The digital revolution in manufacturing has given rise to Industry 4.0. The advances in automation, robotics, big data analytics, human-machine interaction, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) has made current industries smarter. The modern manufacturing plant is now able to capture and harness large volumes of data generated from various operations. Big data analytics and AI, especially, has helped unlock enormous value from the data captured which has changed the nature in which the industries work.
Industry 4.0 has also created a connected ecosystem between manufacturers and customers. Customers and business buyers are now more empowered than ever before and can exercise informed choice in choosing manufacturers.
Need for Customer Centricity in the Manufacturing Industry
The connected ecosystem has created a global marketplace where manufacturers cannot solely rely on price or quality of their products as the primary differentiators. Customers now demand more from manufacturers than just on-time production and delivery. A recent research by Salesforce states that over half (52%) of manufacturing executives with service oversight say their company has an increasingly difficult time competing based on product differentiation. Among that same group, 86% believe customer experience is a key competitive differentiator. Customer centricity in the manufacturing industry is no longer a value-add but a necessity. Adopting a customer-centric approach and delivering personalized services is helping manufacturing companies to win customer loyalty and grow their businesses.
Here are the top 5 trends revolutionizing customer service in the manufacturing industry:
- Increased investment in customer service
Apart from investing in R&D to optimize operations and improve product quality, manufacturers are now investing more in improving customer service. Over two-thirds (68%) of manufacturing service teams have increased budgets over the past two years and 69% forecast budget increases over the next two years.
- Building deep customer relationships
Customer service teams are focused on building deep relationships with their customers. Service teams have built comprehensive customer views to help them understand a customer’s full history with the company. This has helped the service teams to provide personalized support and a consistent experience across all channels to their customers.
- Proactive servicing and predictive maintenance
The Industrial Internet of Things is enabling manufacturers to provide predictive maintenance services to their customers. With the help of connected sensors and devices, manufacturers are able to anticipate and offer proactive customer service before a need arises.
- Omnichannel services to meet the needs of connected customers
Manufacturing service teams have moved beyond call centres and routine visits by field service teams to providing streamlined consistent experiences across multiple channels. Customers now have access to self-service portals like knowledge bases, online forums and on-demand support through channels such as live chat support (voice & video), mobile apps, support through social media channels and dedicated customer portals.
- Artificial Intelligence for customer service
Forward-thinking manufacturers are already researching on how they can use AI to improve customer service. One such research is on the use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to run self-diagnosis to offer predictive maintenance. 73% of business buyers expect that, by 2020, companies will provide products that can self-diagnose issues and automatically order replacement parts or service.
Connected customers have high expectations from manufacturers. The digital revolution has now enabled dissatisfied customers to easily take their business elsewhere. Customer service teams, which earlier used to be cost centers are proving to be the key differentiator for manufacturing companies. The top manufacturers of the world have already increased their investment on customer service teams, modernizing services and streamlining communication to provide a consistent experience across channels, it is now up to the others to join the bandwagon to stay afloat in this competitive market.
Smartify 365 – a comprehensive customer engagement solution designed for the distribution and manufacturing industry
Smartify 365 delivers operational excellence alongside intelligent sales and customer experience to businesses in the manufacturing and distribution industry to quickly manage multiple vital operations effectively from the central application. Built on top of the robust Microsoft Dynamics 365 customer engagement platform, Smartify 365 supports businesses to harness cross-sell opportunities and unearth other streams of revenue. By clearly defining various users and roles, it is designed to seamlessly enable collaboration between different departments in an organization and achieve higher productivity.
Some of the key modules and features of Smartify 365 are as below:
- Sales engagement
- Warranty management
- Service management
- Work Order Management
- Country-specific accounting localization
Get your business smartified now
Contact our experts today to learn how you can implement Smartify 365 in your organization and find the perfect solution for your business. Write to us at email@example.com or give us a call at +91 (80) 4110 5555 for a free consultation.