As an IoT Marketing Agency, we've been working with Internet of Things and technology companies since before it was called iot. The amount we've learned about our clients and the technology industry is truly immeasurable.
And something I've taken away from all of our knowledge is that the most important thing you can offer your customers is a seamless and enjoyable experience from the decision phase all the way to becoming a lifelong customer. This can be true of every company, really. Your customer's experience is what turns them into an advocate for your product or service.
As an IoT company, your customer's trust and first impression are of utmost importance. It could be that you are working to position yourself as a new company in the industry or your product could be completely revolutionary. Regardless, your powerful vision needs the support of a truly enjoyable experience - making sure that every step leads the potential customer/existing customer towards becoming a promoter of the company.
Think of it this way: The first encounter with your IoT platform that many companies will have is during the demo -- and we all know the importance of first impressions, and how critical visual appeal and solid design are to those impressions. That relationship will continue for as long as your customers remain with you... and could be an important factor in your churn if they're leaving you for a platform that's more polished.
The Missing Piece
So let's say you've already begun formulating your company's brand, website, print collateral, and trade show booth designs. You are starting to get a steady flow of customers and leads and they are getting set up in your platform. Have you given the platform piece of the puzzle as much focus as it and your customers truly deserve?
There are a multitude of reasons why platform design generally hasn't been a primary focus for new IoT companies up to this point. One of those is that we have developers and software engineers creating things potentially without care or knowledge of user experience. Harvard Business Review says this: "Fleet logistics companies, for example, monitor the condition and location of their vehicles. Their developers focus on meeting operational and environmental requirements, caring little about the physical appearance or user experience of a dashboard- or engine-compartment-mounted device that monitors vehicle data."
We have developers and software engineers creating things potentially without care or knowledge of user experience.
Another is that when you sell your product, you are hardly ever selling to the end user. When we get down to the root of it, IoT companies with traditional B2B models and B2B2C distribution channels have been pushing the technology rather than addressing the needs and tastes of their customers.
Positioning Your Company
This really has been ok until now. The Internet of Things industry is relatively new but it is important to see that consumers are already quite inundated with products and services in this space -- as are B2B companies, which currently have more than 450 IoT platforms from which to choose. All of which is even more reason to be sure you have a standout product design and user experience.
Where your platform may have been standing in isolation, it now has to integrate with a huge digital ecosystem that has become a part of everyone's life. And once your platform is in someone's day to day, it can't have a poor user experience. If it does, and if your competitor has a more useable platform at a relatively similar price point, you're going to hemorrhage customers once it's time for contract renewal.
Where your platform may have been stanging in isolation, it now has to integrate with a huge digital ecosystem that has become a part of everyone's life.
So if you have a small or start-up business, UX is key because it is basically the first impression someone is getting of what you offer. If you want to continually direct future traffic and business to your product, you've got to start smart with a user friendly debut.
If you want to continiually direct future traffic and business to your product, you've got to start smart with a user friendly debut.
This same concept applies to companies with a tight budget. In this instance, user is vital because it can be the starting point and momentum that propels your business in the right direction. Remember, potential customers decide in just a few moments whether your platform is worth the time. So no matter what awesome solution you are providing, you have to make it digestible for the users.
You may be thinking, 'Well my product is really complex but the users in the industry I serve should already know how to navigate my platform.' In some ways, you'd be correct. The end user of your product is as important to user experience design as anything else.
But remember here that user experience is the most important piece of a complex platform because users must be able to easily navigate and understand how to use it. Neglecting UX can result in a mediocre platform that people won't feel inclined to use. Developing an interaction-rich experience will continually drive users back to the platform.
Neglecting UX can result in a mediocre platform that people won't feel inclined to use.
In the end, that's all we want, right? A happy customer that wants to continue using your product and getting the word out about your company. So consider your platform and the user experience you are offering. Is it enjoyable or are there some improvements you can make?
If you don't know where to begin with your platform's design and optimization, contact us for a free consult.
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