Manufacturers are increasingly being called upon to integrate customer centricity into product, customer and service life cycles. As customer expectations continue to evolve, businesses will need to leverage technological advancements to meet those changing needs.

For this reason, Liferay has partnered with IDC on a research report about the need for better customer experiences in manufacturing. In this report, we provide a few predictions for the future of customer experiences in the manufacturing industry for the next five years: 

  1. By 2020, 60% of Global 2000 manufacturers will rely on digital platforms that enhance their investments in ecosystems and experiences and support as much as 30% of overall revenue. 
    This prediction was also included in last year’s “IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Manufacturing Predictions 2018”. Connected digital platforms will only continue to grow in importance as solutions to unite processes, data and people together to create seamless customer experiences throughout different touchpoints. IDC believes that the adoption of an omnichannel platform is the best way to execute current and future customer journeys effectively and efficiently. Manufacturers need a unified and flexible customer experience architecture that will provide a seamless composition of customer services, leveraging information, processes and channels consistently.
  2. Global 2000 manufacturers will have created new business models and revenue streams through the use of AI and machine learning, generating an additional 15% in value across ecosystem partners by 2020. 
    The potential of AI and ML is exciting, especially for manufacturers who will be able to use it to deliver new products or services. Gartner predicts that $2.9 trillion worth of new business value opportunities will be attributable to AI by 2021. We are already seeing this in regards to servitization in the industry. Manufacturers are increasingly moving towards new non-linear business and revenue models. AI enables the monetization of services that support customers to obtain the highest value from the product they have purchased. Servitization can take the form of solutions for end users, such as a smart home platform, or preventive and predictive maintenance through providing diagnostic data.
  3. By 2021, 30% of enterprises will use AI and advanced customer analytics to suggest innovative customer experience actions that deliver value from a segment, persona or individual customer perspective. 
    Guide, serve and build up your customers by leveraging AI and analytics to fuel personalization strategies. Smart manufacturing not only will enable manufacturers to run their businesses more efficiently but also will allow for smarter interactions with customers. According to Thorsten Wuest, a professor of smart manufacturing at West Virginia University, AI and ML can be used in the future for “automated design adaptation” or “mass personalization”. AI can be leveraged at every stage of the customer journey — from attracting to renewing and building loyalty, to drive value for both the company and the customer. However, only a robust digital platform with an architecture that can transform insights into personalized customer experiences, will be effective in applying AI and using it to provide benefits such as delivering real-time content recommendations, bundling products together and customized pricing and discounts.
  4. To deliver complex products through networked processes by 2022, 75% of G2000 manufacturers will have established digital platforms to unify product and manufacturing process data. 
    If by 2022, you have not yet integrated a digital platform for your business, you’ll need to catch up. This prediction is similar in nature to the first but is reemphasized again for its importance and urgency. Without a digital platform in place to unite data, processes and people, both your business processes and customers will suffer. Platform integration is fundamental to delivering instant, seamless customer experiences through real-time data synchronization between systems of record and external ecosystems. 
  5. By 2022, 20% of buyer journeys will be transformed into joyful, exciting, colorful, fun experiences through the provision of integrated, personalized, digitally connected multimedia. 
    The adjectives used are not usually associated with customer experiences in manufacturing so it’s interesting to think that in just a few years, customer journeys need to evolve to become desirable experiences for customers through the use of powerfully connected and tailored multimedia, such as product visualizations through VR, 360-degree videos or 3D configuration tools. Instead of simply providing product images, manufacturers will need to start engaging potential buyers with powerful multimedia through their website, mobile and social media.

Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business 

As manufacturers learn how to put their customers at the core of their business, the industry will continue to evolve and experience significant change. Are you prepared for digital transformation?

Read the Full Report

These were only half of the predictions in the report. To read the full list and to learn what customer-centric strategies manufacturers should start to implement, see the IDC InfoBrief here.

Access All of the Predictions  
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