Building customer loyalty in the aftermarket matters now more than ever

30 November 2022

The practice of making products with a purposefully short working life - also known as planned obsolescence - is coming to an end. 

Your customers are looking for sustainable equipment, for things that stand the test of time.

And if you don’t offer them, those customers will quickly look elsewhere. 

Regulatory pressures and business demand are pushing manufacturers in one direction.

We can help provide the quickest and most efficient route there. 

As you probably already know, right-to-repair laws are being passed around the world as countries respond to the increasing amount of waste being produced globally.

According to the Global E-Waste Statistics Partnership (GESP), waste volume grew by 21% in the five years up to 2019. 


Source: Geneva Environment Network

And from this July, legislation in the UK means manufacturers must provide repairers with access to spare parts and technical information.

As challenging an evolution as this will be, you can choose to see it as an incredible positive. 

Firstly, it’s a positive because it gives you the chance to build a stronger relationship with your customers in the aftermarket. 

By proactively taking steps to improve the reliability and serviceability of your products, you can build trust in your company and its products, while at the same time showing how serious you are about being an ethical and sustainable brand. 

Even more importantly for your business, this aftermarket has the potential to be highly lucrative. 

For anyone concerned that the right to repair will result in falling product sales, take solace in the fact that the need to service products will increase

– And, as a result, so will part sales. 

And, while spare parts may constitute a smaller percentage of revenues for many manufacturers, the margins are often significantly higher, which can make the aftermarket particularly profitable.   

Seizing the opportunity

We’re here to help you capitalize on this potential. 

We know outdated systems and processes are preventing manufacturers from improving their aftermarket offerings. 

The only solution is to move away from old-school product catalogs and towards interactive digital platforms.

Doing so will help businesses build stronger customer loyalty and enable eCommerce. 

We know it pays to focus on customer loyalty. 

Consider the research of Fred Reichheld, the inventor of the net promoter score. He found that by increasing customer retention by 5% companies increase profits by 25% and higher.

As you decide how to future-proof your business, it’s worth focusing on the customer experience.

Remember the three ‘E’s: ease, efficiency and engagement. 

Ease of access to your spare parts information

If you’re looking to provide access to spare parts or technical information, your first instinct should be to make life as easy as possible for your customers. 

Parts should be easy to find, identify and inspect. 

Ideally, all the information associated with that part – specification, price and even stock levels – should be made available in an instant. 

If you compare Partful to a product catalog, you’ll immediately see the difference a highly visual digital platform makes to your offering. 

Instead of asking your customers to rifle through hundreds of pages to source the right part, they simply need to locate the part on the product’s 3D virtual twin. 

They can turn the 3D model in any direction, take the virtual product apart to isolate the components, and receive all the details they need. 

Efficiency in serving your aftersales customers

If customers then want to purchase a part, it’s crucial you make this process as simple as possible.

Once the part has been identified, they should absolutely be able to buy it right there and then – just like an Amazon Prime purchase. 

Customers shouldn’t be asked to go elsewhere to acquire the part. They shouldn’t need to email, or call anyone, or visit another company’s website. 

Adding these extra steps and complexity leads to ordering delays and errors.

The last thing you want is to encourage your once loyal customers to buy from third parties.

Increase positive engagements and touchpoints

Never underestimate how important every touch point is to your customer’s loyalty. 

If you’re simply providing the most basic parts catalog, you’re missing the biggest opportunity for customers to engage positively with your brand.

At Partful we’re providing customers with an immersive, interactive 3D experience that allows them to play around with a virtual product. 

It’s a super enjoyable tool to use and it’s never going to frustrate customers like the experience of using product catalogs often does.

Given the rise of the right-to-repair legislation, it’s inevitable that companies will need to move towards products that are easier to maintain – and this will only ever increase after sales activity. 

It’s never been more important to get these aftermarket experiences right. 

Taking steps to improve these interactions is the only logical choice if you want to maintain customer loyalty and drive profits.  

Take a look at how Partful’s 3D Explosion Parts Catalog can help you improve customer loyalty by giving consumers what they need today. 


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