Experiences, Not Connections, Will Drive the Future of IoT

By Special Guest
Matthew Storm, Innovations & Solutions Director, NICE Systems
July 15, 2015

The Internet of Things is set to connect everything in the world. The number of connected devices will balloon to 29.5 million by 2020, becoming a $1.7 trillion market. Some 75 percent of executives in a recent survey said their organizations had already undertaken Internet of Things initiatives. These projects will alter the future of delivery, travel, media, and customer service while collecting more data than many companies know what to do with.

And yet the Internet of Things is just connections between devices. Despite their coming ubiquity and utility, connections alone aren’t good enough when it comes to customer service.

It’s great that your fridge is connected to the Internet and can signal when you’re out of milk or eggs. But that’s just the groundwork for a great experience. To truly capitalize on the coming influx of connected devices, businesses need to look beyond the connections of the Internet of Things and start thinking about the experiences those connections make possible: the Experience of Things (XoT).

Connectivity speeds are only getting faster. 5G will be 40 times faster than LTE, which is hard to even imagine. The richness and sheer volume of content that will pass over those networks is incredible, but will it create an exceptional experience?

One thing that connectivity will allow is real-time tracking of everything from shipments to suitcases. Right now bar code tracking is used to determine what airports your suitcase has traveled through. With the IoT, you could know where your bag is at any given moment.

But beyond the connection between the suitcase and the computer tracking it, there’s so much more to the experience of checking and retrieving a bag. There’s the attendant working the counter, the handlers actually loading your luggage onto the plane, and the functionality of the website or app used to keep an eye on your bag. All of those elements play just as large, if not a larger, role in the experience of traveling.

When we surveyed attendees at our recent Interactions conference about their biggest challenge to creating perfect experiences, 42 percent cited turning insight into action. This is the challenge with big data – it’s not enough just to collect information through connections between things. Organizations must find ways to break down the silos, share the data with all of the relevant stakeholders, and turn information into action in real time, at the frontlines of the customer experience.

And that’s still difficult to do. In a separate survey, when asked if agents have the ability to view the customer’s journey across all channels and experiences, a massive 76 percent said no, even as 60 percent expect the Internet of Things to make customers more demanding. The Internet of Things will create more connections, but they’re only valuable if you can tie them all together into a consistent experience.

As devices are increasingly connected, think not just about the technology but about what the technology can enable in terms of improving an experience. That means measuring every customer interaction across every touch point and analyzing the data to offer your employees real-time guidance to personalize every experience, whether on your website, apps, or social platforms.

The future of customer service will not be about the Internet of Things. It will be about the Experience of Things – leveraging all this new connectivity for an exceptional customer experience every time.  

Matthew Storm

Matthew Storm is the Director of Innovation & Solutions for NICE Systems. Matthew has over 15 years of experience in the contact center industry and got his start in the contact center industry back in the 1990s while working for Dell Computer, where he implemented solutions for workforce management, recording, analytics, predictive dialers and CRM. Matthew regularly presents on numerous topics such as customer satisfaction, speech analytics, multi-channel communications and real-time guidance and has been featured in dozens of industry events in over 20 countries. He holds a degree from OSU and an MBA in HRM from St. Edward's.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

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