Manufacturing is one of the most important industries in the global economy. Although manufacturers face challenges other companies may never have to imagine, their customers have many of the same expectations — especially when it comes to a personalized customer experience (CX).
Here’s what to know about personalization in manufacturing — why, how, and where to get started.
Why Personalize Manufacturing CX?
In today’s competitive manufacturing environment, high-quality products aren’t enough to stand out. Instead, manufacturers need differentiators — and often the best, most cost-effective way to create those differentiators is to personalize customer experience in manufacturing.
Personalization is becoming increasingly important in ways like this:
- Customer expectations: Customers demand personalization in every interaction, no matter the industry. In fact, according to McKinsey & Company, 71% of consumers expect personalized CX and 76% get frustrated when it isn’t offered.
- Business-to-business (B2B) necessities: B2B buyers have unique needs like specific ordering requirements that can often only be met via personalized CX. They want experiences that feel like those they have as direct consumers, and only personalization can deliver.
- Increasing costs: Between supply chain disruption and rising inflation, everyday manufacturing tasks are more economically demanding than ever. Personalized CX gives manufacturers a way to simplify and streamline interactions to reduce costs without sacrificing quality — for example, by increasing aftersales revenue.
- Better return on investment: According to McKinsey & Company, organizations that excel at personalization generate 40% more revenue from these activities than their competitors.
What Does High-Quality, Personalized CX Look Like?
The personalization of CX in manufacturing can take many forms. Here’s what the end result should look like for customers:
- Simplicity: From data and content to a personalized portfolio, manufacturing customers want to find what they’re looking for instantly.
- Seamless experiences: Customers interact with manufacturers across multiple channels and devices. That means manufacturing CX needs to be both omnichannel and seamless.
- User-specific interactions: Site experiences should be different between users, responding to each customer’s unique preferences.
- Tailored tasks: Actual data and behavior must inform tasks, opportunities, and experiences, tailoring every interaction to a user’s expectations.
- Self-service opportunities: Self-service can include account management tasks, spare part orders, chatbot interactions, and more.
Benefits of Personalized CX for Manufacturers
Once you’ve created the ideal digital customer strategy and mastered personalization in manufacturing, your organization can begin to see a variety of rich benefits. These may include:
From increased revenue and improved customer lifetime value to reduced cost to serve, personalization can help bolster manufacturing budgets. Better yet, these benefits can be resistant to other industry disruptors like supply chain challenges and can continue supporting your budget even in challenging times.
Personalized experiences help your manufacturing operation stand out from the competition. Customers will like doing business with you because they’re treated as individuals instead of numbers on a page. Plus, with increased conversation rates and reduced bounce rates, you’ll have a bigger share of the market.
Customers will see benefits, too, like increased engagement from your CX staff, more satisfying experiences, and quicker results. Options like self-service are especially valuable to manufacturing customers, helping them complete tasks on their own time without having to reach out to customer service representatives.
Getting Started: Personalized CX in Manufacturing
How do you personalize customer experience in manufacturing?
Simple: You need a customer self-service portal.
A customer self-service portal is a single, user-friendly platform that allows manufacturing customers to interact with your organization in ways that work for them. Some of the most impressive parts of this solution won’t even require effort on the part of your help desk or call center; instead, customers handle tasks themselves, using self-service capabilities to do things like:
- Access data.
- Update information.
- Place orders.
- Research products.
- Track order deliveries.
By giving users control of their own experiences, you improve their satisfaction without having to spend more money on CX.
Self-service isn’t the only personalization solution, however; these portals also come with out-of-the-box, low- or no-code tools, allowing you to tailor the customer experience to each individual user. This can all be done without having to wait for IT involvement, which means fewer delays and faster response times.
A few key features of a self-service portal for personalized CX in manufacturing include:
Track Customer Profiles and Behavioral Data
Manufacturing customers create a lot of data when they interact with your organization. If you want to personalize their experiences, you can’t let this data go to waste. That’s why self-service portals should provide the capability to track customer profiles and learn from behavioral data. This information tells you who your users are, how they interact with your platform, where they’re getting the most value, which parts of the experience are frustrating or time-consuming, and how you can improve your personalization tactics to deliver better CX.
Create a Single View of User Information
To truly learn from your customers, you need a way to see their information in one user-friendly dashboard. Self-service portals should provide this single source of truth, allowing you to compare different user preferences, track the habits of returning customers, and anticipate consumer needs before your competitors do.
Group Users By Profile Attributes
Personalization doesn’t have to be complicated. Instead, your platform should allow you to identify attributes shared between customers and design your CX around these unique elements. This gives you the support you need to build experiences that feel completely unique without “reinventing the wheel” for every new client.
Measure Content Performance
One key element of any customer self-service portal is the content library. How-to guides, explainer videos, blog posts, and other information must be readily available to help customers navigate self-service tasks and reduce the burden on your help desk or call center. However, a customer self-service portal doesn’t just make this content easy to find — it also gives you the visibility to learn how and when users are accessing articles and videos. With this information, you can measure content performance and make targeted improvements to further personalize CX.
2 Minute Video Summary
Get a 2 minute summary of how a Liferay customer portal can be built with powerful, out of the box tools that make it easy for you to offer the seamless and personalized experiences B2B buyers expect. Check out this video:
Start Personalizing Customer Experience in Manufacturing
The manufacturing industry faces many unique challenges, but CX doesn’t have to be one of them. With a customer self-service portal at your fingertips, it’s possible to improve the customer experience, cut costs, and deliver on user expectations all at the same time.
Are you ready to personalize customer experience in manufacturing? Take the first step by exploring Liferay’s Manufacturing Customer Portals today.