Today, OEMs understand the role of aftermarket sales in their businesses and their impact on their general financial health. This is unlike a few decades ago when the aftermarket was seen as an afterthought. OEM aftermarket sales are less cyclical and generate more profits than the sales of original equipment.
Deloitte determined that the average operating margin from the aftermarket business globally is about 2.5 times the operating margin from new equipment sales. And according to McKinsey & Company, industrial companies that understand their customer base, adequately prioritize aftermarket sales, and relentlessly focus on execution can boost their services revenue by 30 to 60 percent within three to five years.
However, the challenge lies in manufacturers’ ability to come up with an aftermarket sales plan that can improve the customer experience and see more customers and dealers purchase OEM parts to increase their profit margins. Here’s how you can promote customer retention, drive business growth, and gain a competitive edge in your niche market by focusing on customer experience and boosting aftermarket parts sales.
1. Provide a Frictionless Experience
Customers are willing to pay slightly more if they have the assurance that their machines will have less downtime and they can get more life out of the part they order. So why do they go to independent parts vendors? Because of the friction that often comes with trying to buy from the manufacturer.
Whether purchasing parts through the call center or through a digital store, buyers need a responsive process and confidence that they’re getting the right part the first time. OEMs provide the quality and reliability that asset owners are looking for when making parts purchases, so make sure customers have an intuitive and easy way to make purchases no matter the buying channel. Buyers will repeatedly do business with organizations that make their job easier.
2. Organizational Alignment
Every member of an organization should be working towards the same goal: customer satisfaction. Customer service, technical support, and new equipment sales staff are frequently visiting and speaking with the same customers. To ensure alignment, make sure these teams are also frequently talking to each other. It is not uncommon for a new equipment salesperson to be on site with a customer who is sharing information related to parts and service. There needs to be a mechanism for sharing this type of information. Customers don’t want to have to repeat themselves.
Sales, technical support, and parts should all have common goals when working with customers. Fostering customer loyalty is one of the best ways to grow aftermarket sales. Organizations can really differentiate themselves when these groups are working cooperatively. It’s important to realize that every member of an organization is part of the brand image, so it’s critical to make sure everyone from the phone operator to the accounting department is aligned with delivering an exceptional customer experience.
3. Adopt the Use of Proper Tech Tools
Manufacturers should use fast and agile technology that is designed specifically for the equipment industry. The technology must be a fully integrated solution that spans the equipment’s entire life -cycle— spanning from original manufacture to aftermarket service. If a solution isn’t able to pull data from an ERP or elsewhere in the company it will cause delays and waste valuable time.
When ordering, customers expect a quick and easy process that mimics the purchasing experience they have in their personal lives … so give that to them. When aftermarket organizations make it easy for customers to do their job, it is more likely that they’ll become repeat customers.
Make It Easy to Do Business with Your Company
Manufacturers can access a myriad of specialized tech tools offered by GenAlpha in the aftermarket. These tools will empower equipment owners to make decisions in real-time based on correct information while also allowing for fast and convenient orders through the internet.
As a result, customers enjoy the unprecedented value and the expert technical support your organization provides, thus increasing aftermarket sales by facilitating repeat business. There is a lot of untapped potential waiting in the aftermarket for manufacturers, and providing an exceptional customer experience is a great way to capitalize on that.