Why Customer Value Depends on Technical Information

Customer Value_Technical Product Information

The life of a complex industrial or consumer product can extend for years or even decades. That’s a lot of time for the customer to optimize value through a product. But it’s also an opportunity for the manufacturer to nurture and grow the customer relationship with careful and attentive service.

The manufacturer’s service challenge is to deliver as much product up-time as possible throughout the product’s lifecycle. Sustaining the product’s good health drives customer satisfaction and retention, and higher revenue and profit for the manufacturer.

So why do customers often fail to get as much value-adding performance as they can from a product?  And what frequently prevents service teams from acting effectively and efficiently to help assure these topmost levels of product performance and value?

Commonly it’s a problem with technical product information. In far too many cases, the people who operate, support, and maintain a product find that they lack current and accurate product information, or product information they can easily understand.

Often they simply can’t get their hands on just the right information, in just the right places, at just the right times, to address the product usage issues at hand.

Problems are pervasive when technical product information is:

Inaccessible:

  • Frequent errors by operators and service people demand rework.
  • Much service time (40 percent or more) is spent searching for information.
  • Repair and resolution times are unpredictable. Product downtime rises.

Outdated:

  • Operator and service procedures don’t match the product.
  • Mistakes abound in identifying and utilizing spare parts.

Undeliverable:

  • New product shipments are delayed. Inbound support calls skyrocket.
  • Repair cycles slow or even halt. Service productivity falls.
  • Operational risks increase. The company faces more liabilities.

Problems with product information can cripple service efficiency. Service people waste a lot of time and effort. They make too many mistakes. Resolution on service calls takes too long. First-time fixes become more the exception than the rule.

Sooner or later, the customer gets frustrated and begins to look elsewhere for alternatives.  This puts customer retention and future returns from the customer in jeopardy.

Productive service performance and profitable customer relationships require the best technical product information through a product-centric approach. This kind of approach enables your organization to create, manage, and deliver technical information in the context of the product, making technical information:

  • Easy to find. and easy to navigate visually. Users can search and sort by models, configurations, and parts – or by service tasks.
  • Easy to understand. Information is highly graphical and contextually pliable. Users can easily focus on only the information they need – in their native languages.
  • Easy to trust. Information is complete, accurate, and up-to-date. It’s consistent across functions, and fully reflective of the latest design changes.

To summarize, a product-centric approach to technical information puts the latest, most reliable and comprehensible product intelligence at the center of the service experience. This is key to optimizing the customer’s value from a product and keeping them loyal.

Are your customer satisfaction levels where you want them, or could your company benefit from a product-centric approach to technical information?

Attend the PTC Live Service Exchange, June 11-12, 2013 in Anaheim, CA to learn from 30 thought leading speakers discussing best practices to increase service revenue, profitability and customer value.

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