By Giving Customers On-Demand Access to Products and Information, You’re Making It Easier for Engineers with Tight Schedules to Buy from You.
For today’s buyers, “impatience is a virtue.”
Gartner and Forrester predict that by 2020, customers will go through 80% of the buying process before connecting with a salesperson. That means customers are seeking the relevant buying information they need up front, and they likely won’t choose a business that doesn’t provide that information.
Furthermore, engineers don’t have time to waste looking for product information. They want instant access to the information they need so that they can get back to their busy schedule. Similarly, manufacturers can’t afford to spend the time and resources to deliver this data fast enough to engineers.
For manufacturers to create the best digital customer experience and meet the on-demand needs of engineers, the product configurator is the answer.
24/7 Information Access
The online parts configurator works for on-demand customers because the buyers are in charge. Customers have 24/7 access to information about the manufacturer’s products and can download instant digital product samples anytime, anywhere.
In turn, this enables customers to work on their schedule, empowers buyers by giving them the information they need to make the best choice for their design and meets customers’ expectations for on-demand services. With 58% of engineers saying their competitive landscape is global and competes 24/77, according to IEEE GlobalSpec, around-the-clock access is what they need.
Just-In-Time Digital Delivery
While manufacturers can’t make the physical product on demand, they provide the next best option: just-in-time digital delivery. Manufacturers don’t have specific product configurations collecting dust on shelves but rather create the unique digital part for the specific customer as soon as the buyer is ready.
Often times when an engineer customizes a product using the manufacturer’s online product configurator, he or she is creating a custom product that has never been manufactured before. Since the configurator builds the product on-the-fly, all the information the engineer would need (product number, manufacturing information, and product specs) is still included in the download.
Customer-Driven & Customer-Focused
With around the clock customer demands and just-in-time digital delivery, the manufacturer becomes a valuable resource to its customer without over extending its employees and internal resources.
The interactive product catalog guides the customer through 80% of the buyer’s journey, meaning the manufacturer spends less time emailing customers information and more time delighting their customers.
To prove the importance of 3D CAD models and instant product information, take a look at the success of PFA Inc.’s online product configurator. 99% of custom products purchased featured a model generated by their new configurator. Customers were no longer drawing parts themselves or sourcing elsewhere. Check out the video below to see how easy it is to download a CAD model from PFA.
Everyday new platforms that provide on-demand customer service replace those that lag behind. Manufacturers, too, must exceed customer expectations, staying current with trends to provide better customer service or risk losing customers to faster, more innovative competitors.
Providing customers with on-demand data access through an online configurator is the most proficient way to meet customer demands and stay relevant in the digital industry.
Have you experienced trouble meeting the on-demand needs of engineers? Share with us your thoughts for using an online configurator to meet and exceed customers’ expectations.
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