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SharkNinja, Aiper, Samsung...? Big sales success but sometimes sluggish after-sales service

Publié le 21 mai 2024 à 13:00 par Magazine En-Contact
SharkNinja, Aiper, Samsung...? Big sales success but sometimes sluggish after-sales service

Have swimming pool robots, foldable smartphones and deep fryers caught your eye? At some point, you may need to repair them. But what happens to the technical customer services departments of reputable, in-demand brands? At Aiper, Samsung, Orange, and Shark Ninja, the current star of the household appliance department, customers who have a breakdown often only find chatbots.

After-sales service is hell," says Holden Caufield, a consultant specialising in the customer journey, who has just taken the pulse of the after-sales services of over forty of the most famous brands: Whirlpool, Jura, Nespresso and DJI drones. Is video repair, with the help of an expert who will help you diagnose the fault online and help you order the right part, the future?

Some Ninja products

In great shape, thanks to its products and 800 engineers: Ninja. 
Perhaps they are the culprits behind the Air Fryer frenzy that has gripped France. SharkNinja, an American designer of small electrical appliances, has big international ambitions. Ninja, one of the group's two brands, has just announced a new Air Fryer model in France. SharkNinja posted sales of 4.25 billion dollars in 2023, up 14.4%. Although 72% of its sales still come from the United States, the company is present in 26 countries and operates in 31 categories.

CEO Mark Barrocas predicts that international business will account for half of sales in five years' time. SharkNinja invests 9% of its sales in communication, using various channels such as TV and TikTok, and has no proprietary technology, which allows it to offer disruptive innovations. SharkNinja is also targeting the German market and is forecasting net sales growth of 5-7% for 2024.

Listed on the stock exchange since July, SharkNinja has no factories. Its products are manufactured by suppliers in China, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia. The group has invested in its supply chain to speed up the time it takes to bring its products to market.

Vincent D'Hondt, Managing Director France, is delighted with Ninja's growing reputation thanks to the success of the Air Fryers, which took 36% of the market by value in the first fortnight of the year. Shark is concentrating on hair dryers and cordless hoovers to expand. The group uses television advertising and social networks to promote its products.

Is technical after-sales service the poor relation of the customer experience?
Over the past few years, manufacturers of technical products have often focused on market share and market acquisition, while at the same time waging an intense battle with the major online sales sites and marketplaces," says Holden Caufield, consultant at Malpaso-RCM, a publisher specialising in customer experience issues.

"Technical after-sales service has been forgotten, often outsourced, and sometimes with unacknowledged instructions to do everything possible not to repair the product. As a result, as soon as a product is sent to the subcontractor in charge of after-sales service, the audit of the product and any repairs add to the overall cost of the repair, making it unbearable for the owner. But according to our study, the 2nd pain point is the customer journey.

You have to go to the shop where you bought the product, generally Boulanger, Ikea or SoCooc, which will send the product to the approved repairer or indicate the procedure to follow, which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Out of 400 customer reviews and situations audited in our benchmark, over 60% leave the customer dissatisfied. Worst of all is the lack of information given to the customer and the unreachability of customer service. Aiper, a major brand of swimming pool robots, is being torn apart on American websites. No reaction. The worst nightmare comes with the marketplaces".

Watch the video "Repairing your washing machine yourself, video chat with a technician: how does it work?" on TF1

Is video and spare parts purchased online the future? 
The alternative could come from sites such as Spareka, SOS-Accessoire and We Repair, which offer to sell spare parts online so that you can repair your product yourself, and/or get help from a technician.

The three companies mentioned above, leaders in this market, offer to arrange an appointment with a technician, remotely, and charge between 15 and 30 euros for this service. Visiorepair is the name given to this service by Spareka, for example. Fnac-Darty estimates that 2 out of every three repairs could be carried out this way. 
We tested them, just as we tested Fnac-Darty's home repair service for Darty Max holders. Read the results of this benchmark in the next issue of En-Contact. Out in June. 

The latest example is Whirlpool. 
If you look at the Google reviews left by real customers, this well-known brand alone epitomises the obstacle course and bad faith that can irritate customers in need of technical assistance. SoCoo'c, Ikea, Boulanger and other retailers are being urged by these individuals to put pressure on their suppliers or change them. 
Customer review by Mr Brousset, 2 months ago

The video appointment with a technician to carry out a diagnosis at Spareka

ABSOLUTELY NOT !!!!!! Three electrics bought by so cook in June 2022, in March 2023, breakdowns on the three, after calls and calls to the service, a "technician" intervened on the oven, and did it more harm than good.
After calls and calls to the service department, a second "technician" intervened, repaired the oven and hob and had to "order" parts for the microwave. For weeks without any news, we called the service department again, which "apparently" had no trace of the case, It was now February 2024, and a technician from the same company (thirius) was due to work. We took the afternoon off and called them at around 4pm to find out what was going on.
The technician never turned up, and the company never called back to apologise or reschedule the appointment: a disgrace!!!!
The service engineer called today (15/03) said he could not get another company to intervene and left us with this mess.

Are BPO service providers responsible? 
We could blame the BPO partners, the call centres that are hired to provide this customer service," adds the consultant, "but they are not necessarily at the heart of the matter. Whirlpool's call centre was outsourced and then re-sourced in France. During our last test, it proved difficult to reach. The communications agency responsible for explaining the problem said that on that day, a shortage of staff had hampered their ability to take calls. You can be equipped with Genesys, have your contact centre in France and still be unable to provide technical support.

NB: the customer service department of the former Philips is now in Ile de France.

Here are a few reviews of Samsung found on the Custplace site. You'll see that spelling can also use a little after-sales service. 

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