It would be unthinkable or unheard of a decade or so ago but today customer loyalty is prime strategy for manufacturing industries. Is a customer loyalty solution imperative and indispensable for manufacturing industries?
After all, they have traditionally remained isolated with distributors and dealers acting as the insulating medium and if a few customers drop out so what, more will always join the list. Today, manufacturing industries are discovering the joys of wooing customers and adding to their bottom line with enhanced loyalty.
Each manufacturing industry is different, each one needs a tailored customer loyalty solution, possibly put in place by an expert loyalty solution provider.
Listening to customers and giving them what they want
It may not be practical or financially viable for manufacturers to have a dozen or so variations in product features. Still, it pays to listen to what customers want and this is what the loyalty solution provider does. Social media, surveys and other methods derive data on finding out what customers want and a manufacturer can use this to fine tune or improve existing product lines. Some manufacturers have been known to go to the extent of offering personalized and custom products for customers as a way to retain their loyalty. This is about manufacturing that ultimately caters to consumers.
B2B segment, capital equipment
Not all manufacturers cater to the consumer market. A large segment caters to business buyers, provides components and parts or sub-assemblies to other manufacturers. A manufacturer may manufacture and sell capital equipments such as earth moving equipment, production machinery and others.
In such cases it is almost certain that it is usually a one time sale and that the buyer will rarely become a returning buyer. Still, they are customers and such manufacturers need customer loyalty solution to address specific issues in these respects, which a loyalty solution provider can put in place. Expectations are higher and keeping customers satisfied is of prime importance.
This may be implemented in ways like keeping buyers updated with status of manufacturing, better warranties and services, fast replacement or extreme customization. Prompt and quality services as well as responses also count for a lot. It does not end with supply of components, sub-assemblies or a machine. Suppliers that follow up to obtain feedback will get points and appreciation.
Suppliers who understand needs of customers in these segments and come up with cheaper or better performing products or show how to use the product better and maintain it to extract more service will certainly draw appreciation. In manufacturing, and especially engineering, buyers are sometimes not aware of various possibilities and when they do receive advice or free guidance it is appreciated and makes them loyal.
Chinese manufacturers are making manufacturers in other parts of the world feel the heat of the competition and loyalty solutions by specialist loyalty solution providers will certainly help such manufacturers attract and maintain a loyal customer base.