UK leads Europe in readiness to improve customer experience using the Internet of Things

The UK is ahead of Germany, France, Spain and Italy in its IoT-enabled customer experience maturity, according to a new study from Genesys.

Genesys questioned 1,000 customer experience leaders from six European countries on how they perceive the Internet of Things (IoT) and to what extent they are using it to improve the customer experience.

The report, Redesigning the customer service around the Internet of Things, found two-thirds (59 per cent) of respondents across Europe agreed that IoT would bring direct value to customer service. Across the countries questioned, 18 per cent of retailers said that the Internet of Things would be very important in improving the customer experience, while 50 per cent said it would be somewhat important. Retailers also tend to believe that as the Internet of Things helps them move their business models from transactional to service-oriented, the customer service and experience will be perceived as the product itself.

In the UK, 57 per cent of respondents said they had a clear understanding of the value of IoT. Across the whole study, 35 per cent agreed with the statement. Almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of European respondents said increased speed of service was a key benefit of IoT-enabled customer service, while 66 per cent cite increasing first-call resolution. This rises to 82 per cent in travel and hospitality.

Across Europe, 62 per cent suggested that they will prioritise integrating IoT into their CX initiatives, rising to 70 per cent in the UK. The majority of European organisations also expect to incorporate some form of IoT to enhance systems within the next two years. 22 per cent reported that they have already done so and approximately 63 per cent of organisations have noticed a high positive impact on customer satisfaction after implementing IoT, rising to 77 per cent in the telecom and utilities vertical. Most (64 per cent) expect to see an increase in the lifetime value of customers as a result of this improved customer experience.

“This study shows that the age of connected customer care is upon us and that early adopters are seeing significant advantages,” said Friedbert Schuh, senior vice president, EMEA at Genesys. “Organisations with use cases for adopting IoT – such as smart metering and connected vehicles – are making clear headway in unlocking the technology’s value. The challenge for European customer experience leaders now has moved from awareness to the practicalities of implementation.”

Despite clear enthusiasm for IoT-enabled CX, 42 per cent of European respondents reported that budgetary constraints would inhibit implementation and just 10 per cent of European organisations feel ready to define and promote a concrete value proposition. The study suggests that this results from preparedness to implement an IoT solution. European organisations feel most ready to address privacy and security issues (55 per cent) and to introduce and manage new devices (48 per cent), whereas they report being least ready to address data analysis and monetisation (38 per cent) and to ensure ubiquitous access to channels (38 per cent).