This blog expands upon one of the ten Decision Imperatives that are part of our recently published IDC Futurescape: Worldwide Manufacturing Product and Service Innovation 2015 Predictions report.
This blog expands upon one of the ten Decision Imperatives that are part of our recently published IDC Futurescape: Worldwide Manufacturing Product and Service Innovation 2015 Predictions (Doc # 253397) report.
The rise of customer centricity is being experienced across industries, and manufacturing is not immune to its impact. Manufacturers are being called upon to walk a tightrope between pleasing shareholders (higher profits, better margins, greater growth) and customers (better service, greater value, better customer experience). IDC Manufacturing Insights believes that this will be an ongoing struggle in the coming years, and that manufacturers are currently unprepared to effectively satisfy the increasing demands on customer centricity, especially in a way that satisfies all stakeholders.
In a previous blog, I highlighted one of the key Decision Imperatives in the after-sales service realm for the coming years, around the disruptive transformation toward Product-as-a-Service offerings in manufacturing. In this post, I want to highlight another of the Decision Imperatives included in the report for our IDC Community audience, around customer loyalty and the challenges manufacturers face getting it right.
By 2016, Only 20% of Manufacturers Will Have an Integrated Approach to Delivering Service That Allows Them to Directly Measure Its Impact on Customer Loyalty and Revenue
The rising tide of more demanding customers and more visible interactions between customers and manufacturers and the ubiquitous connectivity that turns a simple interaction into a twitter headline are all hurtling the industry toward some painful, sometimes public, customer losses. Despite efforts to improve customer experience, invest in service management technology, and deliver quality products to market, most manufacturers will experience a loss of business related to poor service in the coming months. One of the most visible examples in recent months is the Takata air bag recall, which has placed several prominent automotive OEMs in the hot seat with customers. As if the defective parts weren't enough, the complete failure of the service network to adequately respond to the recall has spurred significant backlash by car owners, many of whom have vowed to change car brands because of the disappointing response.
This example is particularly revealing because the automotive OEMs rely on a vast aftermarket services network through both dealerships and independent service partners. Therefore, an incredible amount of coordination needs to occur throughout the value chain. At the end of the day, the OEM does not have complete control over service execution, but the OEM is judged on the entire chain's performance and will lose customers as a result of failures along the chain.
So what is a manufacturer to do when its brand is on the line but it does not always control all of the customer service touch points? How can manufacturers build successful service offerings in emerging markets, where it becomes even more challenging to align technology, processes, and service people on the ground? Visibility throughout the service chain is an excellent start, along with communication and collaboration among all parties. This will become increasingly important as the transformation to product as a service occurs, and the service value chain becomes even more complex.
IDC Manufacturing Insights advises that IT respond to line of business' push for visibility across the service chain with technology investments that support collaboration and link critical customer and product systems. Identify the most valuable service offerings to enhance overall service experience, such as software updates, predictive maintenance, and automated scheduling. And, don't forget the value of the human touch, and align customer response centers and field service assets with specific customer needs in each market, ensuring that the most recent interaction will be positive.
We'll be talking about what is needed for an integrated approach to delivering customer service and more in our upcoming webcast on Product and Service Innovation February 5th. To register for this free webcast, click here. Hope to see you there!