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Prolong: Helping Brand’s Expand After-Sales Serivces & Customer Experience

Having spotted a gap in the market with the way brands manage their Care & Repair dept and after-sales interactions, the team at Prolong have developed a unique platform that can help manage and expand after-sales services whilst encouraging brands to adopt a circular economy model at the same time. We spoke to Co-Founder and CEO Tanguy Frécon to find out exactly how the system works and why brands should adopt the service.

What was the thinking behind the launch of the Prolong business?
Prolong was launched with the mission to revolutionise after-sales services in the outdoor industry. Our platform is centred on enhancing customer satisfaction and brand loyalty through efficient and profitable Care & Repair services. We observed a significant gap in how brands manage after-sales interactions; often, it’s an overlooked aspect of customer experience. Prolong addresses this by enabling brands to offer seamless and environmentally sustainable services, turning after-sales from a cost centre into a revenue stream and brand builder.

Please explain in detail how the Prolong system works?
Prolong is an omnichannel platform that integrates directly into a brand’s existing infrastructure, allowing them to manage all aspects of Care & Repair services effectively. Our system automates the service workflow, enabling brands to handle customer requests swiftly and scale their after-sales services without proportional increases in overhead costs. From the initial customer inquiry through the repair process to the return delivery, every step is streamlined and transparent.

Additionally, our analytics suite helps brands to forecast demand for after-sales services, optimise resource allocation, and manage inventory of spare parts efficiently. This not only ensures quicker turnaround times but also reduces waste and supports sustainability efforts. Prolong app

Who are you current partners?
After extensive research and dialogue with the industry, we had the privilege to co-develop Prolong in collaboration with three leading brands in the sportswear and footwear sectors, including Fusalp, which has been instrumental in shaping our platform. This partnership was supported by a significant investment of 1.5 million euros, allowing us to tailor our offerings to the specific needs of the industry and ensuring our solutions are both innovative and effective. Alongside these brand partnerships, we have established a robust network of over 200 repair workshops globally. This network not only enhances our service reach but also ensures expertise in outdoor gear repair, providing an invaluable resource to our partners and their customers.

How do you see the market for this service developing over the next few years?
The demand for comprehensive after-sales services is on the rise, driven by consumers who expect more from their purchases and the brands they support. This is particularly true in the outdoor industry, where the durability and longevity of products are significant selling points. We anticipate that more brands will adopt after-sales service platforms like Prolong to enhance customer loyalty and operate sustainably. As the market evolves, the integration of such services will become a standard, especially for premium brands in the outdoor sector. Prolong repair

How do you plan to expand across Europe?
Our European expansion will focus on aligning with market-specific needs and scaling our service capabilities across different regions. We plan to establish local partnerships and adapt our platform to meet regional regulations and consumer expectations. By the end of 2024, we will operate our Platform across more than 10 countries.

Can you share a success story, or a case study where Prolong has significantly impacted a brand’s after-sales service?
Absolutely. One of our partner brands, which specialises in high-end outdoor apparel, leveraged Prolong to revamp their warranty and repair services. Prior to using our platform, their repair process was cumbersome and often left customers unsatisfied due to long wait times. After integrating Prolong, they not only reduced their turnaround time significantly but also increased customer retention. This success story underscores how effective management of after-sales services can enhance brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.

Why should brands get involved?
Brands should get involved with Prolong to capitalise on the growing trend of sustainability and exceptional customer service. Our platform not only helps brands manage and expand their after-sales services but also does so in an environmentally conscious way that reduces waste and promotes product longevity. By enhancing their after-sales offerings, brands can significantly improve customer retention and satisfaction, which are key drivers of competitive advantage in today’s market.

How does Prolong contribute to the broader sustainability goals of the outdoor industry?
Prolong actively contributes to sustainability by extending the lifespan of products through efficient repair management. By doing so, we help reduce waste and the need for new resources. Our platform encourages brands to adopt a circular economy model, where products are kept in use for as long as possible. This not only conserves resources but also aligns with the values of consumers who are increasingly making purchasing decisions based on environmental impact.

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