By Erin Lively
Although my childhood “woes” were met with varied reiterations of “when I was kid…” tales of walking 15 miles uphill to and from school, it’s time we broke this tradition of little sympathy for younger generations — and for good reason. Thanks to smart home technology, the age-old questions “Did you do your homework?” and “Were any of your friends over while I was out?” will no longer be easily cast aside with eye-rolling and an exasperated yes or no from adolescents. Video streaming to monitor homework progress and alerts when another person enters the house will soon provide parents with the concrete evidence they need to support their suspicions. Game over, kids.
As Forrester Research tells us, the smart home experience is quickly becoming a reality. The promise of innovations like smart kitchens that guide cooks through the entire meal prep experience — from measuring to baking — fuel our Jetsons-induced fascination with a high-tech home.
Two things customers want now
Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), not only is a more technologically advanced and connected world possible, it’s now in demand. In the retail space, people increasingly base their purchase decisions on how connected an experience an object provides — a development referred to as the “Commerce of Things.” This mentality will soon extend to utility, healthcare, and security system selection processes. Customers today expect convenience and control in every aspect of their lives. Tech giants and startups alike are taking these demands and turning them into realities, utilizing the power of IoT to reimagine how everyday life operates.
The evolution of the smart home
For several decades, the home experience has remained largely the same (aka manual). In the past, homeowners actually had to stand up and walk to the thermostat to change the temperature. Shocking, right? In the future, by leveraging IoT, the home will be transformed into a dynamic and interactive smart home.
More than ever before, homeowners will be given insight into the inner workings and goings-on in their houses. For instance, home monitoring systems will alert residents of any immediate threat — including the detection of carbon monoxide and intruders. Automated utility monitoring systems will track usage variations, allowing homeowners to reduce spending on and consumption of electricity and water. Smart thermostats will automatically adjust the temperature and smart lighting will adapt to mimic sunlight — both creating the optimal home environment. Video monitoring and sensors will allow parents to check in on their children and aging relatives. The smart home will provide homeowners with comfort and peace of mind.
It’s time to rethink Customer Experience
As companies offer more autonomy to customers, they in turn require more from their own Customer Experience initiatives. Learning how to facilitate and respond to empowered customers is critical to remaining competitive. Empowered customers are educated customers, and this deeper understanding leads to higher expectations. The information exchange is now a 2-way street. For a company to thrive in this competitive environment, it must analyze and leverage the data from both sides to meet customers’ current expectations, as well as anticipate future opportunities for personalized engagement.