CRM: How shifting your focus from products to customers drives growth

Posted on 21 Sep 2020 by The Manufacturer

The key to success, now more than ever, is to truly understand your customers. So, if your business is looking to adopt a more customer-centric approach, read on to discover how CRM can help support your top-line growth.

There has been a shift from focusing on ‘new product development’ to ‘new solution development’ and customer experience management.

Customers are no longer satisfied with simple upgrades and minor improvements when it comes to product innovation. They are becoming increasingly savvy and discerning and, as a result, demand more from the companies with which they do business than ever before.

To remain competitive, it’s crucial for manufacturers to shift their focus away from creating products and towards providing the best solutions possible to your customers.

True innovation isn’t just creating a product with a slightly expanded set of features just for the sake of releasing the latest update. It’s about truly getting to know your customers, their pain points, their needs, and their stories.

CRM plays a pivotal role in helping manufacturers to gain customer insight – learn more about how this technology can drive new revenue during a downturn, download your free guide. 

Instead of focusing purely on product innovation, learn to understand which innovations or features are going to be crucial in maintaining the longevity of your relationship with your consumers. What will make them happy? What will turn them into loyal brand advocates?

Better customer experiences are what drive customer retention. This, in turn, creates more opportunities for cross-selling and up-selling and helps to increase the lifetime value of the customer, providing you with greater stability, profitability, and growth.

How CRM for manufacturing can help 

The quality of the customer experience your company provides has the ability to make or break your business.

Today’s B2B buyers don’t just place a high degree of value on the quality of their customer experience – they also share.

Consumers have become increasingly active in providing feedback about the products they use, largely due to the fact that we are living in the digital age where we are more interconnected with each other than ever before.

Companies looking to stay ahead of the game must continue to focus on creating exceptional customer experiences. In fact, recent research found that companies who stay customer-minded drive an average of 4% – 8% more revenue than other companies within their industry.

So, how can CRM help? CRM is the foundation for obtaining a greater understanding of your customers and being able to tap into their desires, needs, trends, behaviours, and preferences.

Being able to capture customer requirements in CRM is the first step to understanding which product innovations should be a priority. That’s right – CRM can and should help drive product innovation and development.

The key here is servitization — the modern customer requires a more solution-oriented approach where aftercare and service are bundled into the product offering. A solid manufacturing CRM can help you do just that.

This is because CRM provides deep, granular insights into every single interaction that you have with your customers, from communications to purchases, buying preferences, and account status and health.

When you understand which of your customers are less happy, you gain the upper hand. It enables you to take a proactive rather than a reactive approach and respond before things become an issue.

Cloud Computing CRM Digital Customer

Are you thinking about making the transition from being product-centric to customer-centric?

Gone are the days where success was measured solely by product sales. Today’s manufacturers must learn to measure success based on customer insights and the profitability of their customer segments.

Instead of focusing on measuring product segments with profit and loss, manufacturers must instead learn to move to measuring customer segments with profit and loss.

Customer value is king, and if your customers aren’t satisfied, they’ll gladly search elsewhere. And just as satisfied customers have the potential to become loyal brand advocates, dissatisfied customers have the potential to become detractors.

Innovation and product development must be in line with market requirements. Then and only then can you effectively drive ROI, keep your customers satisfied, and create a truly sustainable business model.

For a more in-depth look at how manufacturers can use CRM to forge stronger lasting customer relationships read our new whitepaper.

*All images courtesy of Depositphotos