Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Missing Link in Your Tech Implementation Plans: An Outside-In Perspective

When was the last time you went a day (or even hours!) without using your smartphone to make life, work, or play easier? Or to look up some information you wanted or needed right that second? Odds are you’ve already done it today! Which means that in this digital-first age, your buyers are turning to their phones first, too.

Screen addiction isn’t a force you want to fight when it comes to buyer behavior. So why fight it?

Your buyers and users can hardly go one hour without feeding their digital habit. Like most of us, they depend on hyper-connectivity, lightning-fast information, and instant gratification to navigate daily decisions—including buying decisions.

Take away their ability to find answers with a click or tap, and watch frustrations mount as they replace non-smart products with products that will, in fact, “talk” to them.

It’s no surprise, then, that so many market studies have reached the same conclusion: Your choice to work with or against consumers’ connectivity cravings will determine whether your brand will rise above and beyond customer experience expectations, or fall short.

It’s no use holding on to what worked for yesterday’s consumers. “Smart devices will become the new standard for appliances, gadgets, and maybe even items like furniture,” writes Jayson DeMers, a contributor for Forbes. “Consumers will demand more integration, more efficient tools…to make their [smart-enabled] lives smoother and more efficient,” he adds. “It will be your job to dream up the ideas that can make that a reality.”

As for brands that fail to adapt? Those may find their products becoming commoditized or relegated to the role of OEM supplier, warns the Harvard Business Review.

It’s no surprise, then, that so many market studies have reached the same conclusion: Your choice to work with or against consumers’ connectivity cravings will determine whether your brand will rise above and beyond customer experience expectations, or fall short.

Getting practical: real-world examples

What does it look like when you add connectivity to traditionally non-smart products, all for the good of the customer?

Biotronik, a manufacturer of medical devices, now enables physicians to remotely monitor patients’ clinical status via the reports those devices produce, requiring fewer office visits.

Schneider Electric, which makes building products, alerts users and can even take over remote control of the equipment to minimize energy consumption.

John Deere, the iconic manufacturer of farming equipment, has embedded sensors in its products since 2012. Those sensors tell farmers where to plow, as well as what and when to plant.

Babolat puts sensors in the handle of its tennis rackets to help players analyze their ball speed, spin and impact location.

But your own entry into the product connectivity game can be far simpler, yet score BIG wins.

A low-risk, high-reward first step

Want your first steps in product connectivity to be quick wins? Make it about the customer experience.

What’s a process or service that could be easier for your buyers and users? What hiccups or delays can you eliminate to make their experience smoother?

We’ll walk you through it in a complimentary guide: Starting from the Outside-In: How Customer Experience is Changing the Internet of Things Culture

Let’s get started. “Either you do this,” argues The Economist, “or somebody else will.”