The business with the best customer service isn’t the one expertly fielding complaints. It’s the one that avoids complaints altogether by delivering fantastic service from the very beginning. But that’s often easier said than done—especially when your business is still running on legacy systems reliant on manual processes.
There is a solution though. Predictive analytics, fed by real-time data, can transform your service supply chain for the better. In this blog, we’ll explore how you can improve your B2B customer service by avoiding service snags, anticipating challenges and preemptively addressing customer concerns.
Becoming the supplier of choice
Customers today are inundated with choice. That means there’s no real impetus to stay with a particular service provider—and a single bad experience with you can cause them to turn to one of your competitors. In this environment, the service you provide is even more important than the quality of the product you offer: customers are four times more likely to switch a competitor if the problem they’re having is service-based.
This presents a problem for businesses. The cost of courting new business is much higher—and returning customers generate far more revenue comparatively—so losing customers is an extremely expensive exercise. This is illustrated by the fact that increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase profits by between 25% and 95%.
With this in mind, you need to find a way to ensure that—as much as possible—your services are delivered according to plan, that your communication with customers is regular and transparent, and that you’re able to fulfill their key needs without too much prompting. In fact, 76% of B2B buyers expect the businesses they buy from to know their unique needs and expectations. Your customers will also expect their services to remain fulfilled and uninterrupted almost 100% of the time. But how can you possibly achieve all that?
The informative power of data
Data has the potential to transform your business. With it, you can optimize and streamline your service supply chain, empower your customers, and fulfill your SLAs: protecting your customers’ uptime in the process.
Once you combine this data with the right platform, you can effectively anticipate your customers’ needs. For example, AI can scour your part records to determine the average length of time before a part usually needs replacing, and automatically check that you have the relevant part in stock ahead of time. That way, you can prepare a replacement before the end users even know there’s a potential issue. Now that’s customer service.
Your field engineers will be more prepared than ever, too. Once you’ve removed data silos, they’ll have visibility of all the information they need to perform their jobs without delay. At a glance, all your staff will be able to see exactly which customers own which models, how long they’ve had them, when they’re due for a service, and more. For your customers, that means no more waiting around for an engineer who eventually arrives with the wrong tools.
Most of the time, your teams will be able to anticipate and handle any issues your customers might have before they happen. And even when your customers do have to get in touch with you, your service agents will be able to provide outstanding service without passing customers on to other departments or having to request information from disparate sources.
And the data you need? It’s already in your hands. It’s in your historical logistics data, your job reports, your inventory logs, your SLA fulfillment records, and other databases. All you’re missing is a way to consolidate and make sense of it, so you can use it to improve processes throughout the service supply chain.