Customer experience is critical to the success of your manufacturing business. But it’s about more than just your sales process. It extends beyond a purchase, a web visit, or how you answer the phone. It encompasses the whole experience of customers – and potential customers – who come into contact with your brand. That might be a visit to your website, seeing an advert or comment on social media, reading an article about you or making a purchase. It is an all-encompassing experience that will define the perception and opinion of the individual to what you are and what you stand for.
If you don’t think customer experience is of paramount importance (and not everyone does) – take a look at the facts. Customer experience studies have shown that customers are five times more likely to make a purchase if they’ve experienced excellent customer experience. Conversely, 78% of customers have abandoned a purchase due to poor customer experience. If those figures aren’t enough to convince you – 86 per cent of customers confirmed they would walk away from a company permanently after a bad experience. And it is believed that by next year, customer service will be the critical decider in brand differentiation for customers – more so than even price or actual product. So, it’s an integral part of how your business is portrayed in the marketplace. Therefore, it makes sense to ensure you are providing an excellent customer experience. But how do you do this, and how can you maximise the benefits?
QUALITY AND CONSISTENCY
Who is responsible for the customer experience in your manufacturing business? It may be that you have designated customer liaison officer, or it may be down to whoever gets to the phone first. Whatever your company size, it’s wise to have one person who has overall responsibility for your brand and customer experience. They do not necessarily have to manage every aspect of it, but they should be responsible for ensuring that quality and consistency are maintained across the board – from the website to how you deal with enquiries.
From social media to the website, printed collateral to talking to the customer on the phone – you need a consistent employer brand so that everyone who comes into contact with your manufacturing business leaves with the same impression (a good one, hopefully!)
TRAIN YOUR EMPLOYEES
Its no use having a brand concept if no-one is implementing it. So, from the web designer to the sales team, everyone needs to know what your company values are. They need to be confident in knowing what the customer should feel when interacting with your company and be sure they can supply a consistently high-value service that reinforces your employer brand.
ANALYSE THE DATA
Don’t forget to analyse the data you have. Reviewing the metrics and using statistics will enable you to work out where your customer experience is working well – and where there is room for improvement.
Many manufacturers talk about customer loyalty, but what about the company’s commitment to its customers? It’s a two-way process. And with more and more manufacturing companies entering the marketplace, it’s vital to keep your customers happy. So, be loyal to your customers – old and new. A bespoke service, knowing a bit about their background and requirements, making suggestions that could help refine their processes and procedures will all help set you aside as a preferred supplier. By showing a genuine interest in your customers, you will win not only their business but their loyalty. So, establishing excellent customer experience matters, and you can successfully set your manufacturing business up as a great experience from initial touchpoint to final sale by continually adapting and refining your customer experience in line with your company goals. Finally, don’t forget customer experience isn’t set in stone, so use feedback on your service to keep ahead of the competition, boosting your revenue and ensuring you have happy customers.