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How to Leverage IoT to Improve the Customer Experience – Part I

Posted by Phil Gerskovich

October 31, 2013 at 8:32 AM

This week, Zebra officially debuted Zatar at Cisco’s Internet of Things (IoT) World Forum in Barcelona, Spain. It was an exciting launch at an inspiring location that has been abuzz with meaningful conversation around innovation and the future of IoT.

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I had the distinct honor of giving a keynote address during the event and explored how IoT technologies can inspire enterprises to create unique customer experiences. At Zebra, it was IoT and our evolving customers’ needs that inspired the development of Zatar and I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about how you can take IoT and inspire your own customers.

First, what is Zatar?

Simply put, Zatar is to enterprise devices what social media profiles are to individuals. As the first of its kind enterprise-level IoT solution, Zatar is a cloud-based software service that enables you to remotely monitor, manage and mine for valuable data from any device or sensor that is connected to the Zatar platform (and we mean any; it does not have to be a Zebra product). Each device connected to Zatar is given a unique profile that can be accessed and analyzed from practically anywhere using a smartphone, tablet or computer, making an IoT solution scalable and attainable for any size organization. Interested in learning more? Check out our latest announcement here.

I bring up the Zatar launch in the context of enhancing the customer experience to stress the importance of being connected. When you think about improving your customer experience – and by “customer” you may be targeting shoppers, patients or any number of internal and external stakeholder groups – cloud services paired with IoT devices will be what will set you apart.

Steps to Take to Re-Engineer the Customer Experience

  1. Give your customer more information about your current offerings – The more your customers know, the more satisfied they will be. You should be able to address any number of questions like, “Where is it?” “When will I get it?” “How long will I wait?” “What condition is it in?”
  2. Give your customer ways to customize what they get – Whether is re-routing a delivery or changing a design element, flexible customization is no longer a “nice to have” but “need to have” in today’s competitive market.
  3. Give your customer “new” things – Constantly think of ways you can delight your customer outside the norm. Can you guarantee quality or certain Inventory levels? Based on customer behavior think about how you can tailor an offering to better meet their needs.

The businesses that adopt IoT and cloud computing solutions will be able to take these steps quickly and reap the immediate benefits. The cost and complexity associated with IoT connected devices is dropping dramatically, so the time is now for action.

In “Part II” for this discussion, I’ll dive deeper into the essentials of IoT and the things you should consider when managing devices across your operations.

 

About the Author: Phil Gerskovich is Senior Vice President of New Growth Platforms at Zebra Technologies Corporation, where he is responsible for building new businesses for Zebra that leverage the Internet of Things. Phil led the team responsible for developing the newly launched Zatar platform. For more information visit www.Zatar.com.

Topics: Software, Internet of Things, APAC, North America, Latin America, EMEA