The first steps to creating a digital customer experience

Posted on 17 Dec 2019 by The Manufacturer

While most manufacturers cite customer experience as a top priority going forward, implementing digital strategies that deliver better customer experience can be daunting. But digital transformation isn’t difficult if you take it one step at a time.

Leading manufacturers recognise that an increasing number of distributors and customers now base their buying decisions on convenience rather than price or product.

CROP - digital customer experience - Hands holding credit card and using laptop. Online shopping ecommerce internet - image courtesy of Depositphotos.

You already know that the best way to improve your customer experience is through providing digital tools that make it easier for customers to self-serve and to get in touch with you.

But before you can take the first steps to creating a digital customer experience, you’re likely to come across some resistance to changing from a product-centric to customer-centric business model.

Account managers might argue that the business has relied on personal relationships for decades and that face-to-face interaction is the best way to promote brand loyalty.

But these relationships take years to develop, don’t scale well, have a finite lifespan and, if the account manager leaves, they often take the client with them.

Other business leaders might say that there isn’t budget available for digital transformation when these funds can actually be freed up by prioritising investment in customer experience over shop floor equipment.

The biggest stumbling block for most manufacturers, though, is that the task seems so intimidating that you just don’t know where to start – so you don’t.

Follow these three simple steps to get started with your digital transformation and prove the value of this approach:

1. Identify where you can be more efficient

Speak to your customers and customer service staff to find out what the most common questions or requests are.

Chances are that a lot of customer calls aren’t that complex and that there are a few things that come up frequently. These could include specific technical questions, requests for new product manuals or advice about best practice.

2. Learn from others

Look at how your competitors provide similar information. What are they doing well and where do their services fall short?

No doubt you also buy equipment from other manufacturers so you can draw from your own experience as a customer – what makes your interactions with suppliers more pleasant and what is frustrating?  Think about how this applies to your company and products.

3. Deliver a quick win

Don’t be overwhelmed by the big list you’ve probably generated during step one and two! Choose one or two small things that you can do really well with the resources available to you and focus on delivering these.

It’s important to choose things that have a big impact as you’ll use their success to motivate the budget for your next digital project.

The above steps are a simplified version of ORM’s process for creating digital strategies for manufacturers. Along with digital partners like Acquia, we can help manufacturers establish the intuitive, personalised experience customers expect – on your own terms.

If you’d like more advice on how to improve your customer experience, why not take advantage of our offer for a free digital audit?

Contact [email protected] for more information.

*Image courtesy of Depositphotos