Technology has created the new digitised frontier that organisations are battling on which can revolutionise how Customer Experience can deliver value for both customers and organisations. Companies are realising the interaction between the customer and product has the heaviest weighting in their overall experience. Particularly with IoT enabled devices, organisations are starting to gain holistic perspective of their customers.  It has given organisations new engagement models that can deliver personalised and predictive experiences to their customers.

IoT enabled devices allows companies to extend their interaction far beyond point of sale and the traditional reporting to gauge customer satisfaction. Not only are the connected devices driving further insights into customer usage, it is driving R&D in user behaviours. IoT is no longer a hype but a reality that can be an asset for organisations to differentiate themselves. These companies  recognise the importance of software as the interaction rather than just the hardware that powers it.

For example Apple changed the playing field for mobile phones. At a time when manufacturers were producing phones that were smaller, thinner, slides, flips and included MP3, cameras, basic navigation, Apple introduced the iPhone. The iPhone was bigger, had a basic camera, doesn’t flip, doesn’t slide and was not the thinnest on the market. Yet it dominated with their superior user interface and the user experience created. The performance was so unmatched, it allowed Apple to dominate the mobile phone market for years to come.

With the iPhone, Apple was dubbed an innovator by simply bringing together existing hardware and overlaying a user friendly and easy to navigate interface to ultimately change the customer experience. Tesla is another prime example of a software company that produces hardware. Their cars are fundamentally a shell created to a specification. Through the software, a number of functionalities built in are slowly unlocked. Tesla has since improved the Model S released 5 years ago through the “over-the-air” updates it continues to release including Autopilot, better battery efficiencies and a number of safety upgrades.

It is important to understand the digital revolution and using software to support and sustain a competitive advantage. IoT devices, such as smart watches, smart TVs, smart fridges do not necessarily feature newer, innovative technology. As hardware is getting marginally better, the battle has moved to the software to better leverage what is available. To create sustainable competitive advantage, companies need to design the overall customer experience within their products.