Your customers will love you more when they can see everything…

Customers want a clear picture of your manufacturing processes so they can plan more effectively. But too often their view is obscured due to internal systems which make communication difficult. Because you’re harder to do business with, both customer service and satisfaction take a dip.

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Using all the advantages that digital technology and communication tools have to offer, communicating with your customers is easy and offers many rewards.

  • 64% of buyers have made future purchases from a company’s competitors after experiencing poor customer service
  • 70% have stopped buying goods or services from a company after experiencing poor customer service
  • 81% are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.

Statistics from an Oracle report quoted by customer experience writer Colin Shaw on LinkedIn

Send out the right messages has moved the goal posts in terms of customer communications – customers now expect real-time updates on the products they have ordered. For a manufacturing business, this can include sending emails to let customers know:

  • When the order’s been received
  • When the batch is in production
  • When the goods are in the warehouse
  • When delivery will be.

The right ERP system automatically sends out emails at each of these stages, using real time information from the factory floor. Automated communications don’t just deliver better visibility; they also deliver confidence. Better still; your sales team is relieved from the pressure of answering customers’ calls, and is free to focus on new business.

Don’t restrict the benefits of openness to customers. Connect up your teams, departments and locations. Acquire agility through targeted and timely communications.

Always be available (even when you’re not there)

Customers want information now, because the pace of business demands fast decision making. Make it really easy for them to get what they want, when they want it.

This doesn’t just have to be done through emails. You can also use website portals which give customers secure access to the documents and updates they’re looking for, including:

  • Downloadable data sheets
  • Production and delivery updates
  • Financial status indicators.

Being easy to work with is about being open. Openness breeds trust.

Extra benefits that manufacturers gain

The right ERP system doesn’t just give more information to your customers – improved management reporting reveals how much it costs to make each unit, how long it took and how many machines were used. This lets you set fairer prices in future and makes it easy to give accurate delivery time estimates to your customers. You also get better visibility of customer service and can identify issues so they can be addressed.

Top areas where businesses expect more complexity in the future:

  • Market complexity – 71%
  • Operational complexity – 61%
  • IT complexity 50%.

Use a complex system to deliver simplicity

Choosing the right manufacturing software for your organisation will give you and your customers the visibility needed to make doing business easy.

High levels of connectivity, integration and automation ensure nothing important is covered up.

Getting naked with your customers breeds trust and loyalty, adding value to both your business and theirs.

Refusing to be open with your customers is bound to end in disaster and here’s some other unforeseen mishaps in the manufacturing sector that can affect any organisation, regardless of size: 10 Jaw Dropping Manufacturing Mishaps’.

This post first appeared on the Sanderson blog.