Five Customer Service Trends in the Manufacturing Industry
Catering to your customers’ needs and ensuring they are always satisfied with your services is pretty much fundamental to the success of any business. A great customer experience directly leads to better reviews, repeat customers, higher referrals, etc. However, the way this is delivered changed in 2020 after the onset of the pandemic – especially for the manufacturing industry.
Several businesses struggled to stay afloat and had to improvise and get creative to serve the best to their customers. As a result, several changes that otherwise would’ve taken years to come through are already trending in the manufacturing industry. Customers today are more digitally inclined and expect businesses to be the same way too. This is true of B2B ecommerce customers in manufacturing as well.
The US manufacturing industry is predicted to reach $6 trillion in revenue. All over the world, this industry is evolving at an unprecedented rate, accelerated by the pandemic. However, some note-worthy changes are happening in the manufacturing industry’s customer service sector. It is necessary to understand these trends to stay ahead of customer expectations.
Here are some customer service trends we have observed in manufacturing this year.
Customer Service Trends in Manufacturing
1. Multi-channel approach
Customers today need options to get help or to interact with you. Just an email id at the end of your contact information is no longer enough.
Some may want to email you with a query. Others would want to talk to you on the phone for a quick resolution. There might be few others who would even appreciate a real-time chatbot to help them along their journey on your website.
Some customers wouldn’t want to interact with you at all. They might prefer a well-defined FAQ page. Whatever the choice of the channel might be, making sure all of these options are at their disposal will help enhance their experience with your brand. An offline store coupled with a robust online platform is an ideal way to reach customers through various channels.
2. Tracking KPIs
Customer service is a priority today and can’t be something that is an afterthought. At the beginning of a year, when every department’s KPIs are defined, customer service shouldn’t be any different.
Defining and tracking these KPIs will give you a broader view into how efficiently your company is utilizing the customers that you do get, and how good your retention rate is.
This could include any of the following:
- Customer support rating after an interaction
- Repeat customers
- Net Promoter Score
- Customer reviews
- Customer retention rate
- Customer lifetime value
When you monitor the above KPIs stringently, you can analyze where your team needs improvement. You could even help them excel with relevant training as needed.
3. Leveraging Chatbots
It is the era of self-service capabilities, and chatbots provide this functionality to your customers. Intelligent conversational chatbots can transform your customer service.
Here are some advantages of including chatbots in your arsenal of customer support:
- Available immediately to the customer irrespective of the time of the day
- Can cross-sell and upsell
- Helps customers navigate the website
- Always provides a positive experience and does not get agitated by the customer
- Can provide quick answers
- Can be used to obtain order tracking information
- When integrated with ML, the bot can learn every time a customer interacts with it to provide better experience for future interactions
Besides these advantages, a chatbot immediately adds value to your website by being available to your customer all the time whenever they might need it. A chatbot can also collect customer information and help your sales team with leads.
4. Using Multimedia
Customers today expect more from brands and a part of this experience is using multimedia to provide a unique experience.
In the manufacturing industry where products are complex and require as much detailed information as possible, multimedia can be a great addition. Options like 3D experience and 360-degree photo visibility help customers visualize and understand the product much better.
Having videos throughout the website that provide detailed information about the products is a great way to encourage buyers to make the purchase.
5. Including smart technologies like IoT and AI/ML
The Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence have transformed the digital world in multiple ways and customer service is no exception.
IoT brings the world of connected devices to customer service. Using IoT devices is self-sustained. This means they can automatically notify repairs, and allow tech teams to remotely fix errors, and restore devices in no time.
Likewise, AI helps manufacturers to predict customer demands by analyzing their online purchasing behavior and even making recommendations based on their preferences. This provides customers with a more personalized experience and helps them buy from you much more easily.
We have looked at some of the major customer service trends that have been shaping the manufacturing industry this year. They are all important to enhance your customer’s experience. However, you need to analyze and understand what is important to you and imbibe them as per your budget and capability.
Don’t jump into trends without understanding what are you aiming to acquire from them. Understand, plan and execute!