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"Data-driven CX is essential for manufacturers to make informed decisions"

By Nisha Shukla,

Added 01 December 2023

Vasudeva Rao Munnaluri, RVP, India & SAARC, Zendesk underlines the importance of data driven customer experience (CX) in manufacturing and how these technologies are assisting manufacturers in finding new revenue opportunities.

What role can AI play in personalising customer interactions and product offerings?

There is an experience disconnect when it comes to personalising the customer experience. 80 per cent of manufacturers believe that personalisation increases customer retention. However, in India, 81 per cent of customers feel most companies could do a better job in personalising their experience.

AI can help manufacturers drive deeper personalisation through a myriad of ways; from suggesting products to customers based on their history, searches, and queries to utilising Large Language Models (LLMs) - like the ones behind ChatGPT to provide insights into buyer behaviour, such as product popularity, marketing channel effectiveness and factors that drive customer loyalty. These technologies can also collect customer feedback to help businesses gather crucial insights on customer sentiment, intent, and pain points.

We believe 70 per cent of customer interactions will be impacted by AI in some way, be it through deflection, automation, or agent productivity. Executing this well requires a deep understanding of what the customer wants and how the customer is feeling, which is why tracking customer sentiment and intent using AI is crucial to personalisation.

And when CX solutions are built upon large CX-specific datasets, manufacturers can better assist customers with greater accuracy as the AI continuously learns from every customer interaction. This eliminates the painful work of manually assigning and routing inquiries, freeing up team capacity and reducing operating costs. Drawing from a large set of CX-specific data, generative AI can accurately summarise customer purchase and support history for agents to deliver personalised and conversational experiences within minutes. Support staff can also leverage this technology for cross-selling and upselling products during support interactions.

AI can also identify customers at risk of churning by conducting customer sentiment analysis to gauge intent and tone. When paired with automated routing and AI-powered workflows, the insights gained can ensure that the most experienced support agents handle the tougher interactions, bypassing any self-service or chatbot workflow.

Why is it important for manufacturers to engage with customers on multiple channels?

The rise of e-commerce and digital platforms has significantly impacted the manufacturing sector, leading many to shift towards selling directly to customers.

An omnichannel approach offers several benefits, such as increased reach, improved customer engagement, broader market coverage, and the ability to gather valuable customer insights. It empowers manufacturers to connect with their customers wherever they are, enhancing convenience and flexibility in the buying and service processes.

Being present where your customers and vendors are, is crucial for any manufacturer - allowing them to tap into diverse customer segments, accurately cater to customer preferences, and create a seamless buying and service experience across channels.

Equipped with the right CX technologies to manage multiple communication channels effectively, manufacturers can develop robust strategies for consistent management of inventory, pricing, branding, and customer interactions. This, in turn, facilitates the smooth flow of order processing, inventory management, and customer support, ultimately benefiting their customers and, in the long run, their business.

How do manufacturers pick the right CX solution?

Manufacturers looking to invest in CX technologies need to look at five important aspects when choosing the right solution for their business:

1. The solution needs to be powered by AI, one that's ideally built on large CX-specific data sets.

2. Technology must enable conversational experiences across channels and empower customers with selfhelp options.

3. It must be able to drive deeper personalisation, which is essential to maintaining the myriad relationships manufacturers juggle every day.

4. The solution must be easy to implement, use and maintain, without requiring heavy IT spending.

5. It must be a unified platform that works out-ofthe-box and easily integrates into existing systems so there is no need for heavy IT spending or long implementation processes.

These five aspects are important elements of any successful CX program and when coupled with a customer-centric approach, manufacturers will be able to deliver seamless, personalised, and meaningful experiences that offer a competitive advantage.

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