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Connected Customer Experience

Protect and grow Service Parts Sales

Author Ashok Kartham on Apr-24-2020

During the COVID-19 driven stay-at-home guidelines, eCommerce sites such as Amazon.com, Instacart, and Walmart have seen massive sales growth as everyone turns to online shopping to more safely fulfill their needs. Manufacturers and their distributor and dealer networks can also leverage Parts eCommerce capabilities to sell spares, accessories, and consumables.

Here are ten things that Service Parts Management experts at Mize have identified to protect and grow your service parts sales and profits. 

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A Few Key Performance Metrics For Subscription Businesses

Author Michael R Blumberg on Apr-20-2020

This blog post was written by Robbie Kellman Baxter, founder of Peninsula Strategies, LLC, and a bestselling author.  She is an expert on membership and subscription-based business models. Her clients have included start-ups and mid-sized venture-backed companies as well as industry leaders such as Netflix, Oracle, Electronic Arts, and eBay.  Robbie will be the guest presenter at a webinar hosted by Mize on April 23, 2020 titled Building a Forever Transaction with Every Customer

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Why B2B Capital Equipment Companies Should Not Automatically Link Performance Pay To Satisfaction Metrics

Author Sam Klaidman on Apr-23-2019

This article is guest post from Sam Klaidman. He is the Principal Adviser at Middlesex Consulting

Many business leaders link their employee’s variable compensation to satisfaction or loyalty survey results with a view to improving the customer experience provided by their company or just to game the survey results.

In this article I assume the business leaders actually want to improve their customer’s experiences.

Why you should not automatically link survey results with variable compensation?

The fundamental reason is that metrics and compensation should only be linked to influence behavior that will result in the business achieving its desired business outcomes.  Some of these outcomes are increase profitability, grow customer lifetime value, and mitigate business risks.

With many capital equipment products the cost of changing brands is so high as to make the likelihood of change non-existent and therefore the impact on the desired business outcomes also non-existent.  

B2B capital equipment products generally have very high switching costs.  For example, airlines that fly the Boeing Max 8 or 9,  or have them on order, cannot easily stop purchasing new ones as their needs grow.  Crew training, maintenance and logistics, and long deliveries from Airbus mean that existing users and customers who await delivery will be flying the Boeing planes from many years.

When a company has selected brand X products for one manufacturing site and decides to increase capacity by duplicating the production line at another location, they will usually buy the same equipment; it will reduce startup time and costs and make it easy to benchmark each facility against the other.  Intel has used a practice it calls Copy Exactly! for many years to deploy each new generation of manufacturing equipment.  They not only duplicate equipment but also use the same exact paint (color, manufacturer, and type) and flooring so they can troubleshoot production problems by eliminating everything that is the same across their factories. Standardization overrides experiences.

Another useful data point.  In their article “CX Metrics Aren’t Customer-Centric, But Should Be. Learn How”, Peter Fader and Sarah E. Toms describe how companies with high switching costs break their customers into three segments based on any CX metric.  The three segments are:

Segment Name Hostile Hostages Neutral Hostages Caged Loyalists
CX Metric Bad Neutral Good

Either your customers are hostages or are at least caged.  In either case, they have to be extremely upset to even consider switching, if it is at all possible.

You might be wondering “what about referrals?”  In my survey work, I find many people who rate a company 9 or 10 on the NPS question but never actually refer.  There are many reasons why but their behavior doesn’t match their intent.  I have also found people who rate a company with a 0 or 1 NPS score who referred the company to associates.  When I asked about the difference, I heard things like “They were not good for us but would be perfect for my friend.”  The takeaway – intent does not always match behavior.

Why improve the customer’s experiences with your company?

Even though your B2B capital equipment customers are likely locked-in to your products, you should still work to improve all the experiences you create. There are still the referrals (some people actually do what they say) and when the current product reaches end-of-life, they will make a new purchasing decision. They will still purchase the product they believe is the best for their intended use but, if the final choice between you and a competitor is close, service experience may be the deciding factor.

Where to invest your CX money?

You should invest your time and money motivating your teams to improve on the actions that will help your customers extract the most value from your products because this is why they originally purchased from you. Their business outcomes are much more important than how they feel about the intangible interactions with the service engineers. Areas to invest in include:

  • Improve product ease of use and reliability
  • Minimize call center handling time so invest in a knowledge base and chat
  • Add more value to your contracts and/or reduce the price
  • Help the customers improve how your product fits into their overall operation
  • Status tracking and notifications
  • Become proactive with predictive maintenance
  • Increase spare parts holdings to improve first call fix rates
  • Employee training – both hard and soft skills
In other words, with B2B customers using products with high switching costs, fixing down equipment is much more important then employee empathy for their situation.
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ICYMI – Webinar: Enabling Service Technicians to Deliver Better Customer Experience

Author Natalie Kass on Apr-8-2019

In last week’s webinar, Enabling Service Technicians to Deliver Better Customer Experience, our viewers learned how to equip service technicians with the tools they need to enhance customer experience (CX). Viewers also got an inside look at Mize’s connected CX solution which demonstrated key applications of the Mize software.

Our speakers included Michael Blumberg, CMO of Mize, and Andrew Thomas, Product Manager of Mize. Blumberg led us through reasons why field service companies should focus on enhancing their customers’ experience while also providing solutions that, once implemented, would enable service technicians to perform their work more efficiently. Then, Thomas walked through an end-to-end process for service requests in Mize, including a first look at Customer, Administrator, and Technician portals.

Watch Webinar recording

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Webinar: Enabling Service Technicians to Deliver Better Customer Experience

Author Michael R Blumberg on Mar-22-2019

Customer Experience is a critical factor driving customer loyalty and retention.  It is important for companies to focus on these Key Performance Indicator (KPIs) because it takes 5 times as much to attract a new customer as it does to keep an existing customer satisfied. Maintaining high levels of customer loyalty and retention can also have a huge financial payoff. Benchmark studies show that just a 5% increase in retention can yield profit increases in the range of 25% to 95%.
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