How the IoT Is Changing the Customer Experience and Improving Competitive Advantage

The Internet of Things, as well as data from connected devices and other digital technologies, can facilitate seamless customer service, rapid problem-solving and the more efficient deployment of skilled resources.
By Marne Martin
Oct 30, 2017

While the Internet of Things (IoT) certainly isn't new anymore, it has the potential to be one of the main drivers to positively impact the customer experience. According to Gartner, we can expect 8.4 billion connected "things"—electronics, sensors and software that can be sensed, monitored and controlled remotely across network infrastructure—this year.

These "things" are vastly improving relationships between companies that deliver services in the field and their customers. With large industries around the world, such as utilities, continuing to deregulate, the IoT is helping smaller companies and startups to compete and scale through more competitive service-level agreements (SLAs). What's more, with a growing engineer shortage, more effective service models are required and a real difference can be made in such sectors as appliance manufacturing, health care, original equipment manufacturing, insurance and security.

Let's further explore how the IoT, data from connected devices and other digital technologies will facilitate seamless customer services, rapid problem-solving and the more efficient deployment of skilled resources.

Improve Customer Service With Unprecedented Level of Detail
The customer service delivery model changes when companies can provide proactive notification of customers affected by an outage or an affected asset. We can better position customer support centers to allow more immediate service, thus reducing costs and providing customer care simultaneously.

With the data from connected things combined with artificial intelligence (AI), we can better understand and learn our customers' preferences and behaviors. This opens up the opportunity to add value with a service that is personalized to customers' expectations so they are engaged and more satisfied with the brand experience.

Another benefit is that by using AI and the IoT, service or product teams can create predictive failure models, enabling companies to offer customers valuable maintenance contracts which prevent future downtime, while increasing the lifetime value of each customer relationship. This can increase revenues by adding a premium for a personalized maintenance package. It will also provide incredible peace of mind in scenarios in which reliability is of paramount importance, like with health-care equipment.

Detect Failures Before They Occur
Rather than waiting for problems to arise first, the IoT allows condition-based monitoring to prevent failures before they occur. Connected devices can schedule predictive maintenance, detect issues before they debilitate functionality and diagnose problems accurately. When connected to a powerful AI-based workforce-management solution, companies can optimally schedule a technician by balancing skills, asset location, parts, technicians' locations and traffic.

This lends an opportunity to address an issue before it is even noticed by a customer. This makes it possible to easily facilitate service calls, route jobs to the best-qualified and available agent or technician, and deliver customer satisfaction surveys following onsite or machine-to-machine cloud-based equipment servicing.

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