Today more than ever, organisations are under pressure to adopt new technologies in order to accommodate the evolving needs of customers. Gartner forecasts that 8.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2017, up 31 percent from 2016, and will reach 20.4 billion by 2020.
Over the next few years, the Internet of Things (IoT) will be crucial in creating a transformative and outstanding customer experience (CX) that will enable brands to meet and exceed these needs. IoT can enable countless improvements to products and services, making a material difference to customers.
By adding IoT capabilities, businesses can not only improve customer journeys but also enable huge leaps in the quality of their products. An IoT-enabled CX (IoT-CX) captures the convergence of a customer’s journey across digital and physical environments, enabling organisations to deliver personalised, predictive, and productive experiences to customers.
Examples of this might include a connected car that enables drivers to access the car’s dashboard remotely via a smart app allowing them to seek emergency assistance or check the door-lock status. Similarly, a smart washing machine that can track the number of wash cycles and prompt users though an app when laundry supplies are running low is another good example of how the internet of things might drive CX in the coming years.
However, despite the fact that many businesses have recognised the immense potential of IoT in transforming CX, organisations embarking on an IoT-CX journey are still unsure on what exactly it would mean and are also prone to misconceptions. A recent report, The Frost & Sullivan 2016 IoT-enabled Customer Experience, points out a number of the most common myths and misconceptions around IoT-CX:
Myth 1 - IoT-CX is for the Future: Even with the hype surrounding IoT-CX as a futuristic undertaking, many organisations are already actively exploring or implementing IoT-CX projects.
Myth 2 - Developed Economies Lead the Way in IoT-CX: European organisations are relatively mature, but it does not necessarily mean developing economies are immature. For example, when asked, 29 percent of CX leaders in China and 20 percent of those in India said they were optimistic about the value of IoT-CX. These markets are unencumbered by legacy systems and are more open to exploring new technologies.
Myth 3 - Only a Few Usual Suspects are Early Adopters of IoT-CX: Except for perhaps the public sector and healthcare where there has been less enthusiasm for IoT up to now, there is a strong understanding of IoT across all vertical sectors and many businesses are implementing IoT capabilities to enhance CX. Banking and insurance are the most advanced in their thinking, followed closely by telecommunications, utilities, and manufacturing.
Myth 4 - IoT-CX is All Hype and has No Real Benefits: There seems to be a strong correlation between IoT-CX adoption and enhanced customer satisfaction, regardless of how customer satisfaction is measured. Organisations deploying IoT as part of their CX strategy achieve higher net promoter scores and customer satisfaction indices, suggesting companies embracing the IoT-CX concept perform better financially.
Myth 5 - IoT-CX is Only Relevant to Private Enterprises: Fewer public sector organisations have implemented IoT solutions in their CX. However, 3 in 4 organisations that have implemented some form of IoT have achieved a positive impact on citizens’ perceptions. Moreover, evidence suggests that the public sector expects to achieve benefits for citizens through stronger employee engagement and business process optimisation. Citizens are increasingly educated and informed, and they see through government spin, which has forced the public sector to adopt a more CX-focused approach in a similar way to the organisations in the private sector.
Although it may seem like a futuristic concept, the internet of things is already a reality. With spending on IoT technologies forecast to be €250B ($267B) by 2020, implementing an IoT customer centric experience can position a company as a leader in technology in front of today’s tech-savvy customers, help them develop new products and services and drive huge leaps in customer experience.
By Teon Rosandic, Vice President, UK and Ireland at Genesys