In 2011, a study conducted by Oxford Economics showed that only 25% of industry executives believed that the manufacturing industry would be impacted by the digital transition during the coming five years. But after the close of 2016, it’s become increasingly clear that digitization is having a huge impact on performance across multiple industries, namely, the operational efficiencies of manufacturing companies.

Thanks to the mind-blowing effects of today’s emerging technologies, plus the ongoing research from companies like Capgemini and the MIT Center for Digital Business during the past few years, manufacturing companies are changing their perspective on the digitization of after-sales service.

Manufacturing companies are changing their perspective on the digitization of after-sales service. Click To Tweet

Driven mainly by business opportunities provided by the industry’s emerging tech boom, the vast majority of manufacturing companies now firmly believe in the need for digitization in their inventory processes, pricing strategies, field service techniques, and the overall customer experience. Yet, in the face of all this support, there are still a few myths to be busted when it comes to digitization of after-sales service. Here are a few of those common misconceptions:

1. Digitization takes away from the customer experience.

After-sales service is quickly becoming one of the biggest opportunities for manufacturers to generate revenue, increase margins and improve customer loyalty. But the biggest area of opportunity here is customer service. For field service technicians, emerging tech advances could become a huge source of competitive differentiation and improved service levels, improving the overall customer experience.

Advances like driverless cars, drones, wearable devices, 3D printing and the Internet of Things (IoT) are already having a huge impact on how after-sales service, the service delivered after the initial sale of a product, is performed, giving manufacturers a chance to respond to the Amazon-level demands of today’s consumers.

2. Digitization poses a competitive business threat.

It’s quite the opposite, actually – digitization, when embraced correctly, can give your organization a huge competitive advantage. Some manufacturers fear that digitization will weaken their market position, as competitors will exploit the fundamental business opportunities, but according to a study by Capgemini, the broad majority of manufacturing companies don’t consider digitization to be a threat to their fundamental position in the industry, at least not as it compares to their external competitors.

You see, the main misconception here is that the technology itself is the competition, but that’s not necessarily the case. The emerging tech stated above, and all other emerging tech on the horizon, aren’t meant to replace the after-sales service experience, but rather, enhance it.

Emerging tech isn't meant to replace the after-sales service experience, but rather, enhance it. Click To Tweet

New technologies are simply opportunities for manufacturers to meet the demands of their customers in a modern and efficient way. Sure, ignoring the advances and letting your competition take the front seat of the digitization train may hurt your business, but if manufacturers learn to embrace the digital transition of the after-sales experience, the bar will raise across the board.

3. Digitization investments will hurt overall revenue and business value.

Based on that same Capgemini study, 75% of manufacturing companies agree that digital transformation will help to leverage their competitive position. But when you take a closer look on how companies think they’ll reach that competitive advantage, it’s no surprise that they’re focusing on bottom-line improvements (rather than top-line).

The issue here is that manufacturers are forgetting that when it comes
to addressing top-line performance, digitization has the opportunity to improve the after-sales service value proposition, and ultimately, overall customer relations. So, while it may be a heavy initial investment in some cases, the overall benefits of digitization in your organization will drive revenue and business value upwards.

Digitization in your organization will drive revenue and business value upwards. Click To Tweet

Digitization may seem like a daunting change to the after-sales service processes of yesterday. But the more manufacturers embrace the digital transition of their inventory, pricing, and data management, and the emerging technologies of today, the closer they’ll be to delivering a modern, exceptional customer experience, every time.