Industry 4.0 leads us to a time in which factories and machines decide on their own how to operate.
But until that time arrives, and even then, people would still decide what machines to buy. At Nanofabrica, where we manufacture cutting edge ultra-precise 3D printers, we try to be as little robotic as possible in our attitude towards our customers. We decided early on to emphasize the human beings involved in the process, and direct our attention towards them.
Why? Because in order to deliver the best systems — we need customer feedback.
Becoming Personal In Our Sale Cycle
So how do we express a personal touch and win customers’ attention in an automated era?
- We answer all emails and try to be as attentive as possible. We read what they ask and answer their specific questions rather than use fixed templates
- We schedule calls in which we really listen to customers’ needs. With these insights, we can then incorporate changes in our system, ensuring the result would be the printer they need and eventually would purchase and successfully use.
We keep in touch, at some point we might use their first names, and we keep them posted all the time and aim to create long lasting relationships that create real long term value for everyone involved
- When we send samples of printed parts, we now add to the box a postcard with our handwritten customized message. We believe it may raise a nostalgic smile on their faces, reminding them of times when printers were the new technology and hand-written letters were a regular thing…
- In the trade shows we go to, we wear a branded shirt, just like all other companies, and we try to use it to stir up conversations. Our slogan “i AM precise” plays on the acronym of additive manufacturing and encapsulates our essence — bridging precision manufacturing and digital printing.
It also treats the employee who wears the shirt as a person using the “I am” structure, rather than a walking billboard. Again, becoming more personal
Be Less Techie
It may sound absurd to even want to be less techie when we all want seamless, frictionless, fast and automated services and products that would save us time. But especially in the B2B long processes, one needs to maintain a relationship with his/her potential customers.
There needs to be an attentive ear involved in the marketing, business, sales and customer service units.
Down the road, we at Nanofabrica believe that you’d outperform your competitors only if you listen to your customers, stop acting as a bot and start using human gestures. By getting to know your customers better you will be able to fine-tune your offering and gain loyal partners for this voyage.
In a recent correspondence with a pivotal customer, after sharing an update with him, he assured me that he’s with us for the long run; “We are building something together” he wrote.
This would have never happened with an automated attitude.