IoT for Business Growth
This research contains best practices for leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) to understand and better engage a business's customers. It is the best practice for brands to embrace IoT devices as customers, connect their IoT tools with collaboration apps, and use smart packaging for their products.
Embrace IoT Devices as Customers
- To get more value from their Internet of Things data, brands need to expand their definition of what or who a customer is. Specifically, they need to treat connected devices as customers.
- Connected devices have sensors that usually provide real-time data on the device's status. Therefore, these devices can "proactively trigger tickets so support teams can address problems before they become customer-facing problems."
- What this means is that it will become the norm for connected devices to act on their own behalf, and companies will leverage data from these devices to provide proactive support.
- It is the best practice to embrace IoT devices as customers because "users tend to need help in real-time. As a result, any downtime or hiccups can impact the customer’s experience even more."
- Also, customers have low patience for reidentification, they expect precision personalization, and they usually have low attention spans. All of these factors "make it more critical than ever to incorporate IoT touchpoints as part of a larger CX [customer experience] strategy to meet customers on their terms."
- For example, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) provides IoT devices that enable remote equipment monitoring of connected pools, as well as proactive and predictive maintenance of pool equipment. These devices can automatically communicate issues to the support team, enabling engineers to program and resolve issues remotely.
- Healthcare companies are also using radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags to monitor patients and share real-time data with doctors and carers. These doctors and carers are now "able to identify changes in health and side-effects faster than ever before."
Connect IoT Tools With Collaboration Apps
- To truly unlock the advantages of IoT-based tools, companies need to connect their sensors to collaboration and communication solutions through APIs. Through these middleware offerings, IoT data that is crucial to a business's evolution can be collected and analyzed.
- When IoT devices and team collaboration tools are brought together via the cloud, people can communicate more effectively with machines. This paves "the way for genuine real-time reactions to IoT information."
- Also, when IoT technology is linked with team collaboration tools, any agents who are handling an issue can leverage presence features to find out who is available to address the call. Employees can also use real-time chat, voice, and video to organize more efficient and real-time responses to emergencies.
- A Zendesk study reveals why It is the best practice to connect IoT tools with collaboration apps. According to Zendesk: "Customers want fast and easy resolutions, and 69 percent expect team collaboration so they [do not] have to repeat information."
- Therefore, companies that have smart products need to "connect their IoT data with data from other touchpoints in the customer journey—often, in real-time.
- An example of a company that leverages this practice is Cheetah Mobile, a robot manufacturer. The company uses the Internet of Things "to create a connected customer experience at conferences" through collaboration.
Use Smart Packaging
- Smart packaging is another example of how brands can use IoT technology in strengthening their brand story, connecting with customers, and gathering more insights.
- By providing interactive brand experiences through devices like smart speakers, brands can engage their consumers better. Participation in these experiences also opens more doors for gathering feedback and understanding consumer interest.
- Recent changes in internet use habits reveal why this is the practice. The search engine optimization (SEO) landscape has dramatically changed in the last few years. People are using longer search strings that look more like natural speech. This is because users are increasingly getting accustomed to using digital assistants for their searches.
- Rather than type keywords like “cleaning services Philadelphia,” people are now simply asking complete questions like: “Hey Google, what are the best cleaning businesses near me?” Therefore, leveraging these behavioral changes to engage consumers through smart packaging would yield pleasant customer experiences.
- Malibu Rum is an example of a brand that is leveraging this practice. The company "developed a smart bottle using NFC technology that allows customers to interact with the brand in-store or at home." The bottle was designed to allow customers to either tap on it with their phone or scan a QR code to access promotional materials.
- Also, brands like Domino's and Hellmann's use Alexa Skills in their marketing/communication strategy to engage customers in an exciting way.