IoT Will Change the Role of the CX Professional

Digital is no longer enough for customers. Thanks to the wide-ranging impact of IoT, they will soon expect firms to exceed expectations in the physical world as well.

According to Forrester’s Boost CX Quality By Using IoT In Customer Journeys report, “Customers now look for physical experiences that are monitored and improved, personalized, and updated with new features, along with those that enable new forms of purchase, like pay per use.”

This is both good and bad news for the Customer Experience (CX) professionals. They can now monitor experiences, personalize experiences, learn new customer trends, automatically improve the overall experience, and even quickly add new products and services to meet customer demands. But, as their role within the organization expands, they will need to start working with other stakeholders who “shape the customer’s journey and experiences.”

The report noted that CX professionals “already struggle to create what Forrester calls CX fusion — working with peers to integrate.” To meet physical expectations, they would need to also work with product engineering, marketing and sales, operations, support and service, technology and partners.

A key challenge will be in data orchestration. With IoT sensors and devices switched on, CX professionals will receive far more data than they used to. The problem for many is that this data is locked up within business units or silos. “IoT tech and products are usually chosen by product designers and operations executives, not the CIO’s technology organization,” the report noted.

Here, building a close working relationship with the CIO will help. “CX pros will start working with the CIO or the technology organization in a practical way to integrate their journey analytics platforms and the IoT capabilities,” Frank Gillett, VP and principal analyst, Forrester said.

Essentially, CIOs can help CX professionals will need to orchestrate the data flowing in from the various IoT sensors and devices. “CX professionals won’t handle data orchestration themselves. They will work with the tech organization to define their needs so that enterprise architects can map out the plans for the tech organization,” Gillet said.

In turn, CIOs will find ways to empower the CX professionals to deliver a strong customer journey that melds the physical and digital worlds. “CIOs will need to figure out how to enable CX pros to adapt to changing market conditions through the technology they use,” Gillet added.

The expansion of the CX professionals’ role will shape their career prospects. “It seems unlikely that a CX professional will become [the] CEO. But it could be part of a bigger career development path,” Gillet said.