It’s no secret that customer satisfaction can make or break a company’s reputation. Even one bad experience can spread like wildfire online, leading to many headaches for a manufacturer. Businesses are increasingly recognizing the importance of providing a positive customer experience. The challenge lies in how to increase customer satisfaction metrics without hurting manufacturing efficiency and company profitability.
Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) software with ERP product configuration addresses both sides of this equation. Discover how CPQ and product configuration enhance the customer experience while meeting customer and business needs.
What the Customer Wants
Customers today demand a seamless and personalized experience when they purchase make-to-order products. They want to order easily, receive timely updates, and communicate with the manufacturer during their buying journey. The following key points rate as some of the top customer demands from make-to-order manufacturers.
Options, Options, Options
Buyers love many options when purchasing custom-made products – the more choices, the better. This also rings true for product orders from high-volume make-to-order manufacturers. The option to choose a trendy new sofa fabric or the size of their bathroom cabinets is important to them. Providing a variety of customization options can enhance customer satisfaction.
Make it Easy to Use
The user interface, or UI, is essential to consumers on their online shopping journey. A complicated and cumbersome ordering interface or process will frustrate customers, potentially leading to abandoned transactions. Manufacturers need to ensure that their ordering systems and shopping interfaces are user-friendly for a positive customer experience.
Speedy and Accurate Quotes
Time is of the essence in the custom manufacturing world. Customers prefer swift and accurate responses to their pricing requests. The worst thing a business can do is give the buyer the runaround when they request a quote. A quick quote generation process can significantly impact their decision-making and increase a manufacturer’s customer satisfaction rating.
Customers often have questions during the purchasing process, especially when ordering a custom-made product. They may need more details about product specifications, pricing, or delivery timelines. No matter the question, positive customer interaction is crucial. Manufacturers that quickly communicate with customers foster trust and confidence in the company.
The Delivery Details
Custom order delivery dates are important to the customer. If they don’t receive their product by the date promised, the company risks losing the sale, the customer, and the profits. Buyers expect orders to be processed efficiently and delivered promptly. Companies that supply regular shipping updates are sure to increase customer satisfaction ratings and receive repeat business.
What the Manufacturer Wants
Meeting and exceeding customer expectations is paramount for a company to succeed in the custom manufacturing industry. Manufacturers have the same wants and needs as those that purchase their products. However, they must also pair their business goals and requirements with customer service for efficient operations. Some often cited pain points include:
Remove Excessive Keystrokes
Manual data entry is tedious, time-consuming, and a waste of valuable resources. Having to manually key in orders also leaves a large margin for errors to occur. Manufacturers prefer data entry methods that are fully or partially automated. Through automation, customer service and sales teams can work more efficiently while focusing on other important tasks.
Software that is difficult to operate leads to confusion and frustration for customer service teams. This often results in errors and an increased potential for lost sales. Just as customers prefer user-friendly interfaces, CSRs want systems that are easy to navigate and operate. With fewer errors, increased efficiency, and increased customer satisfaction metrics, the result is a win-win for manufacturers.
Businesses often operate in a fast-paced environment where quick decision-making is essential. For custom manufacturers, the timeliness of a customer’s quote can make or break a sale. The majority of companies want a system that automatically generates prompt, precise quotes to speed up the sales cycle.
Customers want to have a pleasant buying experience and manufacturers want happy customers. Customer service success comes through clear communication, promptly generated quotes, and user-friendly ordering platforms that meet customer expectations. By focusing on these areas, manufacturers can significantly increase customer satisfaction. Happy customers are more likely to become repeat buyers and brand advocates.
What is CPQ and Product Configuration?
CPQ, or Configure-Price-Quote, is a vital element in custom manufacturing that automates personalized product configurations and pricing. Product configuration goes beyond manufacturers offering standard, off-the-shelf products, enabling customers to choose specific features, components, or design elements. These tools empower customers, dealers, and sales representatives to effortlessly create tailored products.
CPQ offers significant operational advantages for increased efficiency, enhanced customer experience, and higher profitability. The true benefits of CPQ emerge when integrated into the company’s ERP software seamlessly. In such cases, CPQ transforms into the ordering and quote pricing module, complementing the ERP’s product configurator.
6 Ways CPQ Can Increase Customer Satisfaction
Let’s explore the customer satisfaction benefits realized through the use of CPQ and ERP product configuration.
1. User-Friendly Platform
ERP systems with CPQ product configurators are designed with the end-user in mind. They provide intuitive interfaces that guide customers through the configuration process with ease. This simplicity contributes to increased customer satisfaction, from product selection to order completion.
Manufacturers benefit from systems that are easy to navigate and operate as well. A user-friendly CPQ product configurator solution simplifies and streamlines internal processes, reduces employee training time, and enhances workflow efficiency. This results in a more productive and adaptable workforce.
2. Customization Made Easy
Customers appreciate the ability to personalize products. ERP with CPQ configuration lets users customize products from a list of available options.
For instance, let’s say a customer is ordering custom cabinets. They could select Wood type 1, Color 3, Beveling style 4, and so on. The configuration tool guarantees that only valid and compatible options are chosen, ensuring a seamless customization process. This empowers customers to choose exactly what they want without issue.
One of the primary advantages of ERP CPQ systems is the reduction of manual data entry. By automating the configuration, pricing, and quoting processes, manufacturers minimize the risk of errors and save valuable time. This efficiency increases ROI as employees can focus on more strategic tasks.
3. Automated Quotes Delivered Fast
Speed matters in the modern business landscape. CPQ product configuration automates the quoting process, enabling manufacturers to respond rapidly to customer inquiries. This saves time for customers and manufacturers, contributing to a more efficient and satisfying purchasing experience. Quick quotes also accelerate the sales cycle, enabling custom manufacturers to capitalize on opportunities and stay ahead of competitors.
4. Improved Communication Backed by Real-time Data
CPQ product configuration integrates with real-time data from the ERP system. This enables custom manufacturers to provide product details to customers during the order process. Customers can also receive up-to-date order information like shipping dates and delivery details. Easy access to timely information gives manufacturers the ability to build trust and confidence, essential elements for a positive customer experience.
5. Timely Product Delivery
Customers anticipate the swift processing and timely delivery of their orders. Manufacturers who provide shipping updates and adhere to promised timelines can build customer loyalty and encourage repeat business. Efficient demand tracking and forecasting streamlined by ERP systems with CPQ product configurations contribute to timely product delivery. Customers can rely on manufacturers to fulfill orders promptly, meeting their expectations for product availability and delivery timelines.
6. Increased Customer Satisfaction Ratings
ERP systems with CPQ product configuration tools help address customer pain points. This results in higher customer satisfaction ratings. Satisfied customers are more likely to return for repeat business and recommend the brand to others. This positive feedback loop enhances the manufacturer’s reputation and market position.
In conclusion, increasing customer satisfaction ratings in the manufacturing industry involves a delicate balance between meeting customer expectations and optimizing internal processes. ERP and CPQ product configurators are powerful tools that achieve this symmetry through an easy-to-use interface. They provide a personalized customer experience while offering manufacturers efficiency, accuracy, and increased ROI. A company can become a top player in customer satisfaction in manufacturing and establish itself as a market leader.
Friedman’s innovative Frontier ERP CPQ product configurator provides custom manufacturers with the tools they need for a competitive advantage. Click here for details.