There is no doubt that IoT can help improve customer experience. With the rapid growth of connected devices into nearly every area of life IoT has the capability to give you a whole new set of tools with which to reach your customer, helping ensure that you are not just meeting your customer’s needs but are also responsive to their challenges.
In a world that is increasingly dominated by online ordering, customers want to receive their shipments quickly and they want to know where their order is in the delivery process. Providing real-time and accurate information can enhance the customer experience in a number of ways.
Placing sensors on equipment or the vehicles carrying them enables you to give real-time updates on the status of orders, making the entire transportation process transparent and hassle-free for both you and your customer. Everything can be tracked online and there will be few if any calls to ask where an order is.
IoT also allows you to manage your inventory levels automatically by placing sensors on products and shelving, which then tells you which items are flying out of the warehouse and which ones are collecting dust. This reduces the cost of maintaining excess inventory while also automating the ordering process. And because these products are IoT-enabled, you can monitor customer usage, while also employing predictive maintenance, as well as alerting them when maintenance is required or if a new order is necessary. This maintains a direct and beneficial relationship with your customers.
All that data your IoT device collects can be invaluable when it comes to optimizing products. You can use your IoT data to monitor a product’s performance, which will allow you to spot potential issues as well as refine and build better products. You can also use data to alert customers about the performance of the product and identify when maintenance is required. Optimizing products through data usage improves performance, which helps your customers and thus strengthens your relationship with them.
By monitoring connected equipment for problems, you can improve your customer support proactively. IoT sensors can often predict problems before they surface or before they become unwieldy. For example, just say a piece of equipment exhibits certain small malfunctions before it completely breaks down. The human eye might not notice these small deviations but if the equipment is connected, these outside the norm behaviors will be picked up by sensors, which in turn will alert the relevant parties, allowing the equipment to be serviced long before the problem leads to any downtime.
But what if the problem hasn’t been caught and this has led to downtime? In a non-IoT environment, the customer would need to contact support, explain the issue, and then wait for a technician to arrive on site. On the other hand, if the equipment is connected, a technician will automatically be alerted to the breakdown and should be on site before the customer even has a chance to speak with the support desk. Time, money, and effort are all saved because you now have a customer who understands that you respond quickly to their needs.
The data your IoT solutions collects allows you to personalize many of your interactions with your customers. You can limit the marketing messages a particular customer receives to products or services your data tells you they will be interested in. When multiple IoT devices are connected, such as digital signs or self-service kiosks, personalized data can push real-time campaigns. Essentially, IoT makes digital advertising possible in any retail environment.
This level of personalization will undoubtedly enhance and enrich customer communications, bridging the gap between expectations and what can be delivered. Data also allows your marketing team to develop relevant, personalized messaging. For example, if a customer isn’t utilizing all aspects of your product, you can highlight the features they aren’t using or maybe even aren’t aware of. And knowing which features are most used and which are underused can help you when developing new features and/or upgrading the product, as well as when developing new products.
Develop new offerings
Speaking of developing new products, all that data means you not only can improve existing products, you can pass the data onto your R&D team so that they can fine tune future offerings. Take a company that makes engines with built-in sensors that feed data performance. This data is used not only to improve engine design, but also to detect any flaws in existing models. This allows for optimized performance and reliability and it also means better products can be developed in the future. You can also update configurations virtually, which means your customers always have the latest possible iteration of the product. This lets them know you are working hard to serve them and that their needs are being met.
At the end of the day, customer experience is at the heart of every business. If customers are happy, they’re more likely to be repeat customers. If they’re not happy, well, we all know that can spell disaster for our bottom lines. Ensuring a positive, strong customer experience is essential to the longevity of your business.
If you would like to learn more about how IoT can enable your business, please get in touch.