As customer expectations for Internet of Things devices and their capabilities ramp up, CIOs and CX professionals must work together to offer the strongest customer experience.
Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
- Customers increasingly seek Internet of Things products that are monitored, personalized, improved, and updated with new features. — Forrester, 2018
- CX professionals must partner with their colleagues in product engineering, marketing, operations, support, and tech to shape the customer's journey and experiences. — Forrester, 2018
As Internet of Things (IoT) devices infiltrate people's homes and offices, consumers increasingly look for IoT experiences that are monitored, personalized, improved, and updated with new features, according to a Thursday report from Forrester.
Businesses can capitalize on data collected by IoT devices to deliver personalized experiences to customers in the physical world, according to the report. To succeed, customer experience (CX) professionals must first partner with the CIO and the technology organization to integrate physical world context and control into customer journey analytics platforms. Both of these professionals will also need to partner with others across the business—in product engineering, marketing, operations, support, and tech—to shape the customer's journey and experiences, the report said.
SEE: Internet of Things policy (Tech Pro Research)
"Customers and employees are wowed by the growing capabilities of web and mobile to deliver better customer experiences and easier journeys to achieve their goals," the report said. "Now they are extending those expectations to their interactions with physical products and environments."
Here are four ways that IoT can help improve the customer experience in your business, according to Forrester:
1. Monitor and improve experiences with company offerings
Customers increasingly expect that their IoT devices will connect with pertinent locations and customer support, the report noted. For example, "customers already using a brand's mobile app begin to expect that venues such as the Boston Red Sox's Fenway Park or London's Palladium will offer seat-based food delivery and automatic updates on when the lines at beer stands are short," the report noted. "Users of products such as iRobot's Wi-Fi-enabled Roomba robot vacuums expect customer service reps to know their vac's status and battery cycle count when they call with a problem."
2. Personalize each situation for the customer
Customers expect their IoT devices to adjust and refine services and capabilities based on real-world context, the report said. For example, "Schneider Electric's smart commercial electrical panels monitor energy use and problems and deliver custom notifications to customers and service techs based on their business' needs," the report said. "So, artisanal bakery owner Stéphane Massonat will be notified immediately of any problems with his ovens and refrigerators at Maison Manival in Grenoble, France."
3. Automatically improve and learn over time via updates to products and services
Businesses are gathering IoT data from their products to analyze customer experiences and learn to improve, the report said. "Companies like Tesla are also delivering entirely new features, such as Tesla Autopilot, to existing products by adding software that uses IoT sensors and control in new ways," the report said.
4. Reinvent product access and purchase
Firms are also using IoT to create new products and service offerings. For example, "Kaeser Kompressoren has added a compressed-air-as-a-service option to its industrial air compressor lineup for customers who would rather pay per use than own or lease," the report said. "Chinese startup Mobike offers dockless bike sharing for consumers to find and ride bikes within their service zone."
- Special report: Harnessing IoT in the enterprise (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Akamai: IoT the new 'shadow IT' of the enterprise (ZDNet)
- Amazon Alexa: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
- Internet of Things: The Security Challenge (ZDNet)
- Enterprise IoT adoption to hit critical mass by 2019, but security remains a top concern (TechRepublic)