Blockchain IoT can work to your advantage
|Richard Harris in IoT Friday, October 5, 2018|
The argument for using Blockchain IoT together, and how the technologies paired up can create an improved customer experience through a fair and compliant supply chain.
Why do the words Blockchain and IoT still sound terrifying to some businesses? Maybe it's because Blockchain terminology was made mainstream by Bitcoin, or perhaps it's that IoT sounds immediate security alarms.
According to IBM, using Blockchain in asset management, customs declarations, supply chain networks, commercial property leasing, and countless more are screaming to be implemented, and are just a tiny fraction of the possible use cases.
But what happens when you marry the technologies Blockchain with IoT? Brian Hannon, Chief Commercial Officer for Voxpro says that the joining of the two can create a secret recipe for a stronger, and safer, customer experiences. Here's what Brian had to say in a recent conversation with ADM.
ADM: How is Blockchain improving transparency between customers and brands to increase equality in the relationship?
Hannon: The blockchain is a technology that uses a secure form of “blocks,” where data is secured between parties in a way that it can be easily verified. Through blockchain, brands and customers can “see” (increasing transparency) information across users and systems, working as an actively distributed ledger. Blockchain enforces a new sense of trust between brands and customers, as transactions are much more visible, and completely enhanced in a new location.
ADM: For companies that are hesitant to adopt Blockchain technology, what are a few “pros” to the technology that should outweigh the insecurity?
Hannon: Adopting Blockchain technology creates new potential and opportunity for companies to hold themselves even more accountable for customer data, by creating new smart contracts and working at faster paces. As companies put an increased focus on winning and retaining customers, keeping their data safe and creating a solid customer experience is more easily achievable with blockchain. If companies are looking to create a more safe and secure customer experience, blockchain is a strong technology to consider - and these pros should definitely outweigh any hesitancies.
ADM: How can companies, and CX departments, in particular, diminish their fears of blockchain and approach the technology with an open mind to create a stronger customer experience?
Hannon: Blockchain offers the opportunity to change CX for the better, providing a new advantage to customers who were not given that customer-care before. A study by Label Insight found that 73 percent of consumers say they’re willing to pay more for a product that promises total transparency. This transparency can be reached through a digital approach: blockchain. Providing consumers with insight into the processes you are conducting at your company, whether that is through manufacturing practices or accounting details, is a way to enhance the overall customer experience and retain loyal customers.
ADM: What are typical safety and security issues that companies and customers both face regarding Blockchain technology?
Hannon: The repercussions of cyber attacks are clear, which people might speculate stem from the adoption of technology like blockchain. A recent study revealed that companies lost $1 million, on average, in the last year as a result of cyber attacks. These attacks also cause businesses to lose something equally as valuable - the trust of their users/customers. The speculations about blockchain as the culprit in such attacks, however, is misguided. The blockchain is actually making businesses more accountable, and increasing security in various business-to-customer interactions. Rather than increasing vulnerabilities, blockchain is actually tightening and improving security practices by ensuring all transactions are traceable.
ADM: Because Blockchain IoT technology can be easily paired, how do you believe the two technologies can come together to create a strong and safe customer experience?
Hannon: IoT applications are by definition distributed, but also very connected to other applications and technologies around them - such as blockchain. Because of the ease in how they link, they’re able to communicate directly with each other. Between IoT’s ability to automate business processes and blockchain’s ability to store information in a secure way, companies can conduct more advanced IT processes through this centralized infrastructure. Connecting IoT and blockchain technologies allows businesses to improve efficiencies and speed of customer interactions, while also enhancing security. Together, this creates a powerful customer experience.
ADM: How is Blockchain creating a fair and compliant supply chain that is improving customer service, as well?
Hannon: Blockchain and IoT are creating a more compliant supply chain by taking a more ethical approach to both internal business processes and the customer experience journey. At its core, blockchain works to create a more secure, transparent supply chain, providing customers and brands with better access to accurate information. This gives customers more visibility into a company’s supply chain practices and suppliers, so they can know that the supply chain is ethical and fair. When customers have more confidence in the supply chain methods conducted by brands, they can feel more engaged and connected with brands, and vice versa.
ADM: What improvements in CX can companies expect if they incorporate blockchain into their technology stack?
Hannon: With blockchain, companies are able to improve customer relationships by better earning their trust. Blockchain offers a more secure method for businesses to handle customers’ data and information - obviously something of utmost importance to customers who fear cyber-attacks and data breaches. Blockchain has the potential to create a new standard for customer service, one that treats customers more fairly with the businesses they choose to purchase from. Because of this, companies that implement blockchain into their business and CX processes gain a competitive advantage over other brands who are not adopting new technologies to securely store, manage and engage with customer data - and improving the overall business-to-customer experience.