By Paula Courtney,
CEO, The Verde Group.
Consider this: for one leading manufacturer of electronic goods, 83% of customers experienced at least one problem during their last transaction.
Make no mistake, data shows that friction in customer experiences – from the B2B level down to B2C and across every vertical – is a big challenge, one that damages customer relationships, loyalty and repurchasing intent for manufacturers.
So, what can be done about? How can manufacturers decrease friction and build more solid, long-lasting and profitable relationships with their customers?
Let’s start with what manufacturers are doing right. Many focus on product innovation and improvement — and that’s a good thing. Emphasis on the product has often led to success. The question is are these innovations and improvements sustainable and can growth be accelerated by exploring improvements to their customers’ experiences as well?
Here’s another number to consider – one that reveals some of the challenges manufacturers face when they focus on CX: our studies find that, on average, over 60% of customers experienced at least one problem during their last interaction with their manufacturing partners. But the manufacturer ecosystem is vast and complex, of course, serving multiple constituents, like wholesalers and dealers before reaching product end-users. So any successful attempt at reducing friction will need to take into account these realities.
There is hope, however. Verde Group research suggests customer experience is a rich territory for manufacturers to invest more of their efforts – in CX strategy, measurement and improvements. It’s not necessarily an easy road but it’s one that can pay enormous dividends. Here are three key suggestions manufacturers ought to consider to ensure the success of their own CX journey:
CX strategies and tactics such as these are by no means quick fixes. They require investments – in dollars, in time and in cultural shift – as well as a commitment from the organization’s leadership on down. But innovating and improving customer experience, along with products, can reap lasting benefits for manufacturers and their bottom line.