Articles Digital Transformation Internet of Things

Customer Experience Reimagined: IoT-Enabled CDP

Customer experience, more precisely online interactions and digital experiences. has been marked by an unprecedented shift due to the recent pandemic.

According to the Adobe Digital Economy Index, U.S. e-commerce spending is expected to total between $850 billion and $930 billion this year, reaching $1 trillion in 2022. Research indicates that 72% of all e-commerce transactions will be attributed to mobile in 2021, which is unsurprising given changing consumer behaviors that drive demand for diverse mobile applications. Between 2021 and 2025, the mobile apps market is positioned to increase by $653.91 billion, advancing at a CAGR of nearly 21% throughout the forecast period.

The proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT)-connectivity is further contributing to market growth of mobile applications because IoT data enables various functionalities that can generate consumer-to-brand touchpoints. Organizations are using IoT data as a critical component in personalization and engagement to improve the CX and deliver category-defining mobile experiences.

Globally, connected IoT devices are on track to grow to 30.9 billion units by 2025, which presents a number of opportunities if organizations have the capabilities to effectively harness IoT data and leverage advanced analytics to significantly improve the CX.

Customer data platforms (CDP) enabled with IoT capabilities play a vital role in helping organizations obtain a greater understanding of customer data and behaviors, and the capabilities to leverage that data for personalized, digital-first experiences.

Capitalizing on the Potential of IoT

As more devices and consumer products become connected to the internet, customer expectations of engagement with a business is fundamentally altering. Salesforce research indicates that for 80% of customers, the experiences that a company delivers are as important to them as products and services.

Consider Starbucks, who uses IoT data to create omnichannel experiences that are widely acknowledged as best-in-class. For example, Starbucks has disrupted the loyalty rewards program model by making it possible to reload cards on any channel, and any modifications to a profile or card is updated in real-time throughout all channels. They use IoT data to better understand customer preferences and trends, reduce potential bottlenecks at drive-thru windows, and allow customers to directly trace their coffee source.

Organizations need to capitalize on the CX potential of IoT data via solutions like IoT-enabled CDP. CDP solutions enable first-party data to be collected and unified, providing a cohesive view of the customer. It also eliminates fragmented data and marketing silos by connecting other systems and marketing tools to create a centralized source of truth for customer data.

IoT data, however, is simultaneously a challenge and an opportunity.

IOT CUSTOMER EXPERIENCEOn one hand, IoT generated data is sensitive, which impacts regulatory and compliance protocols. Additionally, IoT data is unstructured, complex, frequently anonymized, streams in real-time, and often must be combined from numerous IoT devices – all of which have implications on the existing infrastructure.

On the other hand, IoT data can provide a powerful competitive edge. CDPs with built-in IoT, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities offer critical advantages via automation, intelligence, segmentation, and prediction that helps maximize the potential of customer data. AI is able to discover patterns in data and analyze information to provide meaningful insights, in addition to performing complex customer segmentation. ML can identify customer segments and continuously self-learn to become smarter over time depending on the training data and models.

IoT-enabled, advanced CDP solutions offer benefits that can fuel a memorable Customer Experience.

Sustainable personalization: Data security and privacy concerns are growing and we’re witnessing the end of third-party cookies. Advanced CDPs with real-time capabilities can help brands provide personalized experiences on the customer’s terms during critical moments.
Augment inter-departmental data: The value of customer data isn’t limited to sales and marketing teams; it’s an enterprise-wide factor in organizational flexibility and transparency. CDPs offer streamlined integration with both external and legacy solutions to further augment existing data from other departments.
Respond to emerging trends: As pressure to extend cohesive omnichannel experiences grows, organizations need the capabilities to instantly respond to fluctuating market trends or conditions. Advanced CDPs can enhance marketing efficiency and cost-effectiveness, and enable more robust agility to respond to constant change.
Tailored marketing content: Brands can eradicate siloed marketing efforts per channel to provide more relevant, innovative marketing and sales content based on unique customer interests, such as product usage tips or interviews with a content creator.

Trends and Developments Shaping the IoT-Driven Customer Experience

Market momentum for CDPs is quickly evolving alongside technological advancement and adoption. In 2018, semiconductor firm ARM Limited acquired enterprise data platform provider, Treasure Data, to advance device-to-data IoT platform development.

Customer communications platform provider Twilio acquired CDP provider Segment for $3.2 billion in 2020 to improve their suite of customer engagement software and enable companies to extend connected CXs that revolve around high-quality data.

These examples demonstrate the market direction of CDP as a catalyst for an enriched CX. According to Gartner, by 2023 70% of independent CDP providers will be acquired by larger marketing technology vendors or will diversify through M&A to enter adjacent categories like multichannel marketing and personalization.

There are so many uses for IoT, in particular when AI and predictive analytics are integrated.  Its not just global conglomerates in healthcare and medical devices. Many startups are building IoMT, aka the Internet of Medical Things, that allow doctors to monitor patients’ well-being remotely such as newest advances in heart monitoring and diabetes management.  And of course there is the IoB aka the Internet of Behaviour that takes into account individual customer trends, location-based services marketing, and uses predictive analytic to discover accurate buying habit.  Still others include IoLT aka the Internet of Logistics Things as in SCM, IoRT aka the Internet of Retail Things, and where DX all started and is evolving with IoWM aka the Internet of Workforce Management.

Future-Facing Customer Experience Programs will be Predictive

Internet of everythingOrganizations today are collecting and integrating IoT data to produce rich customer insights. CX leaders who are looking to future-proof their CX programs are enhancing their data and analytics capabilities and looking to predictive insights to:

● Build more connected customer experiences.
● Pinpoint CX obstacles and opportunities in real-time.
● Understand brand-to-consumer interactions on a deeper level.
● Prioritize customers at risk of churn and offer personalized solutions or compensation to stabilize the relationship.
● Gain a more holistic perspective of customer value potential.

With predictive insights from IoT data, brands can deliver rapid reimbursement for a shipping delay, or extend proactive customer service outreach when a customer is dealing with some issues in resolving a pain point, for example.

Predictive CDP systems provide companies with an opportunity to connect their Customer Experience programs to business value, such as enabling businesses to refine existing solutions that have a direct correlation to customer loyalty and up-sell behaviors.

According to Allen Proithis, CEO of Captone Partners, “Connected solutions are now table stakes for creating leading customer experiences. IoT data is the fuel for Digital Transformation, and the resulting Customer Experience is the destination. The faster that you can use data to fuel your transformation, the more quickly you will arrive at your ultimate customer experience that transforms the business relationship.”

The New Customer Experience Imperative

Marketers simply can’t afford to overlook the massive potential of IoT and other new technologies in their strategic CX initiatives. In a hyperconnected era defined by frictionless, data-driven, digital-first experiences across all channels and touchpoints, it’s either deliver a meaningful customer experience (CX) or become obsolete. To compete based on CX, organizations need to deploy the transformational power of IoT when it comes to their CDP.
If you need expertise utilizing a performance-based retained executive search within IoT, DX, or Customer Experience, check out what NextGen can offer you.

Articles Digital Transformation

Advanced Biometrics Can Enable Customer Experience Excellence

In the age of digital transformation, understanding how Biometrics delivers to its end-users is as important as what it delivers. Despite employing a myriad of digital technologies to help replace manual processes with automation hoping to achieve operational excellence, many organizations lack a focus on elevating customer experience in their digital transformation strategies. This is one of the key reasons for more than two-third of all digital transformation initiatives failing according to a recent McKinsey research study.

advanced biometricsIn this article, we will discuss how advanced recognition biometrics technologies can enable successful customer experience transformation for your organization.

Before embarking on a digital transformation journey with the goal of elevating customer experience, organizations must understand how technology ties to the intended performance outcomes. Specifically, the following three components of customer experience transformation should be considered:

1. A shared vision for a customer-centric strategy: When the top-management is convinced about investing in technology capabilities with the goal of elevating customer experience, this direction of strategy channels across the organization. As a result, every decision in implementing digital transformation is inspired by the real-life challenges and preferences facing end-users. For example, an effective recognition biometrics strategy is not limited to managing site security and payments, but also eliminating queues and service delays, guiding customers to the right products and shopping zones; and reducing dependence on the limited staff available on site. It’s important to first identify the real needs and preferences of end-users on their customer experience journey.

2. Redesigning Customer Journey: A customer-centric transformation requires organizations to identify the most impactful moments in the customer journey from a customer perspective. With this information, it’s important to design end-to-end digital and live journeys based on real-time customer information and needs. Technologies such as recognition biometrics can capture real-time interactions, build a personalized contextual profile for every customer and leverage advanced analytics technologies to yield insights that are valuable for both the business stakeholders and the end-users engaged in the customer journey.

3. Infrastructure for real-time feedback loop: Create a bottom-up adoption effect to channel live feedback from customers to employees and key decision makers. This is done by developing a data infrastructure to capture and retain data and using advanced AI technologies to capture insights proactively.

Let’s look at a real-life use case of advanced recognition biometrics elevating customer experience. Consider the customer journey at airports designed to maximize security and address workforce limitations, often at the expense of passenger convenience in the form of long queues, waiting time, flight delays and service mismanagement.

Integrating advanced facial recognition biometrics and AI technologies can help transform passenger experience at airports in the following ways:

Passenger Processing: Facial identification to verify check-in. Matching baggage tags with passenger biometrics.

Border Controls: Verify passport and documentation with a biometric immigration clearance mechanism.

Frictionless Boarding and Gate Management: Verify customer identities and maintain flight manifests with reliable biometrics data. Facial screening ensures accurate pre-flight checks.

Contactless Self-Service: Facial recognition reduces the exposure to contagious health risks such as the COVID-19 virus. The additional screening required to mitigate the propagation of virus takes several hours when performed manually.

Multimodal Biometrics: Extend facial biometric identifier for passenger activities beyond security and ID verification for boarding. Work with local, state and third-party stakeholders to extend the identification services for personalized lounge services, transportation and hospitality services.

Queue Management: Create passenger profiles containing contextual information about flight plans to manage queues and personalized shopping experiences at the airport and the lounge. Push notifications for intelligent announcements relevant to appropriate passenger groups on their handheld devices.

Data and Video Analytics: Monitor and analyze baggage claim process in live video streams.

These are some of the key avenues that can be exploited to achieve operational excellence while elevating customer experience through shorter queues, accurate passenger management and tailored services. At the same time, the biometrics information also strengthens public safety and security at the airports. Similar technology use cases can be employed at public and commercial sites handling a large number of customers on-site with a variety of products and services. Speak to Charles if you are looking for your next “A Player” in this industry

Articles Digital Transformation

Customer Loyalty Improving Engagement and Support

  • For every customer complaint, there are 26 other customers who have remained silent. 9 out of 10 unsatisfied customers would not willingly do business with your organization again.

~ Source: Lee Resource Inc.


  • 19 out of 20 satisfied customers who get their issue resolved will return and tell on average 5 people about their experience.

~ Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs, Washington, DC


Whether you are a CEO, an Account Exec, or an independent consultant and whether your business is pizza, financial services, earthmovers, or volunteer services, you want to avoid the first two above. On the positive side, you hope your business falls into the category of the third bullet where you can grow & improve your customer loyalty.

What these three key business stats have in common is that they measure customer behavior, specifically the behavior of returning – whether it is to buy again or just give you feedback. Returning customers are loyal customers, people who have an emotional and relational investment in you because of how they have been treated, whether they are individual buyers or they represent their companies.

Think of your customer.

  • Do you serve an “external” customer, one who purchases your company’s products and services? Then, you might be in Sales, Account Management, Customer Service, or Field Service.
  • Or do you serve an “internal” customer, one who (by choice or not) receives your work product or service. In this scenario, you might never interact with an external customer, but you still have an impact on the eventual result.
  •  You might be in HR, Talent Acquisition, IT, Engineering, Logistics, Office Management or a similar internal function.


What Is Customer Loyalty and Why Is It So Important?


  • Whoever your customers are, are they delighted with you?
  • Are they so thrilled with your products and services, that they will do business with you when your prices are a little higher than the competition?
  • Will they forgive you one or two small mistakes and still return?
  • Have your customers become your best “sales” people because they rave about their experiences with your businesses?
  • Will internal customers always come back to you or will they outsource your service?
  • And if they cannot outsource, do they rate your services as a loyal, returning customer would?

Loyal internal customers will help you improve because they are relational and maybe fiscally invested in you and your operation. All business organizations hope their customers keep coming back, and loyal customers are the best foundation for a sustainable future. As a culture of customer loyalty takes hold throughout your organization:

  • Engagement improves,
  • Innovation flourishes,
  • Teamwork grows,
  • And, everyone becomes focused on how his or her results affect the eventual loyal customer.

Adopting customer loyalty as a management, company-wide objective to be continuously improved is critical to the success of business in our socially networked and increasingly competitive service environment.

Points of Connection


Your external or internal customers’ points of connection most directly impact customer loyalty. A point of connection is any interaction a customer has with one of your employees or one of your business processes. Points of connection define the customer loyalty from the inside out and determine how a customer rates the service received and ultimately how the business is referred or criticized. As the graphic explains, these 6 points of connection are applicable and important for serving both external and internal customers. Imagine for a minute you crafted a scorecard, which could be used by your team to measure customer loyalty in terms of these 6 criteria (you could customize as appropriate). On a performance scale of 1 (worst) to 5 (best), your customer can paint a picture of how he/she feels about doing business with you:

  • How are we at listening to you, discovering your plans, uncovering your needs, and staying current about your business?
  • Do you feel like you and your needs are important to me and my department or company?
  • If there are differences of opinion or misunderstandings, do we address them professionally, openly, and without delay?
  • Do you feel confident that we are being 100% honest and truthful about our proposals and solutions?
  • Do we do what we say we are going to do?
  • Do you feel everyone you deal with on our team is being authentic?

Evaluating these points of connection, and the opinions your customer expresses about them, are valid for both external and internal customers. But how many businesses evaluate the customer loyalty awareness and contributions of their internal departments?

From the Inside Out – Relational Sustainability


Customer-Loyalty-workshop-300x194The business strategy of “sustainability” has been part of C-Level vocabulary for many years and it can mean different things to a CEO and his/her executive team depending on the business they are in. Manufacturing companies need to be mindful of environmental waste regulations.

Companies in service industries such as insurance and finance focus on energy consumption of their buildings and the recycling efforts of their paper. Businesses of all types and size have Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.

But how many of them have Relational Sustainability initiatives to ensure their key relationships remain strong and are long-lasting? There may not be an official worldwide watchdog agency tracking your company’s carbon foot print and its relational sustainability in the same report, but any business which depends on loyal customers to sustain its growth, and strives to have engaged employees which treat each other as internal customers, will want to sustain its focus on the “five relational building blocks to amazing customer results” as shown below.

Consider a Customer Loyalty Relational Sustainability Workshop


This is designed to raise the level of customer loyalty focus and skills across all parts of your business:

  • Consists of 5 weekly workshop sessions, 4 hours each.
  • Is practical, interactive, and customized for your business.
  • Builds a world-class customer loyalty culture by improving internal relationships using the Points of Connection.
  • Focuses on 5 key building blocks, you, your customer(s), your relationship with your customer(s), how to best use your team to support your customer(s), and being goal and results-oriented.
  • Delivers to each attendee a detailed, individualized Customer Relationship Business Plan.

Customer Loyalty Summary


  • Returning customers are loyal customers and customer loyalty has replaced customer satisfaction as a more important key performance indicator because loyalty helps a business survive market challenges that mere satisfaction cannot do.
  • Not only do employees who serve external customers need to understand customer loyalty strategies; employees working in internal and support functions can make significant contributions to the company culture of customer loyalty.
  • An executive commitment to a company strategy of customer loyalty will improve employee engagement, innovation, and buy-in that the business is serious about investing in a sustainable future.
  • A company’s or department’s customer loyalty can be measured by its Points of Connection performance.
  • Training internal employees in the skills that improve customer relationships will improve performance in the Points of Connection. This is what is meant by improving customer loyalty from the inside out.


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