Manufacturers have traditionally relied on products and product development technology to gain a competitive edge. But times have changed.
Today’s manufacturers compete in a market where the product alone is not the differentiator. Customers expect high-quality service and support, and these are key considerations when making purchase decisions. According to a recent survey, 80% of customers are well informed and have a preference for tailored experiences.
In an age of diminishing customer loyalty and growing competition, manufacturers need a well-defined strategy to effectively engage and satisfy customers. Businesses must invest in tools and technologies to empower their sales and marketing teams. AI and ML can help make their systems and processes as efficient as possible.
What does it take for manufacturers to deliver experiences that engage and convert? Let’s look at the key areas manufacturers should address to attract, engage, and convert the always-connected digital natives of today.
1. Know your customers
Manufacturers must be committed to providing customers with product recommendations that are tailored to their needs. To achieve this, they must first extract critical customer data that can help drive personalized recommendations. By studying customer data and evaluating individual behaviors, manufacturers can help audiences make suitable choices easily through predictive marketing.
2. Always personalize
A robust personalized experience differentiates your brand from competitors by establishing direct, one-to-one relationships. Don’t forget that your audience is a busy lot, and a personalized message will not only save their time but also help you stand out from a sea of competitors.
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3. Be omnipresent
Your competitors will not miss a chance to sneak in and steal your customers no matter how mature your customer relationships are. That’s why it’s important that you connect with audiences across all touchpoints and on every channel. Visibility plays a big role and collecting information at various touchpoints in the customer journey can help create a complete picture/persona of the customer.
4. Create an omnichannel experience
It is important for manufacturers to engage their customers with an omnichannel experience. Brands must provide a consistent and unbroken experience across all channels, whether it is online or offline. The information provided to the customer must be relevant, up to date, and available in real-time.
5. Make it a team goal
Improving the customer experience is a shared goal. Adopting a customer-first approach starts from the top, and the management team must evangelize the digitization of tools and processes to encourage the rest of the workforce to collaborate. They must also play an active role in hiring the right resources and assigning them to the relevant roles in order to drive change within the business.
6. Use social media
Social media plays a key role in driving purchase decisions. According to a report, 82% of customers research online before making their purchase. Therefore, manufacturers must be vigilant and proactively address criticism of their brand on social media channels. A major global manufacturer manages a dedicated social media monitoring team that helps them analyze the latest trends on social media. Any unforeseen situation is addressed promptly before it blows up into a media spectacle. Organizations need to effectively use social media to gather customer feedback and use the acquired insights to develop personalized products.
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7. Have a solid mobile strategy
Mobility plays a very important role, as it not only helps streamline operations and reduce the production cycle process, but it also affects the way marketers sell the products, as they have real-time access to the inventory and can promise accurate delivery dates. Promptly delivering products/services ensures customer delight and encourages customer loyalty.
8. Use analytics to create customer delight
As manufacturers, you need to connect your products with devices to analyze the device feed. This can alert you when a product needs servicing or replacements before the product goes kaput. The inbuilt device is driven by pattern telematics, which allows accurate calculations and analytics capabilities, which can promptly provide information to the customers as well as the manufacturers. Initially, manufacturers used to provide customers with limited options, and customers used to make purchases out of compulsion. But now, with the latest technologies and the analysis of customer feedback, you can provide them with products they desire and expect from your brand.
9. Embrace the cloud
Embracing cloud technology can help you focus on core abilities rather than the basic infrastructure. With the latest technologies in various forms, a vast amount of information on the products and customers can be gathered and stored on the cloud. This enables you to take action whenever necessary. CAD (Computer-Aided Design) designers can enhance your products by using information gathered by SMAC (Social Media, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud) technologies.
10. Improve product development
Implementing the latest tools and technologies will help you understand your customers better, and you will be able to provide them with better-developed products. Enhancing customer experience can give you the opportunity to sell directly to the customer, rather than a middleman. You will also be able to amass customer data and product feedback, which is essential to enhance the product. In case your clients are distributors, you can implement digital CRM to keep track of all their purchases, interactions, and problems. This will enable you to provide customer support when required. You can also procure data by integrating feedback forms and tracking website traffic. Use this data completely to your advantage and apply it to developing better quality products.
Manufacturers have traditionally been governed by an operations mindset. But the demands of today’s digital world are different. Manufacturing businesses must focus their resources on making their businesses more customer-centric and keep in mind that the main objective is to simplify customers’ lives with the best and latest technologies and streamlined business processes.
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