conduct root cause analysis to help understand which products are failing and why. The data produced provides analytics based on how the product has been designed, manufactured, shipped and used by end customers. Having access to this level and quality of root cause and failure analysis data can help OEMs take action and make informed decisions as needed within their manufacturing departments, supply chain partners and customers. Being transparent with customers regarding repair services and the company’s commitment to improving product performance and reliability can further drive a positive customer experience.
Consider a global logistics and repair services partner
Technology companies must be prepared to provide their customers with efficient global logistics and repair services in the face of increased globalization. Partnering with a global logistics and repair services provider can help an OEM keep its customers’ perspectives at the forefront of its customer satisfaction strategy. An expert services partner provides deep global knowledge of technologies and design methodologies, helping the company implement a best-practices repair services process that carries it into the future as well as an analysis program to perform root cause analysis to make ongoing quality improvements. This also allows the company to extend its global footprint and seamlessly provide customers with prompt repairs and astute customer service.