It’s always been a challenge for manufacturers to know their customers. However, this is changing as modern businesses have started warming up towards omnichannel sales opportunities. That means that customers can place orders online or over the phone as they please. This also places pressure on the manufacturers too as having more customers translates to greater focus and use of customer service. Additionally, customers are starting to demand lower prices and free shipping.
With all that said, the question now begs – How do manufacturers turn their focus to their customer experience? Let’s find out.
Determine what customers want today
Technology today is able to give manufacturers real-time insight into how products are moving in retail and online environments. However, what is seen today doesn’t necessarily forecast what will be needed tomorrow. This is the reason why manufacturers should be careful of overproduction and instead place their focus on giving customers products they want now. In other words, manufacturers need analytics from point-of-sale systems, transportation metrics and more. Furthermore, companies must extend the buying cycle to get as much information as possible from consumers.
Lengthen the buying cycle through interaction
Customers may not always go for what you are providing, but they will however want you to offer more than what you have. Such forward-thinking creates a stronger level of customer service and can equal to additional purchases. It also gives manufacturers the opportunity to seek and find out about the customer’s buying habits and wants. A longer buying cycle can enable insight for manufacturers and can naturally improve the company’s reputation.
Partner with appropriate businesses
Businesses are usually categorized under a broad range of competitors but what they can do is that they can help manufacturers become more responsive to their consumers. This can come in form of offering like products in package deals, compiling changes in like demographics or sharing information to reduce costs across the scope of both companies’ transportation networks. A lot of manufacturers collaborate with third-party logistics providers like Dovetail to reap the benefits of business-to-business sales through the integration of systems.
Every interaction that takes place with another business is important because it expands the consumer base by both the number of employees in the new business and number of customers working with that specific business.
Take extra care of B2B partners
Business-to-business sales are not as stable as business-to-customer sales. A Gallup study has revealed that more than 70 percent of B2B companies are facing challenges and decreases among their B2B partners because there is no customer engagement involved. Since B2B sales often take place behind the public’s perception of the economy, it is important that manufacturers work to create engaging relationships through content-driven, digital experiences. There can be videos for example, showing how products work, along with informative blog posts that can give customers something free and helpful to use. Digital technology can also be used to engage customers regarding B2C sales channels.
Be there for customers after the sale
It’s never a pleasant experience for a company to face complaints from customers about lack of service. Therefore manufacturers need to find a way to be there for their customers after the sale because consumers will share their experiences on social media and to other potential consumers in person. Poor customer service gains more momentum and attention than a positive comment does.
Hearing customers out and paying attention to what they say is the key to a positive customer experience. The most important and common feature in all these steps is to listen. Your company should listen to what internet-connected devices are saying about customers. You should listen to what your B2B partners are saying about your products and customers. Listen to what stakeholders, employees and B2C customers are saying. Manufacturers who do this will be able to increase revenue and company size when all is said and done.
Dovetail was recently invited to speak at the SAPICS Annual Conference in order to discuss topics relevant to the supply chain and logistics industry. Find out what was discussed. Here are the Key Points From Dovetails Speakers At The Recent SAPICS Conference!