What is customer-centricity for manufacturers?
Before we go any further, we’re going to take a look at what customer-centricity means for manufacturers, as this can differ from other industries
Put simply, in this case customer-centricity is all about putting the customer at the center of every business and manufacturing process. This means that any and every business decision should be made with the customer’s best interests in mind.
However, it’s worth noting that there’s a distinction between being customer-centric and being customer-focused.
Being customer-focused means simply declaring that your customers are the most important thing to your business, whereas customer-centricity means actually transforming manufacturing processes to ensure they serve the needs of the customer and meet their expectations and demands.
In order to do this, manufacturers should adopt a holistic view of the business. This will help them to identify how each aspect of the company is responding to the customer’s needs and whether they’re offering the best possible customer experience (CX). This involves:
- Offering and providing the right products or services
- Ensuring these are provided at the right time for customers
- Making sure that customers are receiving these goods or services in the way they need and want to
By taking all of this into account and getting the right systems and processes in place, your customer will recognise they’ve had a superior experience - one which offers a higher value and, therefore, a better return on their investment. This is a major competitive advantage for the manufacturing business that provided the experience, and one that they will need to maintain in order to drive sales, facilitate sustainable growth and avoid being left behind by competitors.
Why is customer-centricity important for manufacturers?
Being customer-centric is so important for manufacturers who hope to remain competitive in a crowded market. What’s more, today’s customers are more resourceful and have access to more information than ever; therefore, businesses that don’t respond to their changing needs could potentially cost themselves customers.
Those who are considering this approach to the customer experience need to look at the entire customer lifecycle from their first interaction to where they are currently. This way, they can ensure they’re engaged in responding to their needs and use their improved understanding of customers to proactively deliver they will want from the next best experience.
So what is your manufacturing business missing?
There are several reasons your manufacturing business might be falling behind on the customer experience, and in this final section, we’re going to look at what it is you might be missing.
1. A strong marketing strategy
In order to make sure you’ve got a strong marketing strategy in place, it’s important to know that email can’t be your only channel.
After all, today’s consumers are operating on a number of different platforms, from websites and social media to smartphones and tablets. As such, you need to get an omnichannel marketing approach in place that reaches them where they spend their time.
2. The use of personalisation
Today’s customers value the personal touch, and in fact, 80% of consumers said they’re more likely to make a purchase from a company that offers a personalised experience. It should therefore be of no surprise to hear that personalisation needs to play a key role in your marketing campaigns, as well as your CX.
In order to get effective personalisation in place, you need to make sure you’re collecting as much data as possible from your customers in order to create a 360° customer view.
3. The right data
It’s become clear that data fuels customer-centric manufacturing, and therefore, you need to make sure you’re collecting, collating and analysing the right data to help you create the best possible experience.
Though this is a challenge for many manufacturers and their sales and marketing departments, it’s worth investing time and resources into getting this right.
Data should be collected from past transactions, social media engagement, online comments, surveys and more in order for manufacturers to become truly customer-centric.
4. The right tools and technology
Technology is a wonderful thing, and today it’s one of the most important assets any manufacturing business can have.
This isn’t just because it allows for automation of labor-intensive processes and increases overall efficiency; you need to make sure that your business has the right software and systems in place to collect, organise and analyse customer information. This can help you to pull all relevant data together in one centralised system and better target consumers with relevant marketing, recommendations, offers and more.
5. Collaboration across departments
In order for your business to be customer-centric, creating a great CX needs to be built into your culture. This means that your departments need to always be collaborating to make this happen.
There might have been a time when sales, marketing and customer service operated in silos, but this is no longer the case. For your business to become customer-centric, everyone must work together to highlight areas of strength and weakness and to offer a seamless omnichannel experience to the customer.
If your teams are completely separate and disjointed, you need to fix this right away.
If you’ve noticed that your manufacturing business is missing one, some or even all of these things, then don’t delay! Get the right tools in place to help you gather data, find helpful insights, and then better target customers with personalised content. This is the key to becoming truly customer-centric.
If you’d like to know more about how you can build a 360° view of your customers in your business, you can check out our comprehensive guide here.
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