Digital technology has fundamentally changed the way we interact with each other and the world. For businesses that have been around since before the proliferation of digital technology, this means reevaluating practices that have worked for decades—from how sales teams reach potential customers, to how customers do their own research, to how orders are processed to be sent to the manufacturing floor.
Consumer buying journeys have gone through a fundamental shift with the rise of eCommerce. Everyday purchasing decisions are influenced by enormous amount of information. We browse vast catalogues of products online, compare prices and arrival dates and track our purchases to see when they will arrive on our doorsteps. This shift on the consumer side created demand for B2B companies to create consumer-like purchasing experiences as well.
With seamless end-to-end digital customer experiences deployed in so many other areas of their life, why would people who make purchasing decisions for companies expect any less at work? A recent Deloitte study found that 66% of B2B customers prefer to research product and purchasing decisions online on their own, 75% use social networks to learn about different vendors and 62% develop selection criteria and finalize a vendor list based solely on digital content. While there are differences between specific businesses and industries, the message is clear—even in the longer and more complex buying journeys of B2B, a strong digital customer experience is no longer a “nice to have,” but an expectation.
The explosive use of digital technology in the consumer world is transforming how businesses operate and grow. nVent is focused on building consumer-like digital experiences that drive positive outcomes for our distributors and end-customers. nVent’s digital transformation focuses on aligning all business systems to create a world-class end-to-end customer experience.
Over the last year, the team managing the nVent SCHROFF website has exemplified this journey as they have worked to digitize and modernize every facet of their customer experience, from product selection and configuration to order production.
The team began overhauling their website and digital customer experience in 2019. Although they knew good search functionality was one of the most important tools they could deploy, creating an effective search is easier said than done. To have good searchability, websites need to be catalogued in terms that come naturally to customers. For instance, customers who were looking for nVent’s entire line of server cabinets had been searching for “server rack,” a term nVent had previously used to describe only small units for installing a single server—that disconnect needed to be resolved.
A smooth digital experience also requires impeccably organized data. Product data needs to be collected and categorized so customers can find the right products with up-to-date information. When users log into their accounts on the nVent SCHROFF website, they can access 3D models of products, direct CAD downloads, test reports and certificates and, for European customers, customized price and delivery time. The team is working on global deployment of those features. Users also can use configurators on the website in order to design products to their exact specifications and either immediately order them, or save configurations to come back to later.
The nVent team designed the entire nVent SCHROFF digital experience to demonstrate how nVent can be a strong partner not only for products, but for comprehensive, integrated solutions. The team envisions an automated process that takes custom orders from the nVent SCHROFF website and works them through all the necessary steps in order to reach automated machinery on the shop floor. Several nVent locations in Europe already have begun this transition.
The nVent SCHROFF digital experience is powered by 15 different connected software programs that find, rout and organize data in real time. While the technical features of this system are complex, the front-end customer experience is as it should be: simple. Now’s easier than it has ever been to do business with nVent.
As digital customer experiences continue to become more deeply integrated into our day-to-day lives, companies like nVent can expect the digitization and modernization of sales operations to continue. nVent’s company-wide digital transformation will continue to have clear benefits for customers and end-users, as our increasingly digitized and electrified world creates more demand for world-class end-to-end customer experiences.