3 Ways to Improve Customer Satisfaction in Additive Manufacturing
Updated: May 23
Bright AM Reading Time: 3 minutes
Additive Manufacturing provides customers with new materials, new customization options, and new methods for acquiring exactly the parts or products that they need. This new era of production offers many new opportunities, and customer satisfaction must evolve too.
These tips offer Additive Manufacturers new ways to provide value for customers, increasing satisfaction not only with the product but also with the service. You can improve customer satisfaction in Additive Manufacturing by building greater efficiency and value at each stage of the buyer journey and ensuring timely, reliable delivery.
1. Give Clients Transparency on Orders
Clients need the assurance of a transparent process. Their customer service and production pipeline depend on knowing if parts are in stock, where their order is in the process, and expected delivery dates. You can provide competitive transparency in three ways:
Offer customer self-service: Forrester finds that two-thirds of customers say that valuing their time is the best thing that companies can do. Self-service allows them to handle orders, check status updates, and manage customization or communication. It frees up your team to handle higher-order tasks and gives customers instant answers for everyday questions and needs.
Document automatically from quote to invoice: Documentation provides your customers with the materials that they need for their own quality control policies.
Improve communication: Customers need updates at each stage of the manufacturing process. With an integrated messaging system and communication hub, you can automate customer notifications, such as when items are ready to pick up. You can also provide opportunities for feedback with convenient surveys about their experience.
Setting up customers for success early in the game gives them a reason to lock in your business. Transparency is a competitive edge because it allows them to plan their own operations.
2. Get It Right the First Time
Creating efficient planning and order tracking and communicating changes quickly builds an efficient customer service process that differentiates you from the competition.
Utilize intelligent tracking: Keep up with out-of-sequence operating steps to ensure that your team has the flexibility to keep orders moving. Advanced tracking allows multiple, mutually exclusive parts-processing routes at the individual part level. Users can assign parts to workflows per the original work order or make on-the-fly decisions to prevent bottlenecks and unnecessary downtime.
Improve turnaround time: Making those flexible processing decisions also vastly improves production time. Departments reduce mistakes that require reworking, reduce waste in materials and production, and deliver final products with speed and accuracy.
Ensure a smoother end-to-end experience with process automation: Investments in robotics and process control will only increase in your competition. When you make those investments too, a quality process control solution ensures that you have a birds-eye view of your process and can handle problems before they get out of control.
In many of these categories, an excellent software solution designed for Additive Manufacturing helps keep things under control. You’ll reduce waste and keep production costs down, passing these perks on to your customers.
3. Bulletproof Your Audit Process (Trust Us on This!)
You’re going to get audited. Reducing the downtime required to go through an audit and ensuring that you pass audits with flying colors will prevent customer loss and unnecessary delays.
Automate your documentation: Missing information and human error not only cause massive downtime, but they can also cause poor audit results. Implementing automatic documentation, such as those for specifications, removes human error and ensures a secure audit trail. All stakeholders can access this information quickly and know that it’s complete.
Build a single source of truth: All information must reside in a universal hub so you can pull the reports that you need both ahead of time and on the spot, allowing auditors to get on with their tasks. You won’t have to track down information, and you’ll reduce your audit times.
Implement workflow software: Workflow software makes your entire process paperless, traceable, and searchable. You get real-time insights to make better decisions on the fly and reduce manual processes. You not only lean up output, but you also create the perfect digital “paper trail” to improve operations and bulletproof your audit process.
Building a Customer Service Culture
Improving manufacturing customer satisfaction requires understanding your customer’s needs. Your customers need transparency to manage their own production, efficient turnaround times with little downtime, and the assurance that each product is of the highest quality. They’ll rely on your transparency to make their own process control plans, which is a significant advantage over companies still working with a mysterious manual process.
Meaningful customer service goes beyond answering questions. Your customers will know where their parts are, what the production stage is, and when to expect delivery. This automation builds trust and allows them to rely on you to get the job done right the first time.
A software solution built specifically for the needs of Additive Manufacturers makes this all possible. Bluestreak | Bright AM’s solutions combine the best communication and data hubs with improved process controls and comprehensive workflow. It brings out the best in your manufacturing process so you can provide the best to your customers.
Bluestreak | Bright AM is designed exclusively for the Additive Manufacturing industry. Our best-of-class MES and QMS solutions bring quality control management to new levels. Contact Bluestreak | Bright AM today for a free demo!