The Internet of Things (IoT) is revolutionizing the way home appliances and devices communicate with each other. By collecting and sharing data, today’s IoT appliances are able to make users’ lives easier. From home heating systems that automatically adjust to suit the user’s preferences, to machines that send troubleshooting data to the manufacturer when they develop a fault, IoT devices collect and use data in an incredibly useful way.
As a brand competing in today’s market, you need to make the most of IoT data to deliver the high quality of service your customers expect. IoT data allows you to learn about your customers so you can deliver a personal experience to every individual. For example, Sony uses IoT data provided by Adobe Marketing Cloud to understand its customers’ game preferences, which means it can provide personalized recommendations through its PlayStation platform.
Using IoT Data to Improve Brand Perception
The comprehensive data provided by IoT appliances can also give you an insight into common problems with your brand’s products. For example, Whirlpool recently began collecting data from its IoT appliances. The company entered a partnership with IBM, which involves storing data in the IBM cloud. Whirlpool can then analyze this data to quickly identify problems that are affecting large numbers of customers. This knowledge allows Whirlpool to start working quickly to find solutions to common problems.
As well as identifying problems with your physical products, IoT data allows you to measure customer satisfaction with your brand in real time. That means you get an early warning of customers beginning to feel disgruntled, so you can do something to turn the situation around before customers switch to competing brands. For example, analyzing user data can let you know when customers stop using your products or start to use them less often. Use this information to identify customers who may be thinking of leaving your brand, so you can reach out to those individuals and attempt to re-engage them.
Realigning Your Marketing Strategy
Now that IoT devices have started to make their way into almost every home and business, you need to make the most of the opportunities that the data present for your brand. That means realigning your entire marketing strategy to take account of the information provided by the Internet of Things.
You’ll need to change the messages that you send out to your customers so that your communications with every customer match that individual’s needs and preferences. For example, your analysis of IoT data may show that some customers aren’t using your products as efficiently as they could be, so you may want to send out some tips to this group of people to help them make the most of the products you offer.
Optimizing Your Internal Processes
As well as changing the way you communicate with your customers, you can also use IoT data to optimize the internal processes involved in your business’ customer relationship management. For example, if the IoT data your devices collect flags up a particular technical problem or user difficulty, you may want to create a team within your customer service department to deal specifically with that issue.
Improving Customer Loyalty
According to a survey by Adobe and eConsultancy Group, improving customer loyalty is a key motivation for more than half of the companies currently embracing the Internet of Things. By combining data collected by IoTdevices with data from your brand’s website and mobile apps, you can gain the insights you need to truly understand each customer and treat them as an individual. When customers feel like they are receiving truly individualized service from your brand, they are more likely to feel satisfied and less likely to switch to one of your competitors.
Addressing Privacy Concerns
What about privacy concerns? Are consumers really happy for the brands that create their appliances to collect so much data about their daily lives? Although consumers are becoming more security-conscious, reports suggest that they are willing to share their data with companies as long as they receive something they value in return. For example, many consumers are happy to exchange their user data for personalized recommendations or customer service that is closely tailored to their individual needs. When collecting data from your customers, always be upfront about the data you plan to collect and how it will be used.
Conclusion: Don’t Be Left Behind
According to a survey by Gartner, more than 40 percent of organizations will begin to adopt Internet of Things technologies by the end of 2016. An additional 21 percent of businesses plan to start their first IoT project in 2017 or later. These survey results reveal that the Internet of Things is about to undergo a period of massive mainstream adoption, with brands in all industries beginning to use the technology to improve their relationships with their customers.
As well as changing the way you communicate with your customers, you can also use IoT data to optimize the internal processes involved in your business’s customer relationship management. For example, if the IoT data your devices collect flags up a particular technical problem or user difficulty, you may want to create a team within your customer service department to deal specifically with that issue. These internal operations are now tasked to restructure and retrain employees with updated content on the fly. If you want your brand to remain competitive over the next few years, then you need to start thinking seriously about how you can leverage IoT data to learn more about your customers and the ways in which they interact with your brand.
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