Manufacturers needlessly let customers wait more than a week for repairs

Dec 02, 2019 • ManagementNewsmanufacturingCustomer Satisfaction and Expectations

Tech support company Mavenoid discovered users of tech hardware have to wait on average eight days to have a problem fixed.
Downtime is known to be one of the largest expenses for manufacturing companies. Swedish tech support company Mavenoid studied a variety of industries, from heavy machinery to consumer appliances, and measured the time users had to wait for a repair technician to fix their broken products. The results show surprisingly long downtimes for all product categories, even when the product’s function is critical for a business’ operation or a consumer’s daily life.

“Eight days of downtime is shockingly long considering how much productivity and goodwill is lost every day a product is not working,” says Mavenoid co-founder and CEO Shahan Lilja. “We see how customers become increasingly frustrated waiting for repairs, while companies’ support teams are held up fixing repetitive problems.”

In the study, Mavenoid compiled data from support requests across social media, online forums and manufacturers’ helpdesk channels like email and chatbots. The requests were managed by human support staff, sometimes remotely and sometimes including physical visits from a service technician. Utilizing cluster analysis on the support cases, and a statistic model to predict the alternative solutions to each request, Mavenoid was able to estimate the average waiting time and how much time could have been saved with better self-service capabilities.

“In half of the troubleshooting cases we looked at, the end-users could have easily fixed their machines themselves, without any wait,” says Mr Lilja. “Time-to-solution is key to satisfied customers, so it’s clear manufacturers underestimate the negative consequences of support waiting times and haven’t yet fully realized the potential of self-service.”