Customer Service: How Leading Manufacturers are Excelling at Customer Service
One of the most, if not the most critical factors in a manufacturers ability to satisfy today’s more demanding customer is their commitment to offering exceptional levels of customer service. Manufacturers that are focused not only on delivering quality products and services, but also on creating a company culture that’s customer centric will prevail.
If we think of the companies that are known for having the best customer service (and customer loyalty) we think of the likes of Apple, Sony, Hewlett Packard, Amazon and Nordstrom. As consumers we’ve come to expect nothing short of an exceptional experience from these customer-oriented giants.
Each of these companies make it easy and a pleasure to do business with them during a time when rising customer expectations, increased global competitiveness, and a generation of internet savvy buyers whose loyalty can be easily swayed is today’s reality.
Why? Because each has made it part of their mission to offer a great customer experience. If that’s not enough motivation to work towards service excellence, today’s customer can be quick to post satisfaction ratings, especially negative encounters, online through rating sites, social media, and even YouTube for future customers to review. (Just Google ‘American Airlines Passenger video’ and see how many links to videos display – a lot. Is American Airlines a bad airline? Probably better than they appear to be on YouTube.)
As the customer continues to evolve, the manufacturer must evolve too as they can no longer count on their offering of the best products and services at the best price resulting in their securing their space in the global market.
Today customer satisfaction plays a bigger role and goes beyond the product to include the corporate brand. Your customer’s impression of your brand starts with their first encounter with your company, whether through a personal interaction, an online interaction, or word of mouth, this is where the first impression is formed.
- Was your sales representative able to provide a quote quickly?
- Was your pricing competitive?
- Did the product arrive when promised?
- Were inquiries handled efficiently and accurately?
- Based on experiences, is your brand one they can trust?
- Was the overall experience what the customer expected?
- Was the first impression a positive one?
Meeting the expectations of today’s customers requires a multi-faceted holistic approach and manufacturers have little to no chance of meeting their mark without an investment in technology.
Organizations armed with the right technology and tools are enablers, enabling their business operations, business processes and employees to be more efficient , more knowledgeable and hopefully more helpful every step of the way. Does your underlying technology let you do this:
- Enable sales to provide custom quotes with delivery dates while at the customer site?
- Enable customers to check the status of their orders online?
- Enable project teams to collaborate with social tools?
- Understand the impact of production downtime immediately so adjustments can be made and impacted customers notified?
To reach these and other goals of customer service, today’s leading manufacturers are looking to:
- Invest in technology
- Reduce costs
- Improve efficiencies
- Gain insights from Business Intelligence and Analytics
- Identify new products and services
- Analyze new business opportunities
- Mergers and Acquisitions
For some, exceling at customer satisfaction will lead to goals being met and their business achieving higher levels, for others it’s a matter of remaining competitive, and for many smaller manufacturers it can be about survival.
Finally, meeting customer expectations does not have to be such a daunting task or huge expense. This past decade, with the introduction of cloud and hybrid deployment options, there are software options to fit every budget.
Take that next step towards customer service excellence by contacting an ERP expert at MIS at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team has been helping manufacturers utilize technology to meet their business goals and objectives for 30 years and we look forward to helping you conquer your biggest challenges too!
Sources: Top 10 Customer Centric Companies of 2014