Manufacturers have recently taken their customer experience approach more seriously to keep up with the experience economy and distinguish themselves more competitively. However, what isn’t always emphasized in equal measure is just as important to maintaining a truly future-proof manufacturing business: customer experience, user experience, employee experience, and multi-experience—total experience. With predictions forecasting that organizations who lead in total experience will outperform their peers by 25% in satisfaction metrics, it’s evident that customer experience alone is no longer enough. Total experience (TX) is now the crown feat.
Total experience, as broken down by Gartner, is defined as the interlinking of customer experience, user experience, employee experience, and multi-experience for a comprehensive technology solution that supports internal and external users as they journey through interactions with the organization. For manufacturers, it takes a unique lens to properly tackle each of these areas. Let’s dive in:
Customer experience: Align your strategy with needs and expectations
This is probably the most familiar frontier for manufacturers who have already been making every effort to stay current. The manufacturing industry-wide manufacturing pivot to become more customer-centric rather than simply product-centric has put added emphasis on the importance of creating a customer journey that fulfills needs and exceeds expectations for a delightful experience. The loyalty-boosting turns into revenue-boosting, and leaders from every department can get behind that. Since the manufacturing customer base is varied with partners, suppliers, and an increasing amount of D2C customers thanks to eCommerce, manufacturers face the unique challenge of aligning their CX strategy with multiple distinct personas. Fortunately, Salesforce CRM offers the technical platform foundation you need for connecting customer-facing departments like sales, marketing, and customer service for a seamless experience united around cohesive, shared data. With your customer-facing experience aligned to both needs and expectations, you establish what many view as the core foundation for other prongs of a total experience strategy.
User experience: Secure adoption internally and externally
It’s not enough to connect the dots through just customer-facing touchpoints for a seamless journey on the front-end. You need to make that experience intuitive, aesthetically pleasing, and convenient. That’s where superior UX (user experience) or UI (user interface) comes into play. User experience can also apply to your internal users/employees. Both internal and external interactions with your manufacturing tech stack should be UX-driven to keep the gears churning on both sides of the business equation. Without buy-in from employees using the solution, you won’t have the internal support to truly push the customer experience forward for external consumption. Studies have found that employees operating with quality UX are at least 1.5 times more effective, productive, and loyal to the company. Manufacturers in particular have to make sure the user experience is one that can accommodate various work situations, from shop floor operators and factory floor support staff to hybrid and remote office workers. This means UX should be centered around predictable, consistent design that can be depended on and used regularly but leaves room for updates as operations change for customer needs. UX design helps you secure adoption from both your own internal team and your customers for further acceleration of the complete TX strategy.
Employee experience: Enable your team to engage with the solution
All your work on customer experience and user experience will be for naught if there isn’t something else bolstering it all up: happy, satisfied employees. Employees that feel supported and enabled with a stellar experience on the back-end of company technology provide better support for customers long-term. However, Gartner estimates predict that over half of enterprise employees don’t feel empowered by their employer to deliver superior experiences for customers, and that comes down to their own employee experience lacking in functionality. But a proper employee experience will enable team members to engage and advocate for the solution and, thereby, the company at large. There is a strong correlation between employee experience and quality customer experiences, yet employee experience has only recently gotten attention as a critical component for overall total experience success. Using AI is an especially effective tool for manufacturing organizations looking to boost their employee experience. AI can offload tedious work for key departments (think 70 percent reduction in ticket resolution time) and give manufacturers more time to work on the most productive tasks while also better aligning with customer needs.
Multi-experience: Implement the right tools across the board
Finally, multi-experience is designing all of these digital experiences across multiple devices, modalities, and touchpoints. With multi-experience, your customer experience, employee experience, and user experience are embedded throughout and must work across multiple experience platforms to achieve the final frontier of TX transformation in manufacturing. This means getting your CTO, CIO, head of enterprise architecture, or whoever else is responsible for the company’s overarching technology strategy to support the implementation of the company’s tech solution software needs. Your multi-experience needs may include budgeting and resourcing for CRM, ERP, self-service portals, AR/VR advancements, and a whole slew of data integrations to seamlessly support omnichannel interactions like SMS, live chat, social media, etc. Additionally, multi-experience means pristine implementation that actually puts the build into action for all the lofty objectives you’re targeting for customers, partners, and employees. Personalizing the multi-experience can be an overwhelming prospect when you consider the sheer volume of platforms, pages, and software involved, but you can take advantage of tools like Community Cloud to simplify the process and eliminate the extra time and expense of custom integrations like KUKA Robotics did.
Customer experience, user experience, employee experience, and multi-experience—all conducted in unison—make up total experience for a complete “business strategy that aims to create a better, holistic experience for everyone who engages” with your manufacturing brand. In short, the total experience is making sure everyone’s experience gets the full digital treatment.
If you’re ready to elevate your total experience functionality with best-in-class technology platforms and expert consulting, look no further. Simplus is ready with industry-leading resources and experience to guide your journey. Reach out today.