by George Demou
The IoT and CX – Seizing the Opportunity Presented by the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things, or IoT, offers significant potential for organizations seeking to empower customers. With a simple voice command, customers can place an order or be connected to an organization for information, advice or even support resolving an issue.
The rapid growth of IoT and its limitless uses have many Customer Experience professionals exploring the space for ways to use IoT devices to create deeper and more impactful relationships with customers.
To help you explore and seize the opportunities presented by IoT solutions, here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to the subject at hand.
What is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things is loosely defined as billions of interconnected mechanical and computing devices that collect, transmit and track data. To be considered part of the IoT, these devices, unsurprisingly, must have the capability of connecting to the internet, either continuously or at set intervals.
IoT devices range from the increasingly popular smart home automation gadgets like Amazon Echo and Google Home, to residential appliances with built-in data connections and commercial generators with real-time monitoring capabilities. Motion sensors, light bulbs, children’s toys, smart watches and countless other devices round out the IoT ecosystem.
As you read this blog, chances are high that you are within near range of at least one, if not several, IoT devices.
Is the IoT really the next great frontier for CX professionals? In other words, is the IoT really here to stay?
Whenever new technology emerges, experts are often quick to question its lasting power, or the long-term impact the technology may have on the world. In the case of IoT, most experts agree that the potential impact is limitless, and that the growth of connected devices
In fact, according to a recent article by Forbes, the IoT is here to stay, and will only continue to grow at breakneck speeds.
In short, the IoT market has the potential to impact nearly every industry, customer base and target audience today, and well into the future. This makes the IoT a viable, if not necessary, space for CX professionals to explore.
How can IoT be used to benefit your customers?
There are many ways to leverage IoT devices to benefit your customers. Businesses that sell physical or consumer products often create an application or automated process launched via IoT devices that allows for simple reordering or shipment tracking. Other applications that utilize IoT devices, such as smart monitors or security systems make it possible to track and record the performance of a piece of equipment, such as a power generator, to proactively resolve issues. These applications also make it possible for customers to resolve issues via managed troubleshooting, or to be connected to an agent with a simple button press or voice command.
From customer empowerment to active support of products, IoT devices offer all but limitless possibilities for CX professionals to engage and support customers.
What are the challenges associated with IoT?
Each communication channel we leverage to deliver customer interactions and overall experiences presents its own unique challenges. The IoT is no different.
Common CX-related challenges associated with IoT include:
- Security: Virtually every new form of technology or data transfer becomes a target for hackers – IoT is no exception. Many significant security breaches have already been linked to IoT attacks, with customer data being compromised in each event. The security vulnerabilities are actively being addressed by device developers, but the concern remains, making it important to carefully consider the types of data your organization collects and shares via IoT devices, and the efforts you take to secure customer data.
- Consistency: Providing a consistent brand experience across multiple communication channels should be the goal of every CX professional. Unfortunately, doing so can be difficult. It is important to take the time to carefully plan the experience your customers will have via IoT devices to ensure these experiences align with your overall CX strategy and the various communication channels already in use today.
- Buy-in: Obtaining the buy-in and investment necessary to take advantage of the booming IoT industry may be challenging. Demonstrating the potential reach and impact your IoT strategy can have is crucial to gaining enterprise-wide buy-in – fortunately, as is the case with Forbes, many experts have offered valuable predictions regarding the future of the IoT industry. Additionally, many use cases already exist to support the return on investment into an effective IoT strategy.
While these challenges can be significant, it is certainly possible to overcome them. Doing so may result in significant improvements in customer engagement and satisfaction.
How can you get started?
With so many possibilities for leveraging IoT as a CX tool, it can be difficult to know where to begin.
If you are searching for ways to get started with a new IoT strategy or project, remember to:
- Listen to your customers: Your customers truly are your best source of information and inspiration when it comes to developing an IoT strategy. Voice of the Customer surveys or Journey Mapping exercises often reveal IoT opportunities as shared by your customers. Turning your customers’ “I wish” statements into reality is a great way to earn their admiration and loyalty.
- Pay attention: Your competition and companies you admire may already be leveraging IoT strategy to benefit customers. Pay attention to active IoT strategies, make note of what makes them successful, and translate those details into your own IoT strategy.
- Consult the experts: CX consulting firms like Avtex provide the strategic advice and technical support you need to seize the opportunities presented by the IoT. Our team of experts is here to help you develop an IoT strategy that aligns with your current efforts, leverages your established technology solutions, and provides the most impactful experience for your customers.