At the time of the repair fund, it is a question of offering more than a repair voucher, but a real consumer experience that meets society’s expectations. At Agoragroup, the driving force behind the after-sales service sector, we have accompanied each new step in the digitalisation of the sector. In a previous article on Field Service Management we discussed the added value of service for professionals. In our post-covid digital world, it is time to use our know-how for the benefit of the consumer. The FSM, which provides a link between the field and the various stakeholders, emerges as the service at the heart of customer relations in 2022.

How the digitalisation of repair has been taking place since the 2000s

The digitalisation of the repair process has taken place in stages, from the minitel to the API portal. Our group has contributed to every change. The FSM has gradually become established in the repair world in response to the need for call centre visibility of ongoing interventions. However, the desire for transparency brought about by digitalisation is moving from the professional domain to the consumer. Traditionally, FSM software has been contrasted with CRM, which manages customer relations. Today, platforms such as Deliveroo or UBER Eats have made supplier tracking and therefore the FSM central to their strategy. This proves to us that field management is part of customer relations. Although the two systems are distinct, there is a strong link between the two and, more importantly, so we need to consider leveraging the FSM to meet customer needs. Lock-downs have greatly accelerated the digital impact on the daily life of households. In 2020, 4.54 billion people went online, an increase from 2019 of 298 million*.

After-sales service and customer satisfaction

Faced with new behaviour and consumption patterns, we must already prepare for new consumer expectations. The way we use a service is now radically transformed. Before triggering an interaction, the consumer already has a precise idea of the service he or she expects, the price, the deadlines. Thus, at any moment of his experience, he will use digitalisation to look for a recommendation, make his choice, make his purchase and share his experience. These are all opportunities to make contact and create a relationship that may be satisfying or disappointing… In the case of repair, which is a service that generates high stress and urgency, the possibility of reassuring the customer about the entire management of his or her file is crucial. Thus, it seems natural to feed the FSM data into a shared application with the consumer. At Agoragroup, we are considering this link, because we have an FSM, ERP and CRM at the same time. We are proficient in the entire chain.

Future functionalities to be considered to transform the customer relationship

Today, we have launched a study of consumer expectations on the follow-up of the repair and its process. We want to help our partners to move from a one-time service to managing a complete customer journey. Digital technology makes it possible to restore the relationship of trust between the repairer and the consumer. An interface providing all the information on the status of the repair, the arrival of the repairer and giving advice on completed repairs become reassurance factors. Today, AgoraPlus and other FSMs make it possible to:

  • Notify the breakdown with product information
  • Make an appointment with the nearest technical station
  • Export the appointment to the consumer’s agenda
  • Remind by SMS and email the appointment
  • Access the repairer’s follow-up, profile and reviews
  • Chat with the repairer
  • Share the experience with a comment

We need to think together among all the members of the sector about the use, sharing and exploitation of these features. We have optimised service transactions in isolation, the objective is now to federate the parties involved to make interactions more fluid. Our current research will put customer service back at the centre of brand engagement while integrating the processes of all frontline teams to deliver a consistent and efficient customer journey.

Predictive maintenance and the world of IoT

The next step will be to connect the devices in order to identify the breakdown remotely and further reduce the response time. When intelligent repair becomes available, the ability to build an organisation around the Internet of Things will become the next challenge for companies in the sector. In the Agoragroup Lab, we are currently thinking about helping our customers to deploy virtual service options and use AI. Remote intervention will also revolutionise the repair profession. Augmented reality will thus replace the toolbox. Repair is an exciting sector that is becoming one of the priority areas for the preservation of our resources. The aim is therefore to reconcile consumer expectations, the need to reduce our footprint and the use of innovative solutions. Within our group, we are already preparing the next steps.

Manufacturers, need help to structure your after-sales service?

*1 – We Are Social and Hootsuite Digital Report