In this article, Brian Hannon, Chief Commercial Officer, Voxpro, discusses the business benefits of using IoT data to strengthen customer relationships and shares five examples– prediction, insight, personalization, community, and humanization – of how and when to further engage customers through the power of IoTby Brian Hannon Feb 26, 2018
Excelling at customer service has always required adapting to the latest technology. Twenty years ago, websites changed how customers reached brands; ten years ago, mobile and social channels turned brand communication and engagement into a two-way street. Today, as everyone and everything is connected, we’re on the brink of the next shift in customer experience: it’s called The Internet of Things (IoT).
Connected devices, wearable tech, and Radio Frequency (RF) enabled technologies allow companies to build incredibly detailed profiles of individuals, not just of customer segments. In return for giving away personal data, customers expect highly personalized experiences. In fact, according to Accenture, 81% of consumers want brands to understand them better and know when and when not to approach them.
All of this means IoT is helping to forge stronger relationships between companies and customers. With Gartner predicting over 20 billion IoT devices to be in use by 2020, it’s difficult to see how any company could afford not to invest in IoT, at least to some extent.
IoT has completely transformed the customer experience in these five ways:
It goes without saying: things break, products expire, and performance wanes – all which chip away at the customer experience. But with IoT, those experiences are becoming a thing of the past. Collecting multiple data points along the customer journey adds a level of predictability previously unseen.
For instance, Tesla recently averted a costly dealership repair of nearly 30,000 vehicles that had an issue with a charging plug software bug with an over-the-air (OTA) update. Predictive maintenance uses sensor data generated by the vehicle to determine when something is wrong – for example, if a core part is overheating. When this happens, like in Tesla’s case, the information can be forwarded a dealer and automatically schedule the service and order the required parts.
You might have heard, knowledge is power. This couldn’t be truer when it comes to how brands and customers interact. When customers understand a product’s full functionality and use it to solve specific problems, they have great brand experiences. In turn, when brands know exactly how and why customers are using its products, it can use these insights to improve them. This creates a cycle of satisfaction, and IoT is at the center of providing the knowledge that fuels it.
Nest Labs, for example, has revolutionized the home thermostat by building in the multitudinous data points that IoT can provide. What was a one-way device for controlling your home climate, is now a two-way connected dashboard that monitors real-time behavior. Not only does the data collected allow the homeowner to be more efficient and save money, it also allows Nest to build better products.
IoT brings personalization like we never imagined possible . Take Fitbit, for example, whose activity trackers and smart scales track a person’s daily step count, weight, calories, water intake, and more. All that information is readily available via an app and personalized to the end user. But personalization doesn’t end there. There’s an opportunity to build even stronger relationships by developing new, interesting features that result in increased engagement.
Fitbit did just this with the launch of its Adventure app, which brings famous hiking trails and national parks right to consumers’ devices. It rewards users with fun trivia and gives advice on living a healthy life. Through Adventures, Fitbit takes a holistic approach to fitness with the heart of the experience being its wearable.
While everyone appreciates individualization, consumers also want to belong to communities . IoT not only puts brands right at the heart of these communities, it allows companies to create them.
Strava turns your phone or GPS watch into a performance tracking device for when you run or cycle. The data collected goes to your Strava feed, where your friends and followers can also share their performance stats. Through the Strava community, people from all over the globe are coming together in the spirit of competition. Members are getting healthy, are more connected, and having great experiences.
IoT data creates transparency between consumers and brands. With real-time, rich contextual data, brands can understand and interact with consumers in a whole new way . The result is more intelligent products that are more responsive and mindful. By revealing the human face of the customer, IoT allows the customer to see the human side of the product.
Not investing in IoT results in missed opportunities to create compelling customer experiences
In a world where customers demand to be treated as individuals, fine-tuned customer experience is king. It separates those who will win big from all the rest. IoT is at the epicenter of this customer experience revolution.