Today, the manufacturing sector is challenged with creating outstanding customer experiences. Success in the industry is no longer just about products; a customer-centric mindset is key for manufacturers to stay ahead of the competition.
Customers are becoming digital-first, with the pandemic having accelerated this transformation for the manufacturing sector by three to four years. The need for better customer experience in manufacturing is shifting how the B2B space operates. A top focus for manufacturers is creating connected experiences and high-value in the moments that matter.
With priorities changing in manufacturing, customer experience is critical. Lester McHargue, Executive Strategist in Manufacturing at Salesforce, shared his insights during a Salesforce Live session. We’ve rounded up his thoughts on improving customer relationships and value in the moments that matter, and why manufacturing businesses must adapt with the changing digital landscape.
Traditionally, field sales models have long dominated the manufacturing industry. With manufacturers impacted by the changing digital landscape, priorities are shifting to digital-first. COVID-19 has accelerated digital transformation, and 80% of B2B buyers now prefer digital-first over traditional marketing models.
With B2B marketing dramatically changing, manufacturers must bring their operations up to speed — fast.
82% of manufacturers consider digital transformation a priority. Of course, there are other priorities for the industry too. Recent research found that 83% of manufacturers say increasing process efficiencies is a priority. And not only do customers want great experiences, they expect innovation too. That’s why new service offerings are a priority for 84% of manufacturers.
Indeed, the manufacturing sector is rapidly changing. Historically, companies concentrated their efforts on products. But with 88% of leading manufacturers stating that customer experience is the key competitive differentiator, many companies must move from product-centricity to customer-centricity.
The customer experience defines business differentiation, so manufacturers must bring better value throughout the customer journey.
Manufacturers are enhancing customer experience beyond the sale. It’s important to recognise that customer experience can stretch from the awareness stage to the aftermarket phase.
Firstly, it’s key for manufacturers to understand what customers are looking for. Customers expect a personalised experience. So, manufacturers must offer products or services relevant to individual customers. It’s equally important to treat every customer like a human being, which is a critical factor for better customer experience.
By understanding what customers want, businesses can ensure they meet expectations and priorities, and provide real-time personalised engagement and high-value during moments that matter.
Salesforce has developed the Moments Maturity Model to assess the maturity of a business. This model illustrates data-driven marketing and how customers are engaging with an organisation. To increase maturity, manufacturers need to focus on customers’ relationships with their business, and how it develops throughout the customer journey. Key touch points include awareness, engagement, and how you fulfil orders.
Traditional standalone communications such as advertising and email blasts have developed into cross-channel connected campaigns. So, it’s important for manufacturers to shift to a customer-centric approach and ensure customer experiences are connected consistently.
A frictionless customer experience can involve connecting departments, including marketers, sales teams, and external stakeholders. And it’s important to enhance the customer experience at key points — moments that matter — across the customer journey. This will help create lasting relationships and, ultimately, increase customer satisfaction, retention, advocacy and loyalty.
Many manufacturers are turning their attention to creating highly engaging and seamless personalised experiences. This high-value strategy keeps the customer coming back for more. So, organisations should focus on moments that matter to deliver these high-value seamless experiences.
As we discussed earlier, customers want personalised, connected experiences across all channels. They also want their priorities met. To meet those expectations, manufacturers must create seamless customer journeys by delivering consistently across experiences and moments that matter. For example:
Awareness experiences — manufacturers must connect internal stakeholders such as sales and marketing departments in connected conversations with your customers at the awareness phase. These touchpoints include social media presence, product launches, events and trade shows, and promotion. Moments that matter include the sharing of contact information and opting in / out opportunities.
Engagement experiences — engagements with customers need to be personalised and relevant. These customer experiences will happen during social engagement, trade shows and events, community engagement, and eCommerce. Moments that matter include choosing the right product or service and real-time personalisation.
Channel management experiences — from the onboarding experience to integrating a sales organisation with an existing business, touchpoints in channel management can incorporate eCommerce, dealer onboarding, and contract management. Moments that matter include trade spend, partnered promotions, and certification.
After market experiences — the after market experience outlines the ongoing relationship between an organisation and the customer. Customer journey touchpoints can incorporate service calls, loyalty programmes, and social customer care. Moments that matter include social outreach and resolution.
Nick Wojdyla, Director of Digital Marketing at Cummins, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of power solutions, joined us at Salesforce Live to share what customer experience means for the company.
Nick shared his learnings, having experimented with data to identify moments that matter across the customer journey. He established engagement as a typical area of high-value. Valuable insights like these means the company can make data-driven decisions on how best to reach prospective customers.
The Cummins team consolidates marketing data using Datorama. This platform has integrated with over 30 tools. As a result, the team has unified their marketing data, saving the team valuable time. With B2B marketing in manufacturing undergoing a digital transformation, having the right technology in place will help many organisations like Cummins harmonise various data sources, uncover marketing insights, and understand engagement across channels.
By harmonising data, Cummins gathered useful insights and learnings on how to successfully and effectively approach prospective customers. Cummins recognised how it needed to increase traffic to its website and registrations for virtual events, and increase customer engagement with rich content available across its platforms.
The way manufacturers deal with their customers is changing rapidly, and those that consistently deliver across the customer journey and moments that matter - like Cummins do - have a competitive advantage.
Watch the full session recording for all the latest insights: High-Value Customer Experiences in Moments That Matter