5 Areas Manufacturers Can Improve to Impact Customer Experience in 2023
Manufacturers who want to improve their customer experience need to focus on 5 key areas. By prioritizing customer service, utilizing feedback, investing in technology, focusing on personalization, and investing in training, manufacturers can ensure they are providing a best-in-class customer experience (CX)–driving loyalty, increased revenue and creating raving fans.
In fact, a recent survey from the Temkin group of nearly 2,000 business professionals shared their top priority for the next five years was customer experience–beating out pricing, and product for the third time in a row. And it makes good business sense to invest in CX because 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.
5 Tips to Improve Your Customer Experience in 2023 and Beyond
1. Make customer service quality a priority: Customer service should be the first focus of any manufacturer to improve customer experience. Putting customers first and making sure they have the best possible experience is essential in building trust and loyalty. Ensure you don’t just seek to see solutions from a customer perspective, but use focus groups, customer testers, and other direct-feedback mechanisms to stay on the right path.
It’s critical to give externally-facing employees direct access to the information they need–inside the customer service screen they live in. It’s often called swivel-chair integration when an employee has to hop back and forth between systems–like SAP and their CRM. This jumping slows down inquiry resolution, introduces potential manual errors, and creates a friction-filled interaction. enosix uses a purpose-built framework to eliminate swivel-chair interactions by delivering real-time SAP data directly into the customer service interface.
2. Utilize feedback: The most efficient way to understand what your customers are thinking is by listening to their feedback. Encouraging customers to leave reviews and surveys can give manufacturers valuable insight into what they could improve on. Be specific when you ask for feedback and give opportunities for open-ended answers. Look for trends in abandoned carts, reorders, and configurable products to assess where to focus your efforts.
Gartner research shows companies that successfully implement customer experience projects begin with a focus on how they collect and analyze customer feedback.
3. Invest in technology: Incorporating the latest technologies into manufacturing processes can result in more efficient operations, cost savings, and improved customer experience. Beyond the manufacturing floor, SAP-integrated customer portals, commerce solutions, and customer service tools help streamline processes, improve communication, and increase speed.
Mobile-friendly websites and tools, for example, are now so table stakes that 57% of users surveyed won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile website. And nearly 40% will stop engaging if images won’t load or take too long to load. Simply put, investment in the tools and platforms that customers use is business-critical.
4. Focus on personalization: Personalized customer experiences are now table stakes in both B2C and B2B interactions. Using customer data and analytics to create personalized services and products can help manufacturers stand out from the competition and provide a more powerful experience for customers. For example, based on prior purchase history make new product recommendations or configurations visible when a buyer logs into your commerce portal.
Customer portals are a great way to deliver a personalized customer experience. Are all historical orders easily available for reference, and reorder? Does your B2B eCommerce solution automatically and correctly populate with account-specific pricing (including regional or departmental differences)? Can your customers interact with you 24/7 to get basic information like tracking numbers, shipment information, or ATP? These types of information are typically housed in SAP but can easily be brought, real-time, into front-end portals and commerce solutions using enosix.
5. Invest in training: Ensuring employees have the necessary skills and knowledge to provide the best customer service is critical for any manufacturer. As the talent shortage continues to significantly impact business, training takes an even more central role in recruiting and retaining employees. Investing in regular training, or outsourcing specific tasks, can help improve customer experience and give customers a better overall experience.
Only 1 in 26 unhappy customers actually complain or reach out. The remaining 96% take their purchasing decisions elsewhere. When a customer reaches out for assistance, 100% resolution during the first interaction should be the goal–which requires trained, empowered, and knowledgeable employees.
Customer Experience Drives Top-Line and Bottom-Line Improvements
These tips can help manufacturers improve their customer experience and ensure they remain competitive. Focusing on creating a positive reputation among customers, building trust, and increasing loyalty can accelerate revenue-generating transactions from eCommerce orders and quotes. Accurate pricing and ATP can preserve margins, while delighting customers with 100% accurate-to-SAP pricing. Taking the time to focus on customer service is essential for any manufacturer that wants to succeed in today’s market.
Improving Customer Experience as a Continuous Process
It’s important to remember that evolving your customer experience isn’t a one-time task, but rather a continuous process. As customer needs rapidly evolve and change, manufacturers should take the time to regularly assess their operations and find ways to improve their customer experience.
By taking the time to focus on customer service, manufacturers can make sure their customers are getting the best possible experience, now and in the future. Ensuring your data integrations drive the best possible customer experience is where enosix comes in. Driving agile, accurate information access delights customers and drives increased revenue. Let’s talk about next steps.