Even if you’re unfamiliar with the term, you’re likely acquainted with the Internet of Things (IoT) on a personal level. To put it simply, the Internet of Things is connecting any device to the internet and then connecting those devices to each other. Examples of IoT include wearable devices like FitBits, thermostats and other appliances that can be adjusted with an app on your smartphone, and self-driving cars.
So what does IoT have to do with customer satisfaction?
A lot, actually. The Internet of Things gives businesses access to an unprecedented amount of data — all coming from these connected devices. By utilizing this data, you can completely transform the customer experience.
With so much competition in the market, making sure your customers are truly satisfied is incredibly important. Fortunately, the Internet of Things offers a wide range of tools to help you establish and maintain a beneficial relationship with your customers. As the number of connected devices is only predicted to rise in the next decade, the way you deliver customer service has to adapt. So, how exactly can you use IoT to create a better customer experience and increase satisfaction?
Personalization on a Whole New Scale
Though personalized marketing incentives are hardly a new concept, the Internet of Things promises to help businesses deliver more relevant rewards through data analysis. Custom rewards can be automatically activated at specific thresholds as customers interact with your business via an IoT-enabled device.
These perks — which can be anything from mobile coupons to special invitations — are sent when a customer is near your location, passing through the entrance, or in a specific section of the store. What’s even better is that these notifications can be personalized to include offers for their favorite product using information gleaned from their IoT-connected ordering history. When incentives are highly relevant — and delivered at the right moment — not only can you boost customer interaction, you can also increase loyalty.
Solving Customer Problems Before They Arise
As a business owner, there’s nothing better than anticipating — and fixing — customer issues before they arise. The Internet of Things allows you to do just that: It gives you the opportunity to address a problem before it’s even noticed by a customer, delivering proactive rather than reactive customer service.
Sensors embedded in your products can indicate when there are problems or defects. If something goes wrong, the signal can be automatically sent to the product’s manufacturer and action can be taken from there. This is not only incredibly convenient for the customer, it’s also a great way to improve safety measures. IoT also gives you instant insights into how customers are using your products. This allows you to gather information for future upgrades and improve products before they cause problems.
Many businesses have begun to connect their loyalty programs to smartphone apps and wearable technology, enabling users to collect and use points, receive exclusive coupons, or keep track of their purchase data. Once a business has made this kind of valuable use of a customer’s data, said customer will be far more reluctant to switch to a competitor and start over. Think of it from your own point of view: If you were to lose all of your Amazon purchase data or Starbuck’s loyalty points, you’d be pretty bummed.
By tying the Internet of Things to your loyalty program, you can take advantage of the “endowed progress effect” — that is, the idea that by providing artificial advancement toward a goal, a person will be more motivated to complete the goal — while collecting useful data you can use to better the customer experience.
IoT sensors can be installed on shelving to inform retailers when an item is running low and offer the option to reorder. This helps you to fulfill orders quickly and see revenue sooner. It also ensures that customers will always find the item they are looking for. This optimizes the retail experience and encourages a better long-standing relationship.
By utilizing data collected from the Internet of Things, planning your marketing campaigns, product lines, and product features is easier than ever. IoT arms you with the tools you need to improve the quality of the customer experience, and allows you to properly analyze internal operations and product management. It’s time to take charge and get started using the Internet of Things to provide your customers with the convenience and personalization they want. By doing so, you’ll not only be sure to offer the ultimate in customer satisfaction, you’ll also earn their loyalty and trust — and that’s worth every penny.