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Digital Continuity for Customer Service

Digital Customer Services digitalization is a transformation journey that focuses on the ones who strive for Customer Satisfaction. Digital Continuity does not end at product delivery.

A Service Lifecycle Management/Customer Services platform shall offer the interfacing and orchestration capabilities to support data interchanges along the supply chain and towards the customer, combining machine-to-machine and human-machine interactions.

Product usage is more volatile than ever and varies more rapidly than it takes for the industry to adapt, broadening the gap between design and usage. New business models have emerged in parallel, among which servitization, where amortization and margin are subjected to product usage and deferred over time.

But while Customer Service is at the front line of customer satisfaction, its teams are under stress as their dedication and talent can’t balance their lack of valid, up-to-date information. Mastering this information requires assembling pieces of a jigsaw spread out across manufacturers, suppliers, and customers, reluctantly and parsimoniously shared.

From a manufacturer standpoint, well-positioned, adaptative, and renewed services provide continuous, non-cyclic, and high-margin revenues. It’s probably because of this contrast between fix, costly and low margin products and evolutive, pay-per-use services that manufacturers and customers have come to jointly plebiscite services. This paradigm shift of moving the focus from product ownership to product.

The outcome is known as Servitization, and has a strong transformational impact. Customer satisfaction is the tip of a massive iceberg; combining vast amounts of information, parts, processes, skills, tools, and solutions and their orchestration is critical.

Companies need to decide which way they want to develop, analyzing the likely trends their markets face, considering what unlikely circumstances may disrupt their business. In complex supply chains, the make or buy strategy will be of the essence to maintain customer intimacy while not being outrun by technology pioneers.

Cyrille Greffe
Principal Business Consultant within Capgemini’s Digital Manufacturing Center of Excellence.