Industries that sell complex machinery have a daily challenge to keep those machines in working order, and it carries very real consequences. For example, nearly every factory loses at least 5% of its productive capacity from machine downtime, and many lose up to 20%. This makes a good aftermarket parts ordering solution vital, because the last thing you want is your customers associating loss of productivity to maintaining your products.
Not only does downtime have a direct impact on revenue, but affects your customers response time, increased machine wear, and their ability to innovate. Having replacement parts, maintenance manuals & schedules, maintenance history, and part recall information readily available and easy to find for both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance is critical in keeping both the machines going and your customers satisfied.
Here are 3 ways a robust online parts catalog can help:
1) Customer Service and Experience.
Today’s buyers are far more technically savvy than buyers of the past and they want to be able to independently find and order what they are looking for – even replacement parts on highly complicated machinery.
Because the need for replacement parts is discovered while using the equipment, it’s vital that your solution is able to be used right at the time of need – even out in the field or on the shop floor. This requires a solution that is responsive and can work just as easily on tablets or mobile phones as it does on a desktop.
By providing a robust online parts catalog that helps your customer quickly identify and order the correct replacement part, you will further build your reputation as a trusted partner. A well-organized, easy to navigate parts ordering solution will also help increase your efficiency as a company by reducing calls to your customer service center from frustrated customers who either didn’t order the correct part, or cannot find the correct part while trying to order.
2) Customer Education.
Simply providing your customers with a list of parts at the time of purchase is not enough in today’s digital world. For starters, this parts list could be out of date by the time the machinery is installed. And even if it is current, it’s often lost by the customer and unavailable in their time of need.
So yes, while it’s primarily important that your customer orders the correct part in the first place, you should also provide readily available access to manuals, how-to videos and instructional documentation to help troubleshoot and replace the parts. A solid and robust online parts catalog will quickly associate manuals for assemblies and subassemblies, as well as provide information on replacement or alternative parts.
3) Customer Retention.
This is pretty simple. If a customer comes to your site looking for something and is unable to find it, they will go elsewhere.
Conversely, if you provide them with top-notch customer service and your company becomes their first thought when the need replacement parts, you can forge a lasting relationship. At the same time, it offers you a way to monetize the time between resale.
And it doesn’t stop with the catalog. You can further this good relationship by sending messages to remind customers when routine maintenance is needed or that it is time to reorder replacement parts to keep their machines running with no unnecessary downtime.
If your products require replacement parts and an online robust catalog could help your bottom line, please share a few details below and we will be in touch.