<img src="https://secure.leadforensics.com/133892.png" alt="" style="display:none;">

The need to deliver better customer experience (CX) has been a key focus for B2C businesses for some time. However, as products commoditize, excellent CX is becoming an important metric to differentiate companies, regardless if they’re B2C or B2B.

Although manufacturers were slow to adapt to e-commerce initially, the industry’s CX efforts are ramping up. In fact, 63.73% of manufacturers today place creating a seamless CX as a main focus for their business.

The trends driving customer experience in manufacturing

Customer experience in manufacturing

1. The need to gain a competitive advantage

Modern technology has enabled businesses to be worldwide, making it easy for buyers to see what other businesses like yours have to offer anywhere in the world. This makes it harder for you to truly offer a USP (unique selling point) as the chances are there will be another business that can offer the same – if not more – than you.

So, to appeal to your customers, you should be focusing on improving the customer journey on a continuous basis. Technology like automation, analytics and AI can help you deliver better CX as well as boost productivity and reduce cost.

2. The blurring lines between products and services

Businesses are now looking for more than one-time transactions with their customers. Take Netflix and Spotify for example, which deliver media as a service rather than customers purchasing a single DVD or CD.

Of course, the manufacturing industry is very different to streaming businesses, but it can also benefit from servitization. For example, offering additional services such as maintenance to complement traditional products can secure repeat transactions with customers.

How has customer behavior shifted in the past few years?

customer experience in manufacturing In our report produced in association with Copperberg, we surveyed over 100 manufacturing organizations to examine the current state of CXE in manufacturing.

In our findings, 55.88% of manufacturers said their customers have been shopping online more frequently over the past few years, which was predominantly driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, manufacturers also noted their clients still favour offline channels the most – suggesting that digital buying is not yet deeply ingrained in customer’s behavior.

The pandemic has visibly impacted customer behavior in other ways too:

  • 76% of manufacturers say their customers are more willing to adopt to remote service and support as a result of the pandemic…
  • ...while at least half of their customers (50.00%) demand simpler and faster service
  • 53% of manufacturers also said that their customers have a lower tolerance and are more impatient since before the pandemic

Buyers have also demonstrated a greater willingness to use self-service portals (41.18%) and determination to find product and pricing information (58.82%) in order to make an informed purchasing decision. Today’s customers also expect an optimised online CX (34.31%) and a seamless integration between online and offline channels (34.31%). But some buyers (25.49%) also wish manufacturers would know them better when they ask for service.

With this in mind, manufacturers need to focus on investing in analytics and business intelligence solutions. The more data that’s collected, the more patterns will appear, and manufacturers will be better informed to advise their customers on what they need (and on the right channels), before the customer realises this themselves.

The new era of manufacturing is customer centric

A uniquely tailored CXE strategy allows manufacturers to rise above individual customer expectations and nurture long-term relationships. Learn more about the state of CXE in manufacturing by downloading our report below.

Download now

Discuss this post

Recommended posts

In the first part of our digital product passport (DPP) blog series, we speak to a range of experts in various industries about the reasoning behind the introduction of DPPs and the potential challenges businesses face.
In the second part of our digital product passport (DPP) blog series, we discuss how businesses can evaluate available technologies, ready themselves for DPPs, and take concrete steps towards implementation. Missed part one? Catch up by clicking here.
Disruptions to the supply chain have become more common in recent years, whether it’s ongoing geopolitical conflicts, inflationary pressures, the recessionary climate or climate change-related weather events. To thrive in this new landscape, manufacturers must consider ways to revamp their operations. By undergoing supply chain transformation, businesses can create an agile, high-performance supply chain that makes it easier to respond to constantly changing business dynamics and customer expectations, as well as retain a competitive advantage. It's definitely a hot topic in today's market. According to the IoT Analytics report titled 'What CEOs Talked About,' discussions related to generative AI, specifically regarding use cases and applications, saw a notable increase of +129% in Q2 2023. This suggests a growing interest and focus on the practical applications and potential benefits of digital technologies in reconstructing the supply chain.
What keeps manufacturers up at night? Figuring out how to compete in an ever-changing environment. Today, manufacturers face three major trends that affect the way they do business. Geopolitical disruptions, trade tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic heightened the risks associated with complex supply chains. As a result, companies want to source inputs and manufacture products closer to their consumers. Digital skills are no longer solely the purview of the IT department. Rising labor costs, the complexities of remote work and the increasing use of shop-floor automation have combined to make digital skills a must for just about anyone who works in manufacturing. The impacts of climate change are becoming clearer with each new record temperature, wildfire and extreme storm. Activism and government regulations and incentives have motivated more consumers to purchase products from companies that make concerted efforts to decrease their carbon footprint. And even when you take consumer demands out of the equation, rises in traditional energy costs have made renewable energy increasingly worth the investment. Manufacturers can address all these challenges using mixed reality (MR): with mixed reality, you can continue delivering some scope of work remotely, you can scale current employees’ skill sets and lower your company’s carbon footprint by drastically reducing the number of flights necessary for operations. Mixed Reality solutions offer one of the quickest returns on investment According to Gartner, 40% of organizations blend virtual and physical experiences today, improving workforce productivity and customer reach. Manufacturers can expect a return of 30% or more on average from investments in mixed reality. Mixed reality can help manufacturers be more resilient and agile to drive business growth and have a tangible impact on the bottom line.
Today’s B2B organizations are discovering their customers are just like any other – they want a more B2C-like customer experience (CX) than ever before. And this discovery is changing how manufacturers view and implement their CX strategies.
right-arrow share search phone phone-filled menu filter envelope envelope-filled close checkmark caret-down arrow-up arrow-right arrow-left arrow-down