IoT is really about transforming business, deepening customer relationships, enriching support levels, and increasing the overall interactions businesses have with both their product and their customer. And when it comes to new offerings, it’s far more about the experience they deliver.
In a connected business reality, everyone in the ecosystem of your business is a customer: from employees and investors to partners, buyers and their networks, including the various players in the value chain from manufacturer to end consumer and back. In other words: all stakeholders. That means that all parts of the organizations ecosystem need to be connected and aligned with the optimization of customer experience(s) as the drivers of revenue.
Traditional product companies, notably discrete manufacturers, have the disadvantage of not really knowing who their customers are and, potentially worse, having almost no real-world understanding of how their products are ultimately used.
Having a connected product dramatically changes this model and, even more importantly, the customer experience. A connected product provides companies with the ability to connect directly to their customer and understand how their product is being used, or not. This information is extremely valuable for both the company and the customer.
By “smartening” all sort of devices, from household appliances to lamp posts, to communicate without the need for human intervention the IoT will automate many routine tasks, making life easier for everyone. Whether operating at a personal level through wearables, within electrical devices such as smart thermostats, or city-wide, for example through sensors to monitor and manage traffic flow and pollution, it will transform our daily lives.
According to research and analysis firm Gartner, there were around 8 billion connected devices in use at the end of 2017. That’s a 31% increase from the year before, and it’s not slowing down. It’s estimated that there will be upwards of 20 billion connected devices by the end of 2020. The world is going to be extremely interconnected and smart.
Collecting and transmitting real-time data part of IoT has big implications for customer experience. By adding sensors to devices such as cars or home appliances and connecting them to the internet, manufacturers and service organizations can remotely monitor operations and service levels effectively by-passing the need for consumers to request repairs. Your washing machine could see that a problem is developing, and automatically make a call to report it, with either a software update or a technician dispatched, without the consumer needed to report the issue.
On the other hand connected communicating devices help consumer-facing professionals (in fields including marketing, support, sales, and product) achieve their goals like brand awareness, customer insight, customer satisfaction, product efficiency, customer loyalty, company innovation, conversion.