The “Internet of Things” (IoT) is easily the biggest buzzword in the tech sphere to break out into the mainstream in 2016. Just check out the search volume in that Google Trends data! We’ve seen smart home devices, one-button product purchases, and even the prospect of an employee-less supermarket (Amazon, take a bow). Rather than questioning whether we’re entering an Orwellian era of dystopia, we should simply prepare for the inevitable IoT revolution – with around 20 billion things being connected to the internet by 2020.
The Internet of Things has surely already changed, and will continue to change, our relationship with technology. But, another unspoken shift the IoT will bring is its impact on the world of customer service and experience. As a customer, you'll be contributing towards an environment that constantly learns about your buying behavior and your peers, from seamless shopping experiences to lightning-quick solutions from customer service hotlines. And as a business, you’ll have an enormous amount of data that helps you consistently provide a better experience for your customers—driving revenue, and ramping up your internal measures like Net Promoter Score®.
From starting a conversation with your customers to improve customer experience, tools like NPS will become necessary in the emerging inter-connected world. Follow the "Measure, Act, Grow" philosophy to maximize your NPS and generate revenue.
Measure...Customer Health and Capture Feedback
Imagine how much data will be available when nearly everything is connected to the Internet. Real-time usage statistics will be embedded into everyday products. If your washing machine ever breaks down—god forbid—the company will immediately know why and send someone out to fix it. In fact, they may even know before you do!
Your calls will be easily directed when you reach the support helpline, without rifling through endless amounts of paperwork to find that reference number you were given years ago. (And if you're anything like me, you'll have no idea where to even begin looking for it….)
As soon as a trend appears with common problems of a product, it becomes quickly apparent. Ta-da! We can fix that problem in Product Version #2.
But, it's one thing knowing nearly everything about who your customer is and how they use your product, and another actually doing something with it.
Sending surveys and collecting feedback will take a central role in the new world of the Internet of Things. QR codes and links on smartphones and other devices will make surveys easily accessible. With more data available, businesses will be able to ask more specific questions, saving the customer from filling out a 5-page form on the web. Net Promoter survey professionals recommend using shorter surveys to get the information you need, and this will become increasingly important in a time where consumers expect answers quickly.
Companies that will stand tall in the age of the Internet of Things are the ones that will be smart with their customer data—learning which customers aren't happy, which ones are promoters of the brand, and why.
Act...to Improve Your Customer Experience
Social media is currently one of the most transparent platforms that reflects people's opinions on the brands they interact with. The expectation of a reply is fast, with 42% of customers wanting a response within 60 minutes. Personally, I've had a great experience with KLM and it's really amazing to know that I will have a personal response every time I have a query.
Social media is great for PR, and ease of use for the customer. Clearly, it's an instant way to “firefight” your detractors, solving any issues quickly. In the IoT setting, it will remain a central part of customer service, and the expectation of a real-time response is only set to increase. Combining a snappy social media response, with quickly firefighting the issues highlighted by your detractors in your surveys, is a sure way to boost your NPS score. Rapidly responding to your customers will become increasingly easy, and in turn, it will continually create a positive customer experience.
Become a 'Customer Service Powerhouse' by following up with negative comments, whether it's in a response to a survey or a slightly sour tweet. Taking the time to pat your best customers on the back with something witty, or simply doing something to make them feel good, will always remain important. No matter how advanced technology gets!
Grow...Your Fanbase and Revenues by Learning From Your Data
Once you've found the best promoters of your brand and those most likely to stray, the IoT will bring new ways to activate each customer group. In Japan, billboards can now display targeted adverts depending on the car you drive (dubbed deep learning roadside advertising.) This might seem mildly terrifying... but check out this advert from British Airways, which personally I think is a brilliant piece of content_
The Internet of Things opens more doors for the use of intelligent marketing. Intelligent marketing enables you to individually target your promoters and detractors with unique content. This allows for more targeted firefighting and encourages word of mouth and referrals. In addition, interactive adverts that allow sharing on social media will drive the recognition of your brand.
It will be easy to get caught up in all the technology at your fingertips, so it’s important to remember that your focus should always be delivering a great customer experience. Find out who your promoters and detractors are, and interact with them when you can. Steve Jobs once said…
“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around.” - Steve Jobs
The Internet of Things and the Net Promoter Score
Frederick Reichheld, the pioneer of Net Promoter Score, said himself that loyalty is so important for profitable growth. With an abundance of data, referrals and word of mouth will be a huge indicator of brand loyalty in the Internet of Things age. “Measuring” your customer base will be made easy with new techs and interconnected devices, while on-tap analytics will become increasingly available. But moving beyond Measure - to Act and Grow, will require an understanding of the drivers of your promoters and detractors - and actioning them. Our Root Cause Analysis ebook will help you stand the test of time, by highlighting how to find hidden insights in your customer feedback.
As an enthusiast of the data science universe, I'm excited to see what the Internet of Things might bring, and how it will shape our world. Still, you might not be convinced that having a super smart washing machine will change your life.... But imagine how your everyday customer experience will be different when our culture becomes a constantly-learning entity.