IoT, or the Internet of Things, is not just reinventing today’s businesses; it’s revolutionizing them. IoT refers to a complete system of smart devices, digital machines, mechanics, people, and other objects that work together to send data from one point to another, or to several touchpoints. While human interaction is still essential with IoT, it computerizes most actions. For example, it can predict maintenance issues along with the processes and businesses that it monitors, and can even implement preventative measures. Because it offers real-time analytics and creates a smart workplace, it has the power to improve customer satisfaction, productivity, and profits.
IoT provides access to data as it occurs in real-time. Businesses can take advantage of predictive and preventative maintenance plans, as well as updates and upgrades that automatically improve the product. They can track a product from the manufacturing point to the delivery point. In businesses that rely on assembly lines, cameras and sensors can reveal employee productivity while also keeping an eye on problems on the line, which they can then fix without input from a human being. Some businesses even incorporate IoT into their products so that they can continue to analyze performance and functionality.
One of the most important ways that IoT is reinventing how businesses operate is by understanding the customer base on a more fundamental level. Brick-and-mortar businesses that serve customers on a face-to-face basis can employ visual analytics to track the behavior of customers actively on the sales floor. Cameras placed onsite can monitor how consumers behave, allowing the employees behind the scenes to judge how people react to certain ads, displays, and sales tactics. You can see—and, even better, understand—why customers walk away versus purchasing a product or service.
Businesses depend on impeccable customer service. Unhappy customers are the most vocal and, as it happens, the internet itself allows them to spread their displeasure far and wide. Every business is open to review, even if they don’t have a business page on Facebook or Yelp. Because IoT can deepen an organization’s understanding of its target market, it can also improve customer support and, ultimately, their satisfaction.
The data flow created by IoT allows businesses to offer a personalized experience to their consumers. If a customer comes with a problem, they no longer have to receive a form response that doesn’t address the issue adequately, let alone satisfactorily. With IoT, companies can offer touchpoints to their consumers by way of review requests or other engagements. The real-time quality of data reporting allows the system to fix any issues while service techs jump to respond to customer queries.
Not only does IoT help with the shipping and delivery of goods and services, it’s ideal for businesses that provide public services, as well. For example, through the use of cameras and sensors, employees will know about broken ATMs and elevators before consumers have to complain. Restaurants can remain informed about what’s going on in the bathrooms. Airports can stay up-to-date about everything from flight plans to maintenance issues.
Using IoT can improve a business’s engagement and relationships with its partners and vendors while opening up the possibility for new business opportunities. An organization that offers a product can now manufacture the goods itself, then go on to track the performance of its products. This is largely due to IoT’s ability to offer maintenance even before problems occur. The system’s intricate algorithms allow it to develop predictive procedures.
All of these advantages come together to create an astounding boost in efficiency across all areas of business. IoT allows businesses to become more flexible thanks to their preventative measures. They have plans in place to handle problems, their processes can be easily digitized, and they can use IoT throughout various areas of their infrastructure. Because an organization can keep tabs on their processes from start to finish, there are fewer margins for error.
Employees and workers are more productive as a result. When something goes wrong, they don’t have to worry about tweaking the system. The sensors bring in data that allows IoT processes to change themselves to fix problems and meet the needs of the business and its consumers. In turn, goods and services reach the market faster, creating an equally quick turnover of profit. IoT essentially turns every industry into a smart industry. It works in much the same way that Waze will automatically reroute drivers to areas with less congestion and traffic. Through the use of sensors, drones, and GPS, the Internet of Things spots trouble long before humans.
Knowing what you now know about IoT, how do you think it can benefit your business?
Aaron Smith is a tech writer and content strategist from Los Angeles, CA. He writes about emerging trends in the tech sector and how they help companies communicate with evolving consumer bases worldwide.