Thursday, 28 January 2016

Wearable Technology and Customer Service: 10 Innovative Examples

Remember watching cartoons and movies as a kid and seeing all of those awesome tech devices and wishing you could have one (or two, or all of them)? Well, the future is now, as wearables are becoming more mainstream and technology advancements are made every day. And, consumers are paying attention, as PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) reported in their Consumer Intelligence Series, The Wearable Future report: 53% of millennials and 54% of early wearables adopters say they are excited about the future of wearable tech, including the potential benefits of improved safety, healthier living, and simplicity and ease of use. PwC also found that 72% of people find it very important for wearable technology to improve customer service, and 76% of busy parents want wearable tech to make shopping a more pleasant, efficient experience. Similarly, 50% of millennials say they would be strongly motivated to don a wearable if it “has apps/features that reward those who frequently use it.”

The capabilities of wearables are just beginning to emerge for retail, enterprise, and consumers. While their sales are not expected to compete with those for smartphones and tablets for some time, their impact on technology is far greater. As Multichannel Merchant points out, wearables “will become the interface between body, apps, data, and last not but not least, services. This creates the opportunity especially for local retailers.” Wearables have the ability to collect personal information such as biometric data, location data, spending data, and more. Scott Bauer, PwC’s U.S. retail and consumer practice partner and omnichannel leader imagines wearable technology will “shift retail conventions as retails will be able to connect the dots between pre-store and in-store behavior, and reach a new level of interconnected retail. How consumers pay for purchases and interact with the retailer while in store is expected to be radically redefined by wearable technology and retailers cannot afford to ignore the impact it could have on their bottom line.”

But, wearables will not just impact retail and its customer service. We have found companies that already are utilizing wearables to impact the enterprise, as well as those that are piloting wearable programs to impact customer service, customer satisfaction, and the customer experience. These innovative examples (and possible examples) of wearable tech in customer service are inspiring, and we share them below so that you can get inspired, too. The possibilities for wearables are potentially limitless, and it’s just as exciting now as it was when we were watching those cartoons and shows all those years ago.

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