B2B Service Portals: The Control Center of Your Service Experience

Published: 2024-05-21 Updated: 2024-06-18

The service experience is increasingly important to customers in the digital age, which is why service portals are gaining importance in mechanical engineering. But what should you be aware of, and how can you and your customers benefit?

B2B-Serviceportal: Die Schaltzentrale für Ihre Service-Experience

Service portals in B2B commerce

The majority of B2B dealers provide their customers with service portals, which serve as a platform for services and products. These portals are also becoming more popular in the field of mechanical engineering. They simplify communication between manufacturers and customers, provide a better overview of service information, and optimize the customer experience.

Digital service platforms offer customers added value beyond the purchase of machines and components by allowing customers to find and order spare parts straightaway, access technical documentation, and contact the customer service team if they have any questions.

But it’s not just customers who benefit from them—they are an essential component of a machine manufacturer’s portfolio if they are to remain competitive.

Suggested reading: 10 answers to the most frequently asked questions on aftersales portals


Machine manufacturers need to think digitally

The success of mechanical and plant engineering is based on powerful machinery that ensures production never stops in sectors, such as the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, automotive manufacturing, and the food industry, even under the most adverse conditions and going at full tilt.

But to make sure they continue to be successful in the future, hardware experts need to tread new, digital paths, something a German McKinsey study urged back in 2021. One thing in particular the study established was falling profitability among many medium-sized OEM companies, who are often still geared toward hardware and incremental innovation.

Those looking to grow need to shift added value from pure mechanical engineering to digital products and data-based services with a strong focus on the user, according to the study. If they don’t, large industrial companies and competitors from outside the industry such as Microsoft threaten to fill the gaps with their data expertise.

Digital companies could position themselves between machine manufacturers and their customers in future and siphon off the potential for generating added value. This would lead to manufacturers losing direct access to their customers and their data, and therefore the basis for developing new services and business models.


Portals protect margins and innovation

The study recommends that industrial companies penetrate into higher margin areas. To do this it says digitalization should not be seen as an optimization tool for their processes, but instead the chance to exploit associated business opportunities strategically.

For example, by entering into the platform economy and connecting their own offering to “B2B ecosystems”. These are digital marketplaces or platforms that medium-sized enterprises can use to scale their services or work together with partners.

Having your own service portal gives you the opportunity to become part of the Service 4.0 movement in the mechanical engineering sector and to offer digital solutions in addition to high-quality hardware, so that your customers can use your machines to their full potential.


Why you should invest in a service portal

Service portals bring together the wealth of knowledge that you, as a manufacturer, have at your disposal about your machines. In a digital service portal...

  • ...spare part and service information is combined and linked to technical documentation and training information.
  • ...your customers can easily find and order spare parts.
  • ...plant operators can quickly obtain the information they need to keep their production processes running smoothly.
  • ...as a manufacturer, you can access important data on the operation of your machines.
  • ...service technicians will find relevant information to help them carry out their service visits.

What’s more, service portals enable you to improve the services you offer, thanks to the clear service and customer data they hold, and to develop data-based services. They help you deliver on your goal of not just supplying the best machines but also offering top-class service

 

Read our eBook and get started

Take a look at our free eBook on service portals to find out the features a service portal should have, how it can support digitalization in your company as a whole, and what best practice looks like.

It covers the key facts about service portals and concrete solutions for implementing them.

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Warum sich Serviceportale für Sie lohnen

Serviceportale vereinen das geballte Wissen, das Ihnen als Hersteller rund um Ihre Maschinen zur Verfügung steht. In einem digitalen Serviceportal

  • laufen Ersatzteil- und Serviceinformationen zusammen, die mit der Technischen Dokumentation und Schulungsinformationen verknüpft sind,
  • haben Ihre Kunden die Möglichkeit, Ersatzteile einfach zu finden und zu bestellen,
  • erhalten Anlagenbetreiber schnell die Informationen, die sie für reibungslose Produktionsprozesse benötigen,
  • stehen Ihnen als Hersteller wichtige Daten über den Betrieb Ihrer Maschinen zur Verfügung,
  • finden Servicetechniker relevante Informationen, um ihre Einsätze optimal durchführen zu können.

Darüber hinaus bieten Serviceportale Ihnen die Möglichkeit, Ihr Serviceangebot dank übersichtlicher Service- und Kundendaten zu verbessern und datenbasierte Dienstleistungen zu entwickeln. Damit kommen Sie Ihrem Ziel, neben den besten Maschinen auch exzellenten Service zu bieten, einen großen Schritt näher.


EBook lesen und durchstarten

Welche Funktionen ein Serviceportal bieten sollte, wie Sie damit die Digitalisierung im gesamten Unternehmen unterstützen und welche Best Practices sich bewährt haben, erfahren Sie in unserem kostenfreien eBook rund um Serviceportale.

Darin stellen wir Ihnen die wichtigsten Fakten zu Serviceportalen und konkrete Lösungen für die Umsetzung vor.