Companies are having to reinvent their strategies surrounding customer loyalty. A great example of an industry having to rethink its tactics regarding their customers is the manufacturing industry. As the field has become more competitive and saturated, manufacturing companies face rapid commoditization.

Price cutting, a classic competitive strategy, is no longer sufficient. The challenge for businesses is to think beyond numbers and visualize the customer as the center of their operation. The key objective is to enhance customer experience by building a relationship with the customer through a great experience with your company.

Here are a few points to address in developing strategies for customer experiences:

Perceived Value

According to a 2014 study conducted by the World Economic Forum, customers perceived value through investments in new capabilities rather than cost-cutting measures. Consider this: what does your ideal customer value beyond price? What do you offer that no one else can? With access to information improving daily on a global scale, consumers have become more demanding and skeptical on buying into businesses that fall flat on delivering their promises. Companies are under pressure to validate their products' value, and manufacturing is no exception. If your systems are not up to par with the customer needs, customers will have to find vendors to replace all of the individual products in your solution. Customers do not want a partial solution to their problems--they want the total solution package.

Listening to Feedback

To evolve with the new customer demands, your company must adapt to the new expectations of your customers. This could mean the sign of a major shift in your company's culture. Shouldn't the company's culture have been customer obsessed from the beginning? If not, here is how you can get started: actually listen to customer feedback. Go to your organizational drawing board and begin to map out how listening can work for each area of your business. Some questions that could arise include: * What kind of conversations are most relevant for your product development team? * Who's in a position to listen in on those conversations and facilitate responses? It's important to have a layer of oversight, both to ensure consistency and to help deliver information to analysts and management.

Empowering Employee Performances

Some companies lack an understanding of why they should worry about customer experience. Others collect and crunch data on it, but have trouble distributing the data or even fail to make anyone responsible for putting the information to use. Essentially, all employees should be empowered to make customers happy and add value to the customer experience. The key to an incredible customer experience starts with engaging with people -- the employees -- inside the company. Every employee will reflect this in a different way, depending on their role and how they interact with customers, but they should all understand that it's part of their job.

By developing customer-driven strategies focused on providing value in all aspects of the business, manufacturing companies can differentiate themselves from the pack and earn customer loyalty.



MAYBURY%20cgillespie_headshot.jpgCameron Gillespie is the Digital Marketing Manager for Maybury Material Handling, a provider of material handling equipment and servicing. Cameron has 8 years of experience which includes web design, marketing, and managing warehouse operations.