- About us
- Knowledge Center
Competitiveness is a subject that keeps manufacturers up at night.
But just because it’s a truism, it doesn’t make it less true. Competitiveness has always been a key concern of manufacturers, but what’s new is the pace at which things are changing.
It used to be relatively simple. In the first half of the century, competitiveness was mostly achieved by economies of scale (think Ford). Later, dominance came from supply chains (think Walmart). But now, only one thing matters.
By 2020, customer experience will overtake product as a key differentiator.
What is competitiveness?
Naturally, competitiveness entails a number of capabilities such as cost of materials, product, innovation culture, use of advanced technologies, etc.
And the relative importance of these key capabilities varies over time. In other words, what confers you a competitive advantage today may not be enough to set you apart in the future.
Nevertheless, when Deloitte conducted an in-depth study of the global competitiveness of manufacturing companies, it determined that:
Brand, reputation, and managing customer perceptions is high-performing manufacturers’ top priority for current and future competitiveness. (Source: 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Study)
There is no denying that the customer is in control.
Different times require a different mindset
So, things are changing faster than ever before and the customer is more in control than ever before. Where does that leave manufacturers?
As Jim Rohn once said,
For things to change, YOU have to change.
Indeed, manufacturers need to adopt a new mindset. A good place to start is customer complaints.
Companies often see customer complaints as a necessary evil: “No matter how much effort we put into it, some customers will always complain.”
Some will, undoubtedly. But consider Jay Baer’s piece of advice: “Customers may not always be right, but they should always be heard.” Just imagine if Blockbuster had heard its customers when they were complaining about outrageous late fees. Netflix may never have seen the light of day.
If you change your mindset and embrace customer complaints as an opportunity to become better, you will not only improve your customers’ experience, but also your profitability. Indeed, businesses that grow their customer retention rates by as little as 5% typically see profit increases ranging from 25% to 95%.
Don’t let bad customer experience hurt your bottom line, follow us to learn how to dare to become better.