The worldwide spread of the Covid-19 pandemic has created an unexpected situation for the manufacturing sector, leading to mandated lockdowns across the ecosystem, disrupted supply chains, halted assembly lines, and much more. And then, health imperatives (such as shortage of masks, ventilators, sanitizer) and innovative contiguities have driven product mix changes with alternative constituents.
But the major challenge for manufacturers has been to meet the rising demand and expectations of customers, keeping them happy and satisfied. They must transform customer input into responsiveness aimed towards enhancing digital customer experience (CX). Those who succeed in delighting their customers can realize a substantial increase in their revenue and enjoy high returns. But how do manufacturers work towards customer experience and thus digital transformation?
Determine the Needs of Your Customers Today
AI, IoT, and cloud computing technologies enable manufacturers to gain real-time insights into the way products move in online and retail environments. They need analytics from point-of-sale systems and transportation metrics. As they use predictive analytics to forecast future sales based on past transactions, they should be wary of underproduction or overproduction.
Understanding varying customer expectations and demands for products helps marketers determine how to best allocate their resources and provide the products customers want now, not tomorrow. For instance, U.S. face mask manufacturers increased production at multiple facilities globally to fulfil the surge in demand for protective face masks in North America, China, and Europe.
Partner with The Right Business
This is the time of collaboration and partnering with the right business. Remember every interaction with another business adds to the possible customer base in terms of the number of employees in the new business and the number of customers working in that business. Transitioning through the business chain doubles down your opportunity to enhance the customer experience in manufacturing and strengthen customer relationships.
As manufacturers collaborate with third-party logistics providers, they not only realize the pros of collaboration but also benefit from B2B sales through the integration of systems. Manufacturers can also add to the digital customer experience by becoming more responsive, like selling products in package deals or reducing costs across the scope of both the manufacturer’s and the logistical partner’s transportation network.
Adopt to Changing Consumer Behavior
Besides industrial buying decisions, consumer buying behavior has changed due to the current pandemic scenario. Sales and marketing departments at manufacturing organizations will have to take a fresh approach to adapt to new buying behavior. With customers developing varied needs and concerns, awareness and triggers will also witness a change.
Each product line will have to be reviewed in the new context to ensure affordability and potential new applications. In the case of high-touch (pricey) products, such as automobiles, marketers are expected to create interactive, rich digital experiences for prospects to have compelling reasons to buy that car.
It’s also time to accelerate SaaS recurring payment models, as affordability will become a universal issue while we step into the “new normal”. Manufacturers need to adopt and implement commercial arrangements aggressively around value-added services and subscription-based models. They can thus acknowledge new buying behavior and lock in customers showing foreseeable revenue streams.
Maximize Care of Your B2B Partners
Manufacturers need to understand the value of engaging their B2B partners. They should develop digital customer experience solutions to creating engaging relationships. Publish regular, informative, and appealing content that not only maps the journey of your buyer but offers something free and of value to your customers.
Your B2B partners use your social media channels to post their questions. They wish to attend webinars, listen to the opinions of peers and influencers, as well as podcasts. You should therefore embrace digital and reach out to your customers where they are.
Besides, data paves the way to an enhanced digital experience, thus, leading to a sale. Manufacturers should embrace data to offer a seamless and personalized experience across prospect and customer touchpoints.
Strengthen After Sales Service
In today’s times, it has become the most crucial to become customer-centric and provide an excellent experience to your customers. Your B2B customers may get frustrated due to a lack of quality customer service. Manufacturers should be present to their customers after sales, as customers show their happiness and satisfaction with your services over social media.
Poor level of customer service or your inability to help your customers with product issues or queries gains a huge following faster than a positive comment online. Manufacturers may send out emails for high-tech products that need updates. They may create online videos to train their customers on using the products easily.
Are you ready to be flexible to ensure an enhanced CX?
The bottom-line is that the problems that have emerged due to the ongoing pandemic outbreak will not go away soon. As the manufacturing industry rises to the occasion, there will be the fast adoption of innovative technologies at scale to improve the digital customer experience. Most importantly, a silver lining of the pandemic will show manufacturers the potential flexibility to change product lines faster, manage cyclical demand falls, and optimize new trends.