Recent UK government figures show the manufacturing sector growing at 3% but concerns over fast rising commodity price increases are growing. Coupled with the sharp decline in technical product differentiation which has fallen from 30% in 2003 to 21% in 2010 the major European manufacturers are striving to avoid the pain of differentiating purely on price.
Recognising the risk associated with a low cost leadership strategy the leading European companies have seized on the opportunity to add further value by focusing on their provision of customer experience.
Manufacturers can only go so far with efficiencies driven by quality initiatives such as Six Sigma which focus on operational performance rather than customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy. The leading companies have adopted ‘Voice of the Customer’ initiatives which are focused on building customer insight, combining customer feedback with an organisation’s financial and operational data.
The adoption of Voice of the Customer by the leading European manufacturing companies is resulting in significant increases in customer retention and profitability as they use the customer insight to focus enhancements in their best operating practices.