Saying that the pandemic changed our lives would be an understatement. With most people huddled up at home during the lockdowns, digital devices played a key role in keeping us connected with friends and families. Businesses, too, had to adapt to the lockdown situation with remote work facilities.
Fast forward to two years, and it seems what started as a temporary solution is likely to stay here for long. Work-from-home arrangements have helped many tech brands bring down operating costs. Google saved a whopping $1 billion in 2020 alone. Unsurprisingly, many tech giants including Microsoft, Facebook, Spotify, and Twitter have announced they would let their employees work from home indefinitely.
With no in-person interaction, digital devices and remote collaboration tools are playing a crucial role in ensuring seamless connectivity to get the work done. As smartphones and laptops enable students to attend classes without leaving the safety of their homes, laptop sales saw a growth to the tune of 10% during the pandemic according to Euromonitor International’s latest data. Similarly, as per the figures from Counterpoint Research, India’s smartphone shipments rose 11 percent from last year to clock in 169 million units in 2021. Apart from digital devices, home appliances have seen a tremendous growth as well, and an average urban household now has anywhere between 15 and 25 devices.
With plenty of important tasks riding on these digital devices, the last thing people want is a malfunctioning gadget. Proper maintenance is the key to prevent such issues, and that’s where the after-sales industry plays a crucial role. After-sales service providers had to mould themselves with new business dynamics. Onsitego offered remote troubleshooting services for free during the pandemic, which helped a lot of users who had nowhere to go to get their problems solved. However, in certain cases, boots on the ground approach is irreplaceable. For such situations, field engineers have been trained to follow the social distancing protocols.
Convenience is another reason behind the success of repair and service companies such as Onsitego. Customers are no longer required to go through the hassle of lining up at service centres in order to get their devices fixed. They can just raise a repair or service request online and their device gets picked up from their home, fixed within a few hours, and returned at their doorstep.
After-sales service providers also enable customers to extend the device warranty beyond what’s offered by the manufacturer. These premium subscription plans save users from exorbitant components and repair costs in the future after the standard one-year warranty. Users effectively get a one-stop solution to a variety of product categories and brands. They no longer have to deal with a different service centre for each of their devices, which is something we’ve always strived to offer.
In recent years, India has seen many informal sectors being organised with the help of technology. Thus, the transformation of the after-sales industry was inevitable. However, you get to see different methods from the organisations that stand out and succeed. A few organisations have started collaborating with freelancers to run their operations. On the other hand, some brands such as Onsitego have in-house engineers with more than 10 years of experience to ensure consistent customer experience.
The after-sales service industry is expected to see a 1.5x growth from 172 million service requests in 2021 to 263 million requests by 2026. Due to the rising number of devices in everyone’s lifestyle and their increasing technical complexity, the after-sales industry is expected to become a $6.3 billion market within the next five years. Even Apple has announced its Right To Repair program, which could help users and after-sales firms.
Easy access to repair and maintenance extends the life of electronic devices. This not only helps consumers save money, but also prevents gadgets from ending up in a landfill. This has been an increasing problem for the environment as many brands have encouraged buyers to treat gadgets as disposable items. With improved after sales programmes, it is possible to incentivise consumers into repairing their existing devices for their own economic benefit and take a small step towards a sustainable future.