Posted: 25 Jun 2019 Contributor: Therese Palmere
How Can IoT Help You Improve the Customer Experience?
First off, what is IoT? IoT is the “internet of things,” which is a digital network that extends the capabilities of the internet to devices and everyday objects so they can communicate and interact with one another. IoT connects computers, sensors, smartphones, lights, TVs, wearables, and more.
This seamless connectivity gives users the freedom to access, monitor, and control these devices remotely. IoT-enabled gadgets can be calibrated to a specific standard, or you can change the settings based on your current preferences. Basically, IoT gives you the power to control any internet connected device from anywhere.
This year, it's anticipated that there will be over 43 billion devices connected to the Internet. They will collect, share, collect and help us use that data in all kinds of ways.
In this blog post, we’ll go over how IoT can improve the customer experience and how it’s impacting business.
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Understanding IoT for Business
On a user level, IoT allows you to control your devices remotely from anywhere. For businesses, IoT can help with data sharing, inventory management, security, and increased efficiency and productivity. Because IoT is all about connectivity, it gives business execs and workers access to the information they need, when they need it, wherever they need it.
What Is IoT Customer Experience?
Although the definition of customer experience can include many important aspects, the essence remains the same. The goal is to provide the best service to your customers and clients online and in real life. IoT is the simplest and most effective answer when it comes to improving customer experience.
This technology enhances the customer experience by giving businesses the ability to better understand their customers' preferences and the ability to create personalized and interactive experiences.
Think about how much easier it is to put away the groceries when your partner knows where you like everything stored and how to store each item. Now think about how much easier it would be if all your employees knew where to find all of your company’s policies and procedures and had the ability to pull records for clients at a moment’s notice. Data sharing is no doubt IoT’s most attractive feature because it allows you to share the information you want with whomever you desire across any device.
Currently, 82% of enterprises share information from their IoT solutions with employees in real-time or near real-time. With seamless data sharing, IoT can help improve customer experience by giving your team the internal support they need to better assist your customers. When cross-communication isn’t a problem, your team can spend more time focused on helping your customers clarify their confusion and addressing their needs.
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One of the most applicable IoT technology trends out today is with radio frequency identification tags (RFIDs). Each of these tags has their own unique digital footprint with encoded data that will show your team information about a specific item, such as its color, weight, model, type, or even batch numbers.
Not only does this make inventory for your team a lot easier to track but can also improve customer experience with updated information on the availability of products. An example of inventory management with IoT can be seen through Coca-Cola and their vending machines. Derek Myers, Group Director, Channel Strategy and Management, says that “the move to cloud computing demonstrated that new technology needs a new approach to security, and IoT is no exception.
There are definitely some specific areas of concern with IoT, like reviewing products from non-IT vendors and monitoring for suspicious activity in non-IT environments, but some of the main activities in securing IoT systems are managing devices and securing data across networks.” This is just one real-world example that shows how IoT can improve customer experience.
Digital security is of the utmost importance for users. In a world where identity theft and hacking have run amok, it’s important for users to know that their personal information is safe in your hands and on your website. Although there are some risks, IoT ultimately provides a safer digital environment to host information.
Because of how IoT works, the expanded reach of internet connectivity gives businesses the ability to monitor things in real-time. So, when something seems fishy, your team can respond immediately. In addition, IoT also allows companies to use biometric sensors and IDs for verification, making the identification process a lot more reliable. When your IoT in customer service is backed by layers of digital security, your users will know their information is safe and can rest easy.
Productivity and Efficiency
IoT makes sharing information and collecting data ridiculously easy for businesses. This seamless digital landscape empowers workers to make the most of their time by providing them with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed. IoT also makes it easy for your team to identify issues when they arise because they are monitoring your system in real-time. This helps boost productivity and efficiency because IoT empowers your team to take a proactive approach instead of a reactive one.
The Relationship Between IoT and Marketing
IoT will be able to give your marketing team next-level data analytics. You will be able to track your audience’s user behavior and purchase patterns, thus helping you create more contextualized and personalized marketing content. Marketers could refer to industry news informing them of topics like video marketing tips and predictions for 2023, but IoT devices will allow them to learn the trends even before they are published by a video marketing agency. IoT devices will be able to work alongside your team, letting you know that a user may have vested interest in your products and services even before they act. This gives your team the opportunity to start the interaction and guide consumers down your sales funnel.
As Jerelle Gainey of HubSpot says, “these insights and the ability to accurately attribute every interaction throughout the customer journey will be groundbreaking.”
How To Use IoT to Improve Customer Experience
Customer experience management is troubling both service providers and consumers. Unfortunately, it is common for this work to show very low quality. Today, there is one rule: you follow the latest trends, implement the best technology, and treat your customers well, or your business fails. The competition is cut-throat, and the cost of failure is high. So, the better your customer experience strategy, the better your chances of success.
IoT occupies a unique place among the ways to improve the customer experience. Remember when online shopping was just a mystery? Today, more than 96% of Americans shop online. It is predicted that something similar will happen with IoT. Now, it's not as common as it will be in a few years. Therefore, it is all about getting into this technology early and using its many advantages.
IoT is the way to achieve maximum efficiency, reduce costs and skyrocket productivity. Since the importance of customer experience cannot be overstated, let's explore ways to improve customer experience in IoT.
1. Focus on quality
IoT devices can track customer thoughts, analyze them, and show you conclusions based on them. This means that IoT systems are aware of the purchases made by customers online and collect their reviews and comments. Detailed information on what customers think about your product or service will help you pay attention to important features and improve the quality of your product or service in the future.
At the same time, the IoT system can implement a personal system for each customer. This technology will help entrepreneurs to focus on customers and meet their specific needs. The system conducts customer experience analysis. It follows the daily behavior of customers and can decide how to talk to that person. A better relationship, in turn, will build a better relationship between you and the customer.
3. A trust relationship
Internet fraud is nothing new. Fortunately, nowadays, when GDPR is doing its best to protect customer data, internet users can feel more relaxed and secure when shopping online. However, at the same time, people are still willing to stick to one brand without switching to another online store and share sensitive data about themselves with someone else. A seamless relationship with a company that knows what customers want will help you create a relationship of trust and confidence that can last for years.
4. Relevant ads
Consumers find online advertisements acceptable as long as they do not interrupt their enjoyable experience. Well, we can say that most internet advertising is boring and unnecessary. It affects the user experience negatively and even forces users to close the page or turn off the laptop from time to time. The Internet of Things system will let marketers know what their potential buyers like and what they don't. This means that there are no annoying or annoying ads on the web page, and there are no interrupted transactions or only important information is delivered to the right place at the right time.
The checkout process could be improved. Imagine: you go to the physical store; take the products you need and go straight to have a cup of coffee with your friends. Meanwhile, the sensor automatically detects barcodes, scans them, and pays the bill to your bank account. That's a lot of comforts! Moreover, it is not only a great improvement in the user experience but also an effective way for the business owner to save money. IoT reduces operational costs and allows you to focus on business and service development.
IoT Stats You NEED to Know for 2023
To further supplement your confidence in IoT, we’ve compiled some stats that we think will help you better understand how IoT can help improve the customer experience:
- The global IoT market is expected to be worth around $1.1 trillion in 2023.
- IoT devices worldwide will exceed 15 billion in 2023.
- The top 5 IoT sectors are manufacturing, healthcare, transportation, energy, and construction.
- The top 5 countries for IoT are the USA, China, Japan, South Korea, and Germany.
- The top 5 IoT uses are asset tracking, forecasting, condition monitoring, quality control, and supply chain management.
- 5G will continue to drive IoT growth with 5G phone subscriptions expected to reach 1.5 billion by 2024.
- More than 10% of technology investment is related to IoT.
- The number of IoT platforms has doubled in the last four years.
- IoT could generate $4,000,000 to $11,000,000 in economic value by 2025.
- 97% of companies struggle to generate IoT data.
Hopefully these stats have shown you how the IoT customer experience could benefit your audience and your business.
Internet of Things Capabilities
The first element of an IoT system is a device that collects data. Generally speaking, these are devices connected to the Internet, so each has an IP address. Their complexity ranges from autonomous mobile robots and forklifts that move products around factories and warehouses to simple sensors that monitor temperature or detect gas leaks in homes. They also include personal devices such as health monitors that monitor the number of steps people take every day.
In another phase of the IoT process, the data collected from the device is transferred to the collection point. Data movement over the air can be done using different technologies or over wireless networks. Data can be transferred via the Internet to the cloud or a data center. Or it can be passed through multiple processes, with the tools in between collecting the data, processing it, filtering it, removing irrelevant or duplicate data, and sending the relevant data for further analysis.
The final step, data processing, and analysis can be done in the data center or the cloud, but sometimes it is not an option. In the case of critical devices such as power cuts in industrial environments, the delay in sending data from the device to a remote data center is long.
The travel time to send data, process it, analyze it, and send instructions back (close the valve before the pipe bursts) can take a long time. In such cases, edge computing can come in, where intelligent devices can collect data, analyze it, and generate solutions as needed, all within a short physical distance, reducing time.
Edge applications also have advanced connectivity to send data for processing and storage. The increasing number of connected devices, such as autonomous vehicles that require second-order decision-making, is driving the development of advanced technologies that can process and analyze data in real-time without using the cloud.
Examples of Iot Devices
Any device that can collect and transmit information about the physical world can participate in the IoT environment. Examples include smart home appliances, RFID tags, and industrial sensors. These sensors can monitor many things, including temperature and pressure in the production process, the condition of critical mechanical parts, the patient's vital signs, water, and electricity, among many other possibilities.
Industrial robotics can be thought of as IoT devices, with autonomous vehicles and robots moving products around factories and warehouses.
Municipalities have started exploring smart city ecosystems that make use of IoT and machine-to-machine sensors. This will enable applications such as traffic monitoring, street light management, and crime prevention through camera feeds.
Other examples include fitness devices and home security systems. There are also other devices, such as Raspberry Pi or Arduino, that allow you to create your own IoT endpoint. While you can think of your phone as a handheld device, it can also transmit data about your location and behavior to back-end services in a similar way to the IoT.
As IoT expands into more areas of the corporate world, it’s important to understand how to leverage this technology to grow your business. For many eCommerce businesses, this means providing the best customer experience possible to their audience. Let’s take a look at the key takeaways from this post one more time so you can make that happen:
- The internet of things is a digital network that extends the capabilities of the internet to devices and everyday objects so they can communicate and interact with one another.
- IoT allows you to share information seamlessly across a digital network among your coworkers and colleagues, empowering them to spend more of their time problem solving for customers.
- RFIDs enabled by IoT technology can help improve your inventory management systems and tracking to provide customers with the most updated count of available products.
- Security backed by IoT systems ensures users their personal and banking information is safe in your hands.
- Your team’s productivity and efficiency will increase as a result of how easily accessible data and information is, further driving business and improving the overall customer experience.
Looking to improve customer experience through secure IoT? Our team of IoT experts can help. Get in touch here to tell us about your IoT project.
This blog post is Last updated on Feb 20th, 2023.