Info-tech

Lenovo to focus on after-sales services as laptop business slows

Abhishek Law Kolkata July 21 | Updated on January 11, 2018

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When 25-year-old Mohit Basu had an issue with his three-year-old laptop, it was difficult for him to locate the warranty card, look up details, and finally reach out to the service centre. But his troubles may soon be a thing of the past.

Chinese tech-major Lenovo is planning to introduce a QR code scan option on its PCs that will enable customers to retrieve all product-related support info on a mobile app. The QR-code scan options like to be introduced across all new devices by September.

With laptop and notebook sales in the midst of a slowdown, after-sales services are seen as the future business enabler at Lenovo.

Leveraging IoT concept

According to Sudipto Ghosh, Executive Director – Services India, Lenovo, the company is already exploring possibility of leveraging the concept of Internet of Things (IoT) for better after-sales services.

“Services, especially after sales, are fast emerging as the business enablers. For us, services should emerge as a differentiator too,” he told BusinessLine.

Market sources indicate that with Lenovo – amongst the top two PC makers in terms of market share – banking on premium offerings to bolster growth, after-sales services are expected to gain importance.

Lenovo, according to the analyst firm Gartner’s report, has seen an 8.4 per cent decline (preliminarily) in shipments (globally) in April - June period of 2017 on a year-on-year-basis. This comes at a time when the PC industry is in the midst of a 5-year slump. The Q2 (April-June) – the 11th straight quarter of decline India – saw PC shipments come down to 61.1 million units; a 4.3 percent decline from a year-ago-period.

In India, the pent-up demand after the demonetisation cooled down post the first three months (Jan-March), coupled with the absence of a large tender deal and higher PC prices, brought about weak market growth. Moreover, consumers, market sources say, have delayed purchases. In some cases, retail trade has stocked less worrying about the effects of GST leading to problems for the distributors.

As VK Bhandari, CMD, Supertron Electronics – an IT distribution company from Eastern India –, points out there was at a 30-40 per cent decline in demand in May and June (for the distributors) primarily because of worries surrounding by GST.

“Nowadays, post-sale services are fast emerging as a differentiator, especially where customers opt for premium products,” he pointed out.

New initiatives

Accordingly, Lenovo, has rolled out a host of initiatives like easy access to customers across digital platforms like Twitter; use of app (mobile applications), call centre facilities.

It has also introduced options like ‘chatbot’; big data analytics to gain customer insight; online diagnostics help and so on.

Lenovo spends anywhere around $ 1 million annually as additional investments for service excellence, sources in the company said.

“We plan to open two more exclusive service centres by the end of the year, thereby expanding reach in key regions in India. We are also revamping select service centres across the country to improve the overall customer experience,” the company said in an emailed response.

Lenovo India already has 150 PC service centres, another 177 authorised onsite centres that map 29,000 pincodes across India, and has four exclusive service centres – one each in Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.

Published on July 21, 2017

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