Enhancing the Customer Experience with Smartphone Automation
Advancements in smartphones, AI, and IoT are reshaping where and how customers interact with the products and brands they love. Adopting these technologies can help businesses deliver the unique, VIP-like experiences customers not only want, but expect, writes,
Joerg Habermeier, Head of Product, UJET.
The smartphone has changed the way we interact with brands, products, and even people. The smartphone got its start as simply a phone, but over time, it has adopted a plethora of capabilities and evolved into a super computer in the palm of your hand. There’s no question that smartphones have changed our lives and day-to-day interactions, so it should come as no surprise that smartphones are playing a vital role in shaping the experience and expectations of the products and services that we love. In fact, according to the 2017 State of Global Customer Service Report, Microsoft found that more than half (52 percent) of respondents in the U.S. already had a more favorable view of brands that offer mobile-responsive customer support.
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And the shift towards mobile is only going to continue. In a recent study, Salesforce found that two thirds of Millenials and Gen-Zers have identified mobile apps as their preferred channel when communicating with companies. As customers continue to shift towards a mobile-first experience and set their eyes towards other emerging technologies such as the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and connected devices, companies who are able to infuse intelligent automation into their mobile experience will be able to deliver a unique, personalized, and VIP-like level of customer service that will truly make them stand out.
Also Read: Mobile Personalization: How to Turn Expectations Into Opportunities
Intelligent Automation and the Smartphone
You get in your car ready to hit the road. You input your destination into Google Maps and are instantly given a list of the quickest and most convenient routes to take. After selecting your route you open Spotify and select a playlist that has been created specifically for you based on your music you listen to. This is all possible because of intelligent automation and AI. The fact is, AI is no longer a futuristic concept, it is a core part of many of our daily interactions.
As advancements in areas such as cloud computing, natural language processing (NLP), and deep learning, continue, the implementation of AI into smartphones and mobile apps will dramatically increase. For example, Microsoft’s Seeing AI, an intelligent camera app using computer vision to help blind and visually impaired people better understand their surroundings by reading out loud documents, text, describing people, surroundings, even identifying currency. Plume Labs developed an app that uses machine learning and atmospheric sciences to give real-time forecasts of air quality data. With the capabilities of smartphones and apps rising, so to are the expectations from end-users. Soon, implementing AI and automation capabilities into smartphones and mobile apps will be a necessity in order to deliver customer experiences at the highest level.
The Emergence of IoT and Smart Devices
You’ve heard the name and seen the ads, smart homes, smart security systems, smart thermostats, and more. However before understanding the role IoT and smart devices play in enhancing the customer experience, it is important to first understand what exactly they are. Internet-of-Things, or IoT devices, are devices that connect and communicate with other devices via the internet. Many IoT devices incorporate an array of technologies such as sensors, machine learning, and automation and can be controlled through a smartphone or an app.
We’re already seeing numerous IoT powered devices in the market today. Smart Home devices such as Apple HomePod, Amazon Echo, and Google Home, August Doorbell Camera and Smart Locks, Google Nest’s line of smart thermostats, security cameras, and smoke and carbon monoxide sensors are all examples of real world IoT devices that can not only be found in many homes, but are powered through smartphones and apps. Companies are beginning to release even bigger IoT appliances such as Samsung’s WiFi washer and dryer which can be completely controlled through Samsung’s SmartThings app.
IoT and smart devices are not a trend, but the next stage of technology. As companies create and develop new products, the expectation will become for these devices to be connected. Right now, the smartphone is the primary device for consumers but moving forward it will also be the hub for all IoT and connected devices.
Also Read: Using Customer Support to Create a Personal Connection in an Automated World
Bringing It All Together
We’ve seen the role intelligent automation is and will play in smartphones and we’ve seen the emergence of IoT and connected devices. But what happens when these two converge? The answer is better context awareness and the opportunity to provide a VIP-like level of customer service and support. For example, based on previous trips, automatically surfacing preferred flight times and types of hotels when looking to book a vacation. Automatically assessing a customer’s complete profile, including, e.g. the state of their IoT devices or recent account activity, and offering the most appropriate option(s) for any given support scenario. Alternatively, automatically routing a support session and presenting key profile data to the agent at the beginning of the session. Proactively notifying customers about detected events or issues and automatically evolving which notifications to send to each customer and when. Or connecting your calendar to your smart home devices to know when you’re out of town and automatically turning on the lights, brewing coffee in the morning, etc.
This level of context-awareness can extend beyond an individual to a group level as well. If a support agent can surface trends in how customers are using products they can be better equipped to offer tips, insights, and suggestions to specific customer segments in order to get the most out of the product and their experience.
The implementation of intelligent automation and AI in smartphones and the emergence of IoT and smart devices are on a collision course with one another. It is important for individuals and organizations to lay the groundwork for this convergence today in order to be ahead of the game and deliver a VIP-level of customer service.