We are all right now, living in the midst of an incredible time and what is officially being dubbed the 4th Industrial Revolution.
What does this mean?
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is a way of describing the blurring of boundaries between the physical, digital, and biological worlds. It’s a fusion of advances in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, genetic engineering, quantum computing, and other technologies.
It’s the collective force behind many products and services that are fast becoming indispensable to modern life. Think GPS systems that suggest the fastest route to a destination, voice-activated virtual assistants such as Apple’s Siri, personalized Netflix recommendations, and Facebook’s ability to recognize your face and tag you in a friend’s photo.
It’s all happening at an unprecedented, whirlwind pace and it’s changing society like never before.
There’s a lot to unpack with this topic, as you would think, so we’re going to start with a quick overview of 3 of the top technologies that are driving change.
Number 1: AI or Artificial Intelligence
Or computers that can “think” and learn more like humans
Number 2: Blockchain
Blockchain is a secure, decentralized, and transparent way of recording and sharing data, with no need to rely on third-party intermediaries. The digital currency Bitcoin is the best known blockchain application. However, the technology can be used in other ways, including making supply chains traceable, securing sensitive medical data anonymously, and combating voter fraud.
Number 3: The internet of things
The internet of things refers to the idea of everyday items — from medical wearables that monitor users’ physical condition to cars and tracking devices inserted into parcels — being connected to the internet and identifiable by other devices.
A big plus for businesses is that they can collect customer data from constantly connected products, allowing them to better gauge how customers use products and tailor marketing campaigns accordingly. There are also many industrial applications, such as farmers putting IoT sensors into fields to monitor soil attributes and inform decisions such as when to fertilize.
Those are just three, but there’s also 3D printing, innovations in biotechnology and so much more.
While these technologies change what’s possible, they’re also transforming customers’ expectations.
A global survey from Salesforce Research shows that a majority of those surveyed believe that these technologies — and the experiences they enable — will transform their interactions with companies within five years.
Nowhere will this be more evident than in customer experience.
Research shows about half of customers say most companies fall short of their expectations for great experiences, while 76% report that it’s easier than ever to take their business elsewhere.
Among the things customers regard as being “very important to winning their business” are connected processes, such as contextualized engagement based on earlier interactions (70%), and tailored engagement based on past interactions (59%).
This means businesses must focus more than ever on delivering a customer experience that differentiates them from competitors. Get it wrong and they risk losing more than just the sale — 57% of customers have stopped buying from a company because a competitor provided a better experience. What’s more, 62% say they share bad experiences with others. With peer review sites and social media offering unhappy customers a greater audience for complaints, this can damage a company’s reputation.
So while the 4th industrial revolution seems like a crazy situation with robots and artificial intelligence, it’s really all about how to better connect with other humans- CUSTOMERS!
Justine Smith is a Graphic Designer for Excelerate America, the fun, smart service for businesses looking to level up. What's your thoughts on the 4th Industrial Revolution? Has it impacted your business? Tell Justine your thoughts by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.