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shutterstock_549658378.jpgThe Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming the relationships between companies and their customers, and the digital revolution has only just begun. Delivering value to the customer has been redefined by user-friendly digital tools, immediate access to records and entitlements, and machine-to-machine communication. The best way to improve the customer experience is to ensure your service cycles actually serve the customer the way they want to interact with you, and today this means that the same mobile phone and internet technology in our daily lives is also driving business demands.

According to Gartner, “things” – electronics, sensors, and software that can be sensed, monitored, and controlled remotely across network infrastructure – use the Internet more than people, and this number will reach 25 billion by 2020.

The fact is, IoT and the data from connected devices facilitate seamless customer service and rapid problem-solving.  All of these come together to maximize performance and generate an unprecedented level of customer loyalty – guaranteed ways to increase profitability through improved internal processes and efficient customer service.

Delivering Higher Performing Products and Services Through Data-driven Decisions

Delivering maintenance has traditionally relied on a combination of periodically examining and repairing problems based on a fixed schedule whether needed or not (calendar-based maintenance) and waiting for things to fail and then fixing the problem, no matter how many times it might take (reactive maintenance).

Detect equipment failures before they occur

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. The right technician will have the right parts and tools and work order history to improve the likelihood of first-time fixes – that is, if on-site service is even required.  You can easily facilitate service calls, call routing to the proper agent or technician, and even customer satisfaction surveys following on-site or machine-to-machine cloud-based equipment servicing.

Improve customer service with unprecedented level of detail

Proactive notification of customers affected by an outage or affected device changes your customer service delivery model. You can also better position your customer support centers to allow more immediate service, thus reducing costs and providing customer care simultaneously. With the data from connected devices, you can better understand and predict your customers’ preferences. You can create a personalized experience that keep them engaged and satisfied with the product.

Understand your operations and offer value-added services

In addition, the customer data collected become an incredibly rich source of business insight. You can pinpoint areas of operational efficiency and target problem areas for improvement. You know where products and services are in their life cycle and can easily track customer entitlements. You can develop future fee-based services according to customer needs, such as guaranteed up time or tighter SLA time frame. This helps build better, long-lasting relationships with your customers, based on data-driven understanding of their interaction with you.

The IoT Revolution

The IoT is invaluable for analyzing internal operations, product management, and customer service options. By providing connected services, you are providing your customers the ease and convenience they want as part of the customer experience, while also enhancing your own efficiency and ability to create better offerings, and earn loyalty and trust – the building blocks to increasing customer lifetime value.

Charis Warchal | Service Power
is an award-winning writer, strategic planner and corporate communications Vice President with a successful record of integrated program development, implementation, and evaluation.