How do you create a Coolblue experience in Field Service?

  • 29/11/2022

In our area, Coolblue is still considered the pinnacle of customer experience. 'Everything for a smile' is the slogan of the Dutch online retailer. Few companies achieve that level of service and customer satisfaction. So what exactly does this Coolblue experience consist of? And can manufacturing companies learn something from it for their field service departments?

Quickly ordered and punctually delivered. Perhaps that, in a nutshell, is Coolblue's strength. Or is there more? What you often find in many reviews about the company is the pleasant contact and smooth, transparent communication with the customer service and service department. You feel that you are being listened to and that the company helps you in your search for a good product.

Providing good service in a world of increasingly critical and empowered consumers does not seem like an easy task. But service is also becoming increasingly important in the world of manufacturing companies and machine builders. Here, too, the customer has become more demanding. Companies want to see their machines keep running. Downtime should be avoided as much as possible, and if a service intervention does become necessary, the customer expects a first-time-right solution.

So industrial customers also want a Coolblue experience. But how do you pull that off? What are the factors that make Coolblue service such a success? We identified three in advance.

1. 'We measure everything.’

Measuring is knowing, even at this e-commerce giant. Coolblue maps the impact of each underlying factor of Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA) in detail through value trees. The company then uses that information to improve the customer experience, reduce costs, or make their operation even more efficient.

It seems like a no brainer, but data also seems to show the way to success in field service. Understanding the asset journey can give a technician valuable information to complete an intervention faster and more successfully. Especially with complex installations and automations, for example, it is important to know what happened during a previous technical intervention, what the maintenance history is, and what feedback the customer has provided during previous maintenance sessions.

But, of course, you can also have information come to you automatically. Internet of Things (IoT) sensors can monitor critical machine parameters, such as temperature or vibration, 24 hours a day, making it easier to prevent breakdowns or schedule maintenance in a timely manner. With such critical asset data in their pockets, it is easier for technicians to improve service accuracy and increase the percentage of successful repairs at first contact.

2. The most customer oriented product journey

Customer centric product journeys is another one of Coolblue's hobbyhorses. The company says it wants to do more than "compete on picture, price, button". Instead, it develops "end-to-end product journeys that make customers happy". Examples? An app that lets you virtually place a television in your living room to find the right size. Or a 2 man delivery service for washing machines that comes quickly and 7 days a week to install your new washing machine.

Coolblue is a crack at reducing "friction," in other words, anything that can get in the way of a pleasant customer experience. Manufacturing companies today, more than ever, have the tools and technology to do the same.

A small sample of the many possibilities:

  • Mobile and remote collaboration tools to communicate smoothly with customers wherever you are
  • Augmented Reality (AR) that allows product specialists to guide and instruct technicians remotely via an AR headset
  • An online self-service portal where customers can continuously view asset status and parts availability
  • Software that allows you to effortlessly schedule service appointments, assist customers, or proactively deliver services

3. A tight schedule and organization

Does it need to be said that Coolblue has everything in place logistically? In any case, the company highlights its smooth interaction between all actors in the logistics game: its own warehouse, its delivery partners, its fast website, its apps, and all employees behind the scenes, including product specialists and service staff.

There is, of course, a big difference between the logistics happenings of such an e-commerce player and a manufacturing company. Yet field service is also no small challenge if you have to manage a lot of (complex) machinery, make employees with the right skills available, or plan a lot of interventions. Manufacturing companies also often struggle with the problem that field service activities are not always easy to coordinate with inventory management and the supply chain. In addition, the industrial sector in our region is plagued by a chronic shortage of skilled workers, which makes efficiently managing resources and costs even more challenging.

Manufacturing companies that want to offer their customers a Coolblue experience today can't seem to get around the purchase of a Field Service Management software package. Among other things, such a package can help you efficiently schedule resources, manage work orders and schedules, manage assets, and much more. But perhaps even more important is how such a system integrates with other applications and departments. After all, the cost and time involved in manually entering and exchanging information between departments cannot be underestimated.

Creating a Coolblue experience is only possible if, for example, technicians do not have to wait for information about parts inventory (ERP), if they are not cut off from customer history (CE), or if the path to the billing department is not a time-consuming calvary. Such barriers not only lead to frustration for field service technicians. They also get in the way of a better customer experience.

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