How digital replicas help manufacturers enhance their after sales CX

5 December 2022

There is a strong commercial argument for organizations to invest in an enhanced customer experience (CX) – with a growing wealth of evidence demonstrating the potential ROI this provides.

Forrester Research and Customer Behaviour

For instance, the influential research and advisory firm Forrester has found that customers are 2.7x more likely to spend more when companies communicate clearly and 2.4x more likely to stay loyal when their problems are solved quickly.

The Gap in Post-Sale Customer Experience

Many product manufacturers understand this importance and provide an enhanced CX for the initial sale of products. But this does not always extend to the after-sales experience.

The replacement parts market can often feel awkward and difficult to negotiate. Customers wanting to carry out repairs and maintenance regularly need to wade through thick instruction manuals and bulky product catalogues to find the right part name and product number, before placing orders. It can lead to customers making ordering errors – which can prove frustrating, costly, and time-consuming for everyone involved.

When a typical consumer can visit a website like Amazon, search for a product, check its spec, see a demonstration video, and place an order with a few taps of a smartphone, it’s an approach to customer service that is becoming increasingly outdated.

Introduction to Digital Twin Technology

The emergence of digital twin technology, however, has the potential to revolutionize this market. It is allowing manufacturing to host 3D digital replicas online and provide customers with clear guidance – either with their repairs or when ordering parts.

Benefits of 3D Digital Replicas

For example, when compared to traditional instruction manuals, this 3D approach has been shown to help people complete repair tasks 50% faster. Sophisticated platforms can also allow the end users to see the replica product, and all its various components, from any angle. Digital animations can also show customers how products can be taken apart and put back together.

Integration with eCommerce Systems

Not only does this help customers know what to do, but it also limits their mistakes – both in their repair work and when ordering parts. When these platforms are connected to eCommerce systems, customers can also view the individual components, see all the relevant details, including prices and stock levels, and order parts there and then.

Contrasting with the Traditional Approach

The ease of use, and enjoyment involved, in these experiences are in stark contrast to the long-winded and error-strewn nature of the traditional approach. This often relies on customers to use PDF documentation, send emails, and call customer support agents for help.

Short-Term and Long-Term Benefits

An enhanced CX using 3D digital replicas will help customers to self-serve quickly, however. In the short term, this can provide companies with a significant competitive edge, by helping to increase part sales. This is no small consideration as it will help many businesses head off the threats posed by third-party digital marketplaces.

Conclusion on Strengthening Customer Loyalty

In the long term, this enhanced CX can only help to strengthen customer loyalty. By making life simple for the end user, they will be improving the overall experience of the brand and helping to increase customer retention.

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