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Asian markets are transforming from being product-centric to a service-driven focus. Along with this shift, business customers also have higher expectations from service providers including support for laboratory equipment.
Because Asia is a region comprising diverse cultures and nationalities, and with countries in various developmental stages, the service expectations vary in each of the markets. Equipment suppliers and manufacturers need to understand these differences and provide customized solutions to their portfolio of services and products to achieve customer satisfaction.
From my experience, I see that many multinational companies underestimate these differences and the timeframe required to build service capabilities in markets they operate in. Below are the three trends that are reshaping customer services in Asia.
In a world of WhatsApp, WeChat, Line and other messaging apps, asking customers to call the hotline is no longer sufficient. This is where an omnichannel strategy comes in handy. It is not just about providing access to various channels; you need to unify the channels too to get everyone on the same page.
An omnichannel approach focuses on delivering the best service experience to customers no matter how they interact with the supplier. This means the customer and their experience are at the center of every interaction whether it is online, on the phone or in the physical store. To achieve this unification and improve customer satisfaction, businesses need to embrace technology that empowers every customer support staff with the same access to the same information across the entire customer journey.
In addition to technology, it is also important to cultivate the service mindset across the entire organization. A Forbes Insights study found that while companies are investing in new technologies to realize the modern customer service best practices, 62 percent of organizations still fail to grasp the full importance and impact that customer service can have as an organization-wide strategic goal. Only 38 percent of the survey participants viewed customer service as a priority.
At DKSH, we develop in-house service training programs which are required to be attended by all our service engineers, aiming to translate that customer experience vision statements of ours into beliefs, behaviors and practices among employees.
Reportlinker.com projected that the global laboratory equipment service market will exceed USD 14 billion by 2027. One reason for this growth is that more businesses in Asia are choosing to use preventative maintenance, recalibration and validation measures for their technology equipment, rather than wait for a breakdown to happen before taking action.
Taking calibration services as an example, with the growing number of pharmaceutical and biotech companies, increasing Contract Research Organizations and life science R&D activities, coupled with tight regulations imposed by calibration regulatory authorities globally, the demand for calibration services that comply with international standards is expected to grow rapidly in Asia.
In the past, advanced instruments usually had to be sent to Europe or the US for calibration due to the unavailability of the master equipment required to perform the task. Moving forward, in order to reduce equipment downtime, service providers should bring the master equipment to Asia markets to perform calibration rather than sending the instruments abroad.
Asian consumers are becoming more demanding with their customer service expectations. Moreover, it is no longer about how fast we respond but also how well we fix the problem or provide the correct solution. Equipment suppliers must ensure their engineers’ skills and technical abilities are always up to the mark through periodic training.
That is why DKSH is engaging a state-of-the-art platform to enhance our existing service operation. The platform will help us to stringently evaluate our service performance by looking at key performance indicators like:
Only by knowing where we stand, can we form an effective action plan to improve ourselves and make our customers happy.
As technology evolves, the demand by businesses for a high level and responsive customer service will also increase significantly. Having a comprehensive omnichannel solution, embedded service culture and top-notch service expertise will go a long way in helping you achieve sustainable business growth. Contact DKSH to see how we can help you enhance your customer satisfaction in Asia.
Eloys Er joined DKSH in 2020. She is currently the Senior Manager, Global Service Business and Operation, Business Unit Technology, supporting the Asia Pacific region.
With a background of more than 15 years in the area of Scientific industries, Eloys has extensive understanding of customer needs from equipment sales to after-market services. Her experiences help DKSH to develop and enhance our customer services.