Mahatma Gandhi did say that .. “a customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him…“ That was in the previous century. It is more than relevant today given the keen competition and smarter, more discerning consumers. Manufacturers, particularly, cannot leave it to distributors, dealers and retailers down the line to handle consumers. It has to be a top-down approach to ensure, retain and strengthen loyalty through consumer-centric custom loyalty solutions.
Listen to the consumer – he is in focus
The writing is on the wall. It has been there for some time, as a matter of fact. The consumer, not the product, is in focus. Companies that have adopted this approach and adopt this approach are going to see more loyal existing consumers and consumers from other brands jumping ship to theirs. A case in point is that of camera manufacturers. Fuji and Sony, smaller as compared to Nikon and Canon, the two giants, listened to consumers. Their proactive approach led to cameras that had features consumers desired. Their reputation and market share increased. Nikon and Canon market share reduced.
Manufacturing companies that had strict discipline for employees with a hire and fire approach did not experience any employee engagement. Compare that to kaizen culture where employees feel like their employer is a family and they have better morale, better commitment to quality, teamwork and provide inputs for improvements. They also interact better with consumers. Enterprises succeed. Just look at Japanese conglomerates National, Mitsubishi, Panasonic and Hitachi. If you want your company to be consumer-centric, opt for loyalty solution development that also addresses employee engagement and involvement. In a way employees are also consumers. Like consumers, they are your best asset. Make them feel they belong and proud of belonging.
A chain and its link
It makes sense from one perspective to address the end buyer and try to retain their loyalty. However, it is a chain in manufacturing where distributors and dealers play an important part too. They too are consumers in a way. A custom loyalty solution that factors in all the links in a chain makes for a strong consumer-centric attitude to business. Talk about dealers and distributors then it is not just about sales policies. It is also about harmonizing employee attitude and engagement policies down the channel until it reaches the end consumer. Manufacturers are now working closely at various levels with distributors, dealers and end buyers, interlinking everything.
Consumers want more than discounts and bargains
Consumers are people. People have feelings and loyalty is a strong emotion. There is more to selling than simply offering discounts, vouchers and bargains. Loyalty solutions for manufacturing now address various aspects such as building relationships, small but important things like personalized messages, getting feedbacks and giving value.
There is a lot the custom loyalty solution development expert can do to incorporate latest in consumer-centric trends. Retain one and you have taken the first important step.