How Entrepreneurs Can leverage The IoT Boom 32

How Entrepreneurs Can leverage The IoT Boom

This is a guest post by Vaishnavi Agrawal, who loves pursuing excellence through writing and has a passion for technology. She has successfully managed and run personal technology magazines and websites. She currently writes for intellipaat.com, a global training company that provides e-learning and professional certification training.

Gartner estimates that by 2020 there will be about 250 million connected cars in the world. Do you know the amount of money that will be invested in IoT technologies in this time frame 2016-2021? $6 billion.

Now just make a guess how much will that money generate revenue in 2025. You wouldn’t believe it when I say the amount is $13 trillion give or take.

Now no need to take the calculator in your hand as the return on investment is around 200 times on the capital invested. I need not say more about the huge market which the IoT will command in the future.

If you want to familiarize with this growing technology then Intellipaat provides IoT training which you might want to check out. On the other hand let’s see what things entrepreneurs should keep in mind in developing IoT solutions.

The solutions should support multiple devices.

Any solution that is incepted has to be compatible across multiple devices. Since people will typically have more than one device they will only accept that IoT technology that works well over rest of their devices.

Entrepreneurs should take this seriously and make future IoT devices compatible with each other.

Smooth user experience.

Metaphorically devices need to speak to each other in the IoT arena and for this to happen the connection between the devices should be strong.

Connecting to a new device should be as easy as tapping into the Smartphone like interface. These integrations should be as easy and smooth as possible. You may relate well to this if you are an avid smartphone user.

Do you connect to the wifi every time by detecting the network? If the authentication details are provided beforehand then the smartphone will automatically be connected to the wifi.

That’s how seamless the connectivity between the devices should be for the IoT technology to prosper which the entrepreneurs should bear deep in mind.

Systems that are user friendly.

No matter how complex the IoT systems may be working in the background, there should only be one user-friendly control center which can easily be worked around with.

Security should be paramount in designing such a system which both the upcoming and existing IoT firms and entrepreneurs should seriously consider. Because even a whiff of security lapse will scare all the customers.

Just like how stock prices fall, customer confidence in the IoT product will be eroded if security requirements are taken lightly.

In a report that released in October 2016 by the National Cyber Security Alliance and ESET, about half of the 15,000 consumers reported that cyber security concerns was the reason why they didn’t purchase an IoT device although the rest of them purchased the devices nevertheless.

Tech visionaries say that a system that complex is not viable to be used in general public. But similar concerns were raised when Internet was booming and its growth shut all the naysayers.

Can we imagine a world without Internet now? Is that even possible? Well that’s how IoT is poised to be relevant in the future.

IoT is disruptive in that it has the potential to connect seemingly innumerable devices. Cities all over the world need a huge change in their connectivity as their systems are very outdated. Entrepreneurs will have to ensure that IoT will transform the urban living for the general masses.

Retaining investor confidence.

No matter how great the opportunity is, it requires a strong conviction to bring an idea into a working organization and to make that organization a success there should be tremendous willpower.

Why I say this is because a field like IoT that has such an opportunity will have many startups vying for the market share and investors investing in such companies.

Entrepreneurs should be driven, inspired and well-informed about their game. So that venture capitalists, angel investors who have invested into the former’s company don’t lose hope on the company.

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The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience 10

The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience

Providing a flawless customer experience is the ultimate goal for any business.

There’s a lot that goes into creating a customer experience that keeps your clients coming back for more. In fact, there’s so much involved that it can almost seem overwhelming.

However, providing a flawless customer experience becomes much easier when you approach the task through these five distinct elements:

Time
Understanding
Ownership of Emotions
The Unexpected
Follow-Through

Time

When it comes to your customers’ satisfaction, time is essential. Think of how a great experience at a new restaurant quickly sours if you’re left waiting for your food to arrive. Think of how your excitement over a great department store sale turns into frustration as you stand in line for what seems like hours.

Time is your most valuable resource and it is up to you to make sure you’re using your customers’ time wisely.

This is why restaurants have comfortable waiting areas with drinks and appetizers, or why airports have lounges with restaurants, shops, and even bars.

If your customers are being forced to wait for a service, make them feel as if their time spent is not wasted. The more positive drivers you offer customers, the less likely they are to grow dissatisfied with their experience.

Think of how you can implement this in your own business. Are there places where you can help fill customers’ time? Are there places where technology can be used to cut down on the time it takes to complete a task? Remember, it’s the customers’ time that should be valued, not your own.

Understanding

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You must understand what your customers want, when they want it, and how.

While this may seem daunting, getting a better understanding of your customers doesn’t take millions of dollars, complex data analytics, and a degree in psychology. Instead, all it takes is a simple look. Watch their process, engage with them, ask them questions, and listen to them.  

How are customers interacting with your product? What’s the first thing they do when they enter your store? What’s the last thing they do before they leave? How long are they spending in each department? Do you notice anything that hampers their experience?

Take a look at your competitors. How are your potential customers interacting with them? What does this business offer that you don’t or vice versa? What is your, as Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen says, “job to be done?” What are your customers hiring your product or service to accomplish? Understand why your users are turning to your products.

Ownership of Emotions

Many companies have already taken hold of their customers’ emotions, though cynically. Subliminal advertising is a key example. However, the ownership of emotions does not have to be cynical. When used correctly, it can be the “holy grail” for companies.

Owning emotions begins with the aforementioned ability to understand. When you truly understand a customer’s choices and then act to make the experience better, you’re building a relationship of trust. That trust is the foundation of emotional ownership.

One way to build this trust is to reduce the “emotional” noise that surrounds your customers. Let them know that, even on their worst day, your business or product is there for them and that it will be a constant in their lives.

Think of restaurants and the long wait times you have to endure when they’re busy. Think of how angry—or “hangry”—you feel as you stand around, waiting for your table, and listening to your stomach growl. However, think of how some restaurants are able to reduce that emotional noise by serving you finger foods and drinks as you wait.

Also, seek to understand what emotionally motivates your customers.

Why should they be motivated to visit your store or use your product? To feel confident? Free? Unique? Secure? Successful? Research shows that all human beings are motivated by one of those factors.

The Unexpected

Experiences become stronger and more memorable when they’re accompanied by an element of surprise. Surprise can be addictive, which will only keep your customers coming back for more.

Think about mailing your customers or clients small packages with gifts and swag. Everyone loves to get mail and everyone loves free stuff, especially when it’s least expected.

A surprise doesn’t have to be a huge flash mob (though it could be!). Hand out snacks at your store. Is it a cold day? Give your customers hot chocolate or warm punch. Is it a client’s birthday? Send a card! Even a small note of thanks for a customer’s business is a nice little surprise.

The most important thing to remember: simply be sincere and don’t become predictable. Chocolates on hotel pillows were once a great surprise for guests. However, now that their wow-factor has faded, hotels are continuously trying to get back to the “unexpected.”

Follow-Through

You’ve made promises and established goals. The only thing that’s left is to follow through on them. This starts with creating your mission statement, one that you, your employees, and your customers can commit to it. This will define your customer experience.

Your mission statement must promise to impact yourself/your business, the community, or the world. It may commit to impacting one, or all three. However, whatever it promises, you must follow through on. Your customers’ trust, and thus their experience, depends on it.

More about these five elements can be discovered in Unforgettable: Designing Customer Experiences that Stick, to be published in 2018.

***
Kyle H. David has made a career in technology and entrepreneurship for nearly 20 years. In 2001, he formed The Kyle David Group, now KDG. Over the past 16 years, KDG has grown at a rapid pace, attracting clients ranging from the United States Senate to major financial institutions, international nonprofits, and Division I universities.