How IoT Can Enhance the Customer Experience
- First, let’s focus on why the customer experience is so important. Companies such as Amazon, Zappos, Apple, Uber and the Dollar Shave Club have made it a central part of their brand.
The reason is simple: companies that focus on the customer experience realize important benefits. Research has demonstrated that satisfied customers will spend more on products, exhibit deeper loyalty and recommend a brand more frequently than customers who are not satisfied. For those reasons alone, producing a positive customer experience should be considered a competitive edge.
What role does IoT play in enhancing the customer experience? It’s starting to touch almost every area and should be considered part of any customer experience strategy. Here are three places where IoT can be particularly useful in creating more satisfied customers:
IoT and Customer Support
IoT can play a significant role in creating a positive customer experience.
For example, IoT can improve customer satisfaction by monitoring equipment for problems. In some situations, the IoT sensors may be able to predict problems before they surface. Perhaps a piece of equipment exhibits certain symptoms before it breaks down. If the IoT device could send an alert to an engineer warning them about the potential problem, the equipment could be fixed before the problem leads to any downtime.
What if the problem has gotten so bad that the equipment failure has led to downtime? The customer will need to contact support, explain what happened and then wait for a technician to be dispatched. An Internet of Things solution could circumvent those steps by automatically notifying a technician that a certain piece of equipment has failed for a particular reason and requires a service call. All of this could happen before the customer even calls to speak with a support desk. How much happier would the customer be if they knew that help was already on the way?
IoT and Inventory
In a world where Amazon is increasingly dominating the shopping experience, customers want their products quickly and they want them shipped for free within a couple of days. That’s becoming table stakes when competing for customers’ share of wallet.
IoT can keep inventory levels high enough to meet customer demand. In warehouses where products are stored, IoT sensors will know when supply is low and send an automatic order to replenish. This in turn keeps customers happy because they can order their products without delay.
IoT and Personalization
Because IoT devices collect so much more data about the customer, it’s possible to personalize many of the customer’s interactions with your company. Marketing messages can be limited to the types of products or services that would interest a particular customer. With multiple IoT devices all connected, like digital signs and self-service kiosks personalized data can be used to push real-time campaigns. IoT can make Digital out-of-home advertising possible in any retail environment. Add lighting and sound, and it’s like transforming your store with a stadium-like experience.
Needless to say, this level of personalization will enhance customer communications and help bridge the gap between the customer’s expectations and what the company can deliver. In many cases, that alone will help reduce complaints about service.
As with lots of other areas, IoT will likely improve the customer experience in ways we have not imagined yet. Have thoughts on how IoT will help make your customers happy? Leave us a note on our Facebook page or send us a tweet @banyanhills.
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Personalization will bring waves of innovation to customer experience. Find out how an IoT platform like Canopy can provide help with device operations in addition to other features such as marketing communications and incident management.