Re-imagining Customer Experience with IoT
by Srini P on July 26, 2016
While human touch has its place in customer interactions, successful digital companies have combined digital innovation with no-touch or limited-touch experience for customers. Not all interactions with humans are actually valuable to customers. At points where people simply serve as a customer interface or a vehicle for customizing services, customers may find it more convenient to interact with digital devices.
Companies across the spectrum from multiple industries including retail, healthcare, hospitality and high tech are becoming more digitally savvy and creating value by developing unique experiences for their customers. We have listed a few examples below and for any company that is intending to make this transition, it’s critical to understand three aspects of the customer that enabled these experiences.
- Customer Understanding:
- This is typically addresses the part of a use case referred as Customer 360°.
- It helps gain an in-depth understanding of specific geographies, history and market segments by exploring social media and other channels to get insights into what makes customers happy.
- Helps understanding what leads to dissatisfaction and why do they purchase your products or services.
- In the digital world, opinions matter:
- Customer Touch Points:
- This typically addresses the part of a use case referred to as Omni channel
- It helps in gaining an in-depth understanding of a customer’s journey, consistent messaging and branding to bring a seamless connection between online and physical interactions.
- An integrated experience is critical to succeed in the digital world. For example, a service division is enhanced significantly by creating a twitter account and addressing customer complaints.
- There are companies in the banking and airlines industry that are successfully doing this already.
- Top-Line Growth:
- Digitally savvy companies are using IoT related technologies to help grow their top-line.
- As an example, a retailer and a hospitality company use location-based marketing and analytics to send personalized mobile coupons to customers as they near a facility
- The company can then track uptake in real time.
- Top-line growth is all about predicting and meeting the additional needs of customer and offering them benefits/incentives at the right time in a seamless manner
- This can only be done once you have Customer 360°and Omni Channel use cases addressed successfully as the outputs of those two use cases
- This is critical to the success of top-line growth program.
While there is no silver bullet in terms of different ways to create satisfying and profitable customer experiences, there is one common thread among these three elements. This thread reflects the company’s need to have an IoT platform that stores and processes information from multiple sources. In many cases, the customer data is captured in real-time and combined with the use of analytics so that the company can gain valuable insights about their customers. This, in turn, can help generate incremental revenues and/or improved customer satisfaction for the company.
As an example, shoppers at luxury fashion brand named Rebecca Minkoff in New York City, can now experience the best of online and brick-and-mortar shopping. They check in on arrival, via the "Connected Glass" shopping wall, which is a large mirrored interactive display. Once a shopper has made their selections, they tap a button to have their products sent to a dressing room, each of which is also outfitted with the mirrored touchscreen. Once in the fitting room, they can browse the online catalog and request that additional item be brought to them. The shopper also has a high level of control over the ambient lighting inside the fitting room.
In fact, some customers today favor self-service over personal interaction. For example, many young adults in their 20s and early 30s prefer to buy insurance online or use mobile banking rather than visiting an insurance agent or a physical bank branch. For them, interacting with a human service representative represents an inconvenience or an extra cost that is eliminated via self-service interactions.
Yet transitioning to a direct-to-consumer model can be difficult in industries such as insurance and automotive. Agents or dealers can rebel against what they perceive as a threat to their commissions. That’s why, when Volvo Car Corp. Introduced direct services to consumers through apps and in-car electronics, the company opted to keep dealers involved. It did so by sharing customer data with the dealers and assisting customers in scheduling service appointments with local dealers. GM and Tesla did the same with successful results by selling directly to consumers involving dealers.
Also in Healthcare, patient engagement has come to mean much more than accessing their health records. Today, patients and physicians are utilizing mobile digital platforms as a key part of the healthcare journey to educate, engage and expedite patient recovery while keeping the population healthy. Walgreen’s has mobile apps that offer automated medication alerts, immunization scheduling capabilities, and the ability to chat directly with pharmacists through a mobile device. BJ’s restaurant chain on the other hand launched a mobile application platform. This platform helps decrease waiting time, improve service, and customize meals in order to achieve their mission of becoming ‘Restaurant Of Choice’ for customers by creating an exceptional dining experience.
Digital Transformation for companies does not happen overnight and there are multiple paths to these transformations.
In effect, the pathway to digital transformation often follows these steps:
- Top management within the companies must lead the way
- Radical transformation happens in incremental steps
- Leaders must stay flexible
Do you have an IoT Platform that can help you transform your customer experience and engagement? Consider netObjex, the industry's most comprehensive Commercial IoT Platform helping organizations transform into netObjex Intelligent Connected Enterprises (NICE). Starting with setting up of the devices to delivering dynamic value for the customer, netObjex works closely with C-Level executives in various industries including Retail, CPG, Manufacturing and Healthcare. netObjex serves as a Digital Transformation partner powered by IoT.
For all inquiries about netObjex, feel free to email: Inquiries@netObjex.com