If manufacturers attempt to compete on price alone, they can find their margins eroding, or losing out to competitors. They must find alternative ways of differentiating themselves in the marketplace, which will continue to attract customers.
One way is by harnessing the power of customer service and taking it to the next level in the form of servitisation.
How to Add Value
It should be a priority to add value to customers, especially if you are competing in a niche market. Customer service can do this.
Creating an exceptional level of service should be an opportunity to integrate it into the whole process of how you deliver the product.
This is where customer service becomes servitisation.
Merging Product with Service
Rather than a traditional approach to manufacturing where you simply make the product and sell it to the customer, servitisation merges the product with the service surrounding it, so that the two become are essentially the same package.
In other sectors this works as a subscription service, such as that offered by Netflix. However, this model can work for manufacturers too.
The challenge is to create an associated service as part of an aftersales package, which might include servicing, repairs or ongoing maintenance, which can also be expanded to offer pre-sales support and assistance too
This can be especially effective when it comes to repeat orders and returning customers.
Different Levels of Customer Service
We understand the importance of customer service, and adding value to our products.
We believe that you must establish trust in developing long-term customer relationships. This is then what you can build your scaled-up servitisation on. You can create a continuing support package attached to the product, giving it added value.
The ultimate goal of full servitisation is to move the focus away from the product to the package, where the service, not the product, is the final outcome
In this way, your product package becomes the equivalent of a subscription service, offering full, comprehensive product support.
How Does It Work?
- The customer buys a specific product and as part of the agreement the manufacturer will install it and check its condition
- The manufacturer will guarantee its regular servicing and maintenance, and will repair any worn or damaged parts
- They might also provide emergency call-out assistance.
This helps to form a solid relationship between manufacturer and customer, transforming good customer service into a defined business asset, which supports the manufacturer’s brand in the marketplace.
It works strategically to sidestep competition through pricing. And to bolster the manufacturer’s innovation with a distinctive service offering.