Customer Experience Roundup, August 20, 2019

Digital transformation is more than just a business buzzword—it’s a powerful tool for customer experience. As companies rely on new technology and expand their digital offerings, they have opportunities to connect with customers like never before and offer new solutions. However, digital transformation isn’t always smooth. New technology brings with it both challenges and opportunities. This week brought three stories of how digital transformation and technology can help and hurt businesses.

Ikea Goes All In On Digital With New Business Unit

Ikea has created a number of smart home products over the last few years, but now it’s taking its smart home and digital efforts to the next level by creating a new business unit that’s dedicated entirely to smart home products. Ikea hopes to produce both smart products and the technology behind them, including an app that can control smart light bulbs and other connected devices. Ikea also teamed up with Sonos to create a new line of wireless smart speakers and will introduce smart blinds later this fall.

Ikea’s move to focus on smart home products could disrupt the industry and keep Google and Amazon on their toes. Ikea is a customer favorite for its inexpensive and accessible products. If those same principles apply to its smart home offerings, it could create affordable options and open smart home technology to a new group of consumers. Ikea is the latest example of how it pays to invest in digital and stay ahead of new technology.

Delta Sues Chatbot Company Over Data Breach

A 2017 data breach made headlines this week when Delta filed a lawsuit against the chatbot company it claims is responsible for the breach. Delta’s breach exposed personal information and credit card details for 825,000 customers in 2017. Delta claims [24] Inc. didn’t have basic cybersecurity safeguards in place like requiring multi-step authentication or preventing employees from using the same login credentials. The lawsuit also claims that the company waited to tell Delta about the data breach for five months.

Data security and transparency are huge issues today, for both customers and companies. This story highlights the security risks of AI and chatbots and shows that all companies need to have necessary safeguards to protect their information. Data breaches should be reported in a timely manner; the longer it takes for customers to find out, the more trust they lose in the company. Companies need to be confident in the security measures of all of their contractors, even in the B2B space.

Amazon’s Delivery Robot Expands To California

Don’t worry if you see a small, tank-like machine rolling down the street—it’s probably just your Amazon package. Amazon recently took a big step in its robot delivery program when it expanded testing of Scout to Southern California. Previously, robot deliveries had been isolated to a single neighborhood near Seattle. Scout, a small robot on wheels, moves down roads and sidewalks at about the same speed a person walks and delivers packages to Amazon customers. During testing, Scout is accompanied by a human to keep it safe and gauge human reaction. When Scout officially hits the streets, it will be by itself. In theory, Scout could be used to deliver thousands of packages to urban or suburban areas in a single night.

With such a big focus on environmental issues and quick delivery, companies are looking for innovative ways to quickly get orders to customers. Amazon’s test is a step in the right direction and has the potential to revolutionize how people get packages. The real test will be if the robots are as accurate and fast as they claim to be. There’s no doubt that many other e-commerce companies are watching Scout’s success and making their own plans for the future.

Forward-thinking companies use digital solutions and new technology to provide amazing customer experiences. These stories highlight the need to continually innovate and invest in digital transformation.

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