Remote work, agent shortages, delays in the supply chain, manufacturing, distribution, and, in many cases, rapid business growth have dramatically impacted customer contact organizations across industries. As a result, improving customer experience (CX) has become a top business goal for manufacturing companies across almost every industry. They are increasingly moving beyond “people, process, and technology” to deliver reliable and frictionless CX at every touchpoint.
Frost & Sullivan’s latest virtual ThinkTank, Delivering Frictionless Customer Experience in Manufacturing, discussed what is next in CX and digital transformation as the world begins to recover from the pandemic. It explored the top challenges and ways to help manufacturing companies make the best investment decisions as they continue their digital transformation journey.
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“Customers want personalized products, services, and care but are apprehensive about sharing their information for security reasons. Therefore, companies need to be upfront about their security measures and how customer data will be used,” said Alpa Shah, Vice President, Customer Experience at Frost & Sullivan. “In addition to security, companies must constantly improve processes, train employees to improve skill sets, and provide the tools necessary to empower them to deliver exceptional CX.”
“Although companies have been disrupted and have an immediate need to integrate across the entire supply chain, many have multiple systems on the back end and do not have a central strategy,” noted Brian Remmel, General Manager, Business Applications at Microsoft. “We traditionally look at CX as a front-office issue. The reality is that CX is impacted by the front office, the back office, all the way through the entire customer journey. The best way to provide an incredible CX is to deliver an exceptional employee experience because it is your employees that are servicing customers.”
It is clear that to succeed in an altered marketplace, manufacturing companies will have to offer differentiated CX by:
- Becoming a customer-first manufacturer: Establish an effective feedback loop from customers, marketing and sales, and research and development. With access to easy-to-use analytics, companies will truly understand their customers’ needs and address them.
- Building trust and loyalty with customers: Customers are more willing to share their data if they have control over it. Companies need to help them realize benefits such as convenience and anytime-anywhere access.
- Unlocking new service revenue streams through connected devices: Connected devices allow companies to be predictive rather than reactive by knowing what is going to fail in the manufacturing process, preventing problems from ever occurring, and prolonging the life of critical assets. More importantly, technology can reduce the cost to serve customers by offering self-serve capabilities.
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