The advancement in automation which saw the birth of AI and machine learning is radically transforming the customer journey. Brands are capitalizing on this advancement to engage customers and prospects, with the ultimate aim of enhancing CX (customer experience).
The Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Trends, 2017–2022 White Paper, estimates that there will be 28.5 billion IoT devices by 2022, up from 18 billion in 2017, and these IoT devices can promptly make decisions as a result of very fast analysis of mammoth amounts of data. With these figures as a yardstick, your brand should be focused on how to ensure that your digital, marketing team, sales, R&D, and customer service are prepped for this unprecedented transformation.
IoT Agenda reports that the IBM Institute for Business Value in a study, titled “The AI-Enhanced Customer Experience,” said that 74% of respondents were of the view that AI will drastically impact their initial perspective of CX. To achieve this, however, you require a broad outlook and a cohesive approach in the use of AI in augmenting CX at large.
Your aim will be defeated if you ordinarily focus your attention on one IoT device or channel. To ensure the enhancement of CX, your brand should work on incorporating cognitive technologies that are meant to drive IoT functionality into purchase and decision funnel strategies at the beginning of the IoT customer journey.
What is AI in the context of IoT?
AI is the fundamental block to the operation of IoT devices that illustrate the understanding of activities based on these three areas:
- The ability to perceive and visualize. Being able to utilize IoT technologies — such as computer vision, voice, and facial recognition — to carry out identity verification for tasks like biometric payment, account management or personalized analysis, is based on these features.
- Speech and language. Natural language processing is able to make sense of the large volume of data that we generate from our interactions with smart home assistants, this ensures that actions and resolutions are taken in real-time.
- Learning, intelligence, analysis, prediction, and prescription. The ability to deploy machine learning, deep learning, and all other relevant algorithms that make sense of the data processed by edge IoT devices and in the cloud and then go ahead to profer the required actions to be taken in real-time and at scale.
As the customer goes through each phase of the traditional customer journey loop ( initial consideration; active evaluation, or the process of researching potential purchases; closure, when consumers buy brands; and postpurchase, when consumers experience them), you must ensure that the IoT touchpoints capitalize on the above three AI functions in order to improve CX and this must also be done in accord with existing CX strategies across devices and non-IoT channels. If you are able to embark on a cohesive IoT customer journey strategy, you will end up delivering ostensibly mind-blowing experiences that predict, astound, and elate customers with real-time applicability as they go through the channels.
According to the INC, Gartner was said to have predicted that 85% of customer relationships will take place without human interaction in 2020, this is a call-to-action for you to improve your IoT device functionality or you would rather be hanging by a thread. Taking into consideration that you may have to contend with low customer patience for reidentification and the penchant for precision personalization, it becomes very critical than ever that you do everything to ensure the incorporation of IoT touchpoints.
Your target is to reposition your brand as part of a larger CX strategy to meet customers in real-time and on their journeys. For this to happen, it’s essential that you make sense out of the multiple customer data sources and silos from IoT devices and other channels in order to provide an effortless omnichannel customer experience.
This actually does not need to be affected by the fact that your customers may be shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone, or in a brick-and-mortar store. Since you have different departments handling different aspects of the customer journey, it is expected that individual customer data will be extensively distributed within your organization.
You, therefore, need to embark on data management as the first step in recognizing the way to effectively utilize IoT for the enhancement of CX. It’s absolutely important that you capture customer IoT behavior in a profile of choices for every prospect or customer who connects to your account that can be accessed throughout the conversion funnel, regardless of touchpoint.
You can then go ahead to combine learning algorithms with customers’ profiles to promptly and instinctively predict intent and come up with personalized recommendations that are relevant to the customers as they go through the initial phases of the IoT customers’ journeys. If you are able to implicitly have a grasp of IoT’s role within the customer journey and not just as an add-on, you are on a sure foot to devising the experience customers want, rather than exclusively what can be accomplished on an individual IoT device.
With this, you will be able to amazingly create a turning point in how you solve your customer pain points and satisfy their demands throughout their life cycle with your brand.