Retooling for the ‘WFH’ Era

The year that went by was a tortuous one to say the least. We experienced a curve ball thrown at us that changed our lives and livelihoods. Now that 2021 has arrived, we find that many of those challenges are here to stay and are now the emerging value givers and productivity enhancers. One such significant change has been the phenomenon of work from home (WFH) that brings new additional challenges to the marketing and servicing of capital equipment, the hardcore brick-and-mortar equipment, and machine tools.

To adapt ourselves to the changing scene, most of us quickly reacted, got our act together, adjusted ourselves to virtual meetings, pitching power points and using mobile phones and tablets to make sales pitches and support customers. Machine tool businesses are yet to adapt and be comfortable with this altered environment. Both organizations and individuals have to rethink and retool their approach to make it conducive to the WFH era. It is not about the strategy, which may still be the same, but understanding and equipping with newer available tools that are already in use in several digital enterprises that have moved away from their brick-and-mortar avatars.

To be a relevant successful business, we must keep adding value for the customer. In our business, the goals are Output, Productivity, Total Quality, Cost of Ownership, and overall Customer Experience. We, as capital equipment manufacturers, need to understand customer experience, know how to measure it, and use this as the most significant input in restructuring our companies for consistently delivering a great customer experience.

An interesting tool used by successful businesses that continue to do well in their digitized avatar is customer journey mapping. A customer journey map is the realistic story of your customer’s experience across the various touchpoints as he interacts with you while he learns about you and your offerings, compares you with his alternate choices, buys from you, and uses your products and services. The outcomes from the journey map must:

  • Measure and govern customer experience across touchpoints;
  • Align internal departments and communications across them;
  • Create internal visibility and accountability;
  • Strategize and activate offerings in tune with customer experience.

The views expressed by the author are personal and he can be contacted at

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