The Internet of Things: a shift in customer service delivery?

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Jo Knight 15th December 2015 3 minute read

The Internet of Things: a shift in customer service delivery?

‘The Internet of Things’ (IoT) is one in a long line of technology trends which has been heralded to revolutionise the everyday hubbub of life in the future. One in which the technology devices we own interact with one another, automating many of the everyday tasks of today.

The possibilities are seemingly endless and the trend is growing fast.

The most ambitious aim to make everything from the milk in our fridge to the pens on our desk as interconnected and smart as the phones in our pockets.

Rather than speculate on the possible uses of IoT technology, it is worth considering the potential impact on the relationship between customer and product/service provider. As more and more consumers interact with more and more IoT enabled ‘things’, customer service expectations are going to change:

Customers will likely have real-time, mobile access to much of the data it once relied on service providers for

Resolutions automated by the actual ‘things’ along with greater self-service channels will likely reduce certain types of customer service contact. However, the advent of more complex technology may well lead to issues which are by nature more complex. This dichotomy makes it a challenge for organisations to find the right service mix. Already we see companies and products with opposing approaches:

  • Google’s nest is pushing users online and to the app for information and support
  • Apple offer highly staffed boutique stores to discuss issues in depth and face to face

 

Can consumers have their cake and eat it and what does this mean for the future of customer management?

Customers will expect to see a return for their data liberation

What IoT enabled technology will provide businesses like never before is insight into how consumers are interacting with the products and services they have invested in. Unlocking the value in this data and raising service levels however will require investments in technology and a solid pipeline of employees with data analytics capabilities.

Businesses service delivery will need to shift

 

Organisations may need to shift their position whereby they are making sense of the data collected by the ‘things’ and engage proactively. Those who best manage their customers may be the ones making the contact - reaching out to customers even before they realise they have been hit with a service issue.

A smart strategy for those who want to transform the customer experience!

 

 

And finally…

Whether the IoT will take off in the way some commentators predict remains to be seen. What is clear is this is a category so broad and encapsulates so many different technologies it is hard to see how it won’t revolutionise and even commoditise certain industry sectors. How companies serve their customers using granular level data will require a shift in businesses service delivery model. To make this work, business leaders must also be on-board and be able to deliver on new strategies even if they are seen as disruptive to traditional ways of working.

As the old saying goes “Adapt or die”.

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