Last week, I attended Xperience2015, a conference on the Internet of Things, put together by the nice folks at Xively (LogMeIn). It was a fascinating conference in many ways, and opened my eyes to the brave new world of connected devices, ever-increasing computing power and the potential super-aware future, where everything is linked to everything. Also that means everything is sending messages and signals. Like the toaster that is done, or an air-conditioning unit that is overheated, or a printer about to run out of paper.
It just blew my mind – because it means every Thing will have a voice, just like people. Granted a printer does not communicate like humans do, it sends discrete signals about its status, and is probably not going to wax poetically to customer service about its issues. Still additional messages will be sent – it’s like the Twittersphere for things – maybe those printers will complain to each other about lack of paper 🙂 but even if not all of that provides enormous opportunity for companies embracing IoT.
Instead of focusing on devices that are “sick” or in need of “support”, they will focus on keeping them healthy. Customer support will become not just more proactive, but pre-emptive – as in instead of a customer calling and complaining about an issue, the company will fix issue before it arises and then notify the customer of the issue that was avoided.
What is amazing is that there are companies today who already do that sort of thing. Lutron for lighting, Sato for connected printers, SureFlap for pets, and Symmons right here in my Boston backyard for connected shower heads. I am sure there are many others.
Wow. That is a cool world – even I do not see all implications (like someone hacking into my toaster). What I do see however is a very interesting convergence of various signals:
- Voice of the Customer, as spoken (shouted?) or otherwise shared through support and other channels
- Voice of the Device, as captured by to-be-built systems as the IoT era is ushered in
Combining “Voice of the Customer” using NLP and AI and “Voice of the Device” will provide businesses of the future the ability to capture Whole Voice.
Are you an IoT Company and get signals from your devices? Do you get a flood of feedback from customers? Reach out to our team to brainstorm on how to connect the feedback from devices with the feedback from humans.