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

Deploy Higher-Performing Products and Services Through Data-Driven Decisions
Maintenance management and delivery has traditionally relied on either periodically examining and repairing problems based on a fixed schedule, whether needed or not (calendar-based maintenance), or waiting for things to fail and then fixing the problem, no matter how many visits it takes (reactive maintenance). The IoT offers another option by equipping the mobile workforce with a way to proactively manage maintenance. For instance, a technician can determine what products might need to be updated, based on their original installation dates.

Better Understand Your Business
The IoT collects an incredible amount of customer and asset data. With such rich insights, operations vastly improve. It enables us to pinpoint areas of efficiency, providing service companies and manufacturers with unparalleled insight into real-time and historical performance. Solid information enables field teams to do more of what works and target problem areas for improvement.

Over the long term, assets will become more robust, thereby reducing the cost of maintaining them. It enables businesses to develop future fee-based services, such as guaranteed uptime, or tighter SLA timeframes. This helps companies to build better, long-lasting relationships with customers, based on a data-driven understanding of services in the field.

It is, of course, not just about company and asset performance. Insurers can use data fed back by sensors to model driver behavior or even record accidents in real time. That is a sea-change for the sector.

The IoT Difference
The Internet of Things is arming businesses with the tools to improve the speed and quality of the customer experience, while optimizing the effectiveness of field services. It has proved invaluable for analyzing internal operations, product management and customer-service options. The true value comes from providing services connected through existing and emerging digital technologies all along the service supply chain.

By joining forces with AI, services and products are being deployed and managed in a smarter, more efficient way. Using these technologies combined, we can now provide customers with the ease and convenience they want, with better offerings to earn loyalty and trust—the foundation to increasing customer lifetime value.

This increases sales, which, with lower costs from optimal service delivery, helps to increase profitability. It is not just short-term gain, though. The big data delivered by the IoT presents the prospect of informed and sustained competitive advantage. It is technology which will bring about the brand value customers, shareholders and business owners demand.

Marne Martin is the CEO of ServicePower (www.servicepower.com). She is an experienced international executive leading transformation and growth for companies in the technology and telecommunication industries. ServicePower helps field service organizations with innovative, effective mobile workforce-management solutions. Tweet Marne at @marne_martin or connect with her at LinkedIn.

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