According to Gartner, machine customers represent one of the decade’s most significant new growth opportunities.
Don Scheibenreif, distinguished VP analyst at Gartner and leader of Gartner’s research on customer experience, and Mark Raskino, distinguished VP analyst, Gartner Fellow and leader of Gartner’s CEO research explained in their new book.
They explained that when Machines Become Customers, that machine customers will be involved in a wide range of consumer and business purchases, representing a megatrend that will eventually outnumber the arrival of digital commerce.
There are three stages in the evolution of machine customers. The first stage involves tethered customers, such as HP Instant Ink, Amazon Dash Replenishment, and Tesla vehicles. In the second phase, emerging adaptable customers, AI technology can choose and act on behalf of a human for select tasks with minimal intervention. The third phase, autonomous customers, will have sufficient intelligence to act autonomously on behalf of humans with a high degree of discretion and own the majority of the process steps associated with a transaction.
A non-human economic actor who obtains goods and/or services in exchange for payment is referred to as a machine customer. There are more machines on the planet with the potential to act as buyers than humans, and any IoT-enabled product could become a customer. According to Gartner, by 2027, 50% of people in advanced economies will have AI personal assistants working for them on a daily basis.
The authors anticipate and unpack key organizational challenges and opportunities, as well as how these organizations should address them. To prepare for machine customers, executives across the enterprise must work together. Legal officers (general counsel) to CIOs, marketing officers, human resources officers, supply chain officers, and revenue officers, such as the head of sales, will all need to consider how machine customers will impact their organizations.
The sources for this piece include an article in Gartner.