How manufacturers can increase B2B revenue and improve customer loyalty

Manufacturers in the UK are currently facing a lot of challenges.

Manufacturers in the UK are currently facing a lot of challenges. COVID-19 and the lockdowns that followed it were tough, but now they have to deal with global supply chain issues and Brexit.

Customers expect manufacturers to provide the same level of service they are used to getting from other businesses.

The best way for manufacturers to meet these challenges and expectations is by making their customers the focus of everything they do. They should also embrace collaborative experience management. This might not change the external forces impacting manufacturers, but it will make it easier to deal with them.

Manufacturers that provide the best possible customer experience can gain a lot. Research has shown that customers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. Additionally, those customers are more likely to be loyal, which is important when you consider that 65% of a company’s business typically comes from existing customers.

B2B is different from other types of businesses

Achieving success with business-to-business customers is different than dealing with regular consumers. Knowing this, how can collaborative experience management help manufacturers face external challenges head-on and build great customer experiences?

In order to understand the differences between B2B and B2C, it is important to remember that business-to-business buyers have unique needs and demands. Certainly, they might expect a sales and support experience similar to the kind they have in the business-to-consumer space, but that doesn’t mean manufacturers can do like-for-like overlays and expect results.

For example, when businesses buy something, they have to think about things that regular people don't have to worry about. This includes buying on behalf of someone else, ordering in bulk, having things delivered regularly, getting contract prices, and negotiating deals.

Additionally, customers who buy things like products that are made in factories are usually known to the company. They have been buying from the company for a long time and they are used to working with many different teams including sales and service teams. They also appreciate it when they are given suggestions about what product to buy. These suggestions should include deep product information such as product interdependencies, or recommendations about what product offering they should look at based on their industry.

The power of working together to manage experiences

Just like with every other customer touchpoint, the same kind of differences exist between B2B customers and manufacturers. However, no manufacturer can provide the same level of experience that their customers want if different departments within the company are not working together.

Luckily, technology can help make a big difference in this area. Ideally, manufacturers should look for tools that allow different teams - such as marketing, sales, and IT - to collaborate effectively and coordinate their efforts seamlessly in order to serve customers and increase revenue.

Marketing is about creating experiences for buyers that will help them buy more products or services. The tool should also have features that help marketers understand how people are using the manufacturer's website. This will help them make changes to improve the experience for everyone.

The tool should also work from the knowledge that as product catalogues get more complex, customers need more help than self-service to be successful. This will allow for a better handoff between the manufacturer’s commerce site and its sales team, by turning the digital channel into a tool they can use to sell. Relevant account insights will also help them serve as experts, further improving the customer experience.

This will allow business users to make most changes to the customer experience on their own, without needing IT. This will free up IT so they can work on integrating back-end systems with customer-facing systems. This will let manufacturers provide a more consistent user experience for their customers.

Getting ahead

The next few years will see big changes in the UK manufacturing sector. To stay competitive, manufacturers will have to give their customers a good experience. Meeting their needs won't be easy - it will require more than just copying what businesses do to get customers.

A better way to do this is by focusing on collaborative experience management. This way, manufacturers can work together with their customers to get ahead of the competition and increase revenue, profitability and customer loyalty.

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