The CX genie is out of the bottle. The customer’s wish is now often more than many manufacturers can command. Consumers are changing the way they engage with every type of product or services organisation, from a retail brand to the manufacturer or wholesale supplier. Recent research carried out by the Aberdeen Group and BCG, Global Managing Consulting, found that more than 4 in 10 (41per cent) of manufacturers say that “unpredictable” customer demand is their top “pressure” and nearly half (48 per cent) find it “difficult to accurately track customer, supplier and partner transactions”. Far too many businesses are still stuck within a traditional silo model with just their own separate system of collected data.
Customer control of shared data and information is increasingly outstripping the capacity for companies and organisations to manage their interactions. As the different departments struggle to “keep on top of it”, the quarterly management accounts may suggest that “at the bottom of it”, customer orders have been dwindling away. As consumers become ever-more demanding, those companies who are unable to provide fast, high quality and informed customer engagement are increasingly feeling the effect of the invisible customer scroll or swipe away to a CX-savvy competitor.
The rules of engagement have changed
The expectation is now most firmly fixed on the super fast-moving stage of “customer experience” – not just at the point of purchase but from first contact and throughout the customer journey. The rules of engagement have changed. Accelerating 21st century digital transformation is opening up customers eyes to an Aladdin’s cave filled with an endless treasure of instant data, all with an “app for that”.
It has inevitably led to customers asking ever more complex questions, and demanding a higher quality, personalised service. But how many manufacturers have yet to be granted their wish of regaining full control in the new customer interface environment? The latest Edgewater Fullscope whitepaper offers insight and survival techniques offered by CRM to manufacturers for coping with the change in customer demands. Free download here.
A consistent quality real-time experience across all channels
The consumer knows exactly what the new digitised customer experience looks and feels like - and they keep it in mind when dealing with other companies in different sectors, especially manufacturing. The reality is, armed with powerful new digital props, they’re no longer waiting in the wings for companies to “transfer you to the warehouse to see if it’s in stock”.
Customers are more virtually connected, socially networked and better informed than ever before. And they want to know and be service-supplied even more. The customer journey is now multi-layered and omni channel as it arcs across multiple touchpoints. A digital Tinkerbelle, it can start anywhere at any time, and move in any direction, crisscrossing backwards and forwards, and repeating the same request. Whether buying or getting help for a product, each time customers will vary their process based on what is convenient for them right at that precise moment. All the while, customers expect a consistent quality, real-time experience across all channels, from sales and customer service, to technical help, account management and order despatch.
Organic and intuitive at all stages throughout the entire process
Companies must recognise that their customers are no longer just to be engaged with at the very start and the end of of the supply chain. CRM must be involved, organic and intuitive at all stages throughout the entire process. Customers expect to instantly have the information they need at their fingertips as they research and compare products, but also access reviews, advice and promotions online.
Customers will naturally turn to those brands who have undergone a digital transformation and are able to seamlessly manage their customer interactions. One wave of the digital wand will sprinkle the much-needed CRM software magic. Overnight, a disparate grouping of non-speaking silos can change into an Industry 4.0 “smart factory”, instantly streamlining data from multiple CRM, ERP and IoT sources via one single platform.
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The connected customer at every stage can be automatically supplied with all the information they increasingly demand and expect. From yesterday’s tale of an ‘analogue’ assembly line producing a product to sell, today’s CX narrative is of a digitised factory fulfilling the demand for a peerless customer experience. The latest Edgewater Fullscope whitepaper discusses how manufacturers can “build agile processes that dial up or down with the needs of the customer”. Free download here.