What benefits do manufacturers stand to gain when they use AI-powered customer experience (CX) solutions?
AI helps manufacturers stay consistent, understand their customers better and gain actionable insights. In the CX context, this means being able to identify knowledge gaps and customer-facing issues before they spiral into bigger problems and reduce manual and repetitive work like warranty claims and order processing. A simple form submission can connect all the necessary customer information up front, including photos and customer details, with backend processes kicking off automatically. This efficiency is critical to manufacturers who want to scale up their business without adding excessive cost and complexity.
In essence, AI adds an intelligence layer that helps manufacturers recognise and anticipate customer needs. For example, AI can help manufacturers identify trends regarding demand and supply and streamline operations accordingly. In addition, intelligent chatbots powered with generative AI can help them achieve empathy at scale, ensuring responses are crafted in the right tone and handed over to live agents seamlessly to deliver an outstanding customer experience.
Zendesk's CX Trends Report 2023 found that by investing in CX, manufacturing companies have improved their first response time by 30 per cent, deflected 50 per cent of tickets with bots and reduced average first reply time by 30 minutes. With the right solutions, manufacturers don't have to spend heavily on IT infrastructure to build the AI solutions themselves. Intelligent CX solutions that integrate seamlessly into existing tech stacks already exist, making them far more accessible and easier to adopt.
What is the importance of data driven CX in manufacturing?
Data-driven CX is essential for manufacturers to have a deep understanding of what their customers want and make informed decisions. The insights gleaned allow manufacturers to anticipate customer needs and potential issues by reviewing support data to identify common issues and, with the help of generative AI, instantly create help centre articles that address these issues.
Analysing customer data and interaction history can also help manufacturers personalise the experience, like providing customised recommendations and giving agents all the relevant context, they need to provide seamless support. It can also improve visibility to their staffing needs and agent productivity, allowing them to skillfully manage their teams during busy periods and reduce the need for hiring additional headcount. A support team also receives plenty of customer feedback - a valuable source of information that can help improve processes and products to meet customer demands.
However, most manufacturers still rely on multiple tools that serve one specific function. And if these tools can't connect and unify their data, the silos created impede them from having a holistic view of their customers and business. CX technologies are a game changer here, especially the ones powered by AI and built on large CX-specific data sets. They can centralise regional, brand and support systems to create a unified, global brand experience that leverages customer information across the entire lifecycle, which enables them to understand their customers, identify patterns and improve their strategies in a data-driven manner.
The ability to analyse organisational data across systems can help manufacturers gain a comprehensive picture of the performance of their CX strategies and how it's impacting other parts of the business. The invaluable customer history and feedback from comprehensive CX platforms can help manufacturers understand performance across brands, channels, and geographies, allowing them to tailor each customer segment's needs.
Most companies today are sitting on a trove of data that can produce actionable insights to serve their customers better when coupled with the right technology like AI. Done right, manufacturers can proactively engage their customers before they even reach out.
How can CX technologies help manufacturers find new revenue opportunities?
There is a massive opportunity for manufacturers to leverage the power of CX technologies to drive sales and identify new revenue opportunities. For example, MOO, a US-based company that designs, manufactures, and sells premium, customised merchandise, achieved significant sales success by leveraging CX solutions.
When customers contact MOO and the support agent recognises a successful opportunity for the sales team, they can use custom macros and triggers to send the ticket automatically to the specific teams. An account manager is assigned within seconds. Often, manufacturers have crossovers with support and sales. CX solutions make this transition easier, with a 360-degree view, so they can point business customers back to their account managers or help them on the spot.
In addition, CX technologies also present a massive opportunity to upsell and cross-sell. MOO, for instance, uses webhook integrations to leave notes on support tickets with a link to the sales team. With this, agents can offer more personalised recommendations leading to upsells and cross-sells.
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