Adopt a proactive approach to customer service with IoT data

June 2, 2021 | 4 minute read
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When your agents have all the right information at their fingertips, it’s much easier to get to know your customers and reduce their level of frustration. But can this knowledge and visibility really lead to cost savings, increased revenue opportunities, and improved customer retention rates? When harnessed properly, it can.

In this post, we’ll look at how an IoT-enabled approach to customer service can help you truly unlock more potential for your business.

Better self-service and self-help capabilities

Call deflection can greatly reduce contact center costs and reserve support associates for more complex issues. But you must have the right information at hand to use it effectively.

When a connected device collects and communicates customer data to a service center software system, it improves your customer’s ability to self-serve. Once they consent to share relevant and detailed device data, the system can make recommendations and enable customers to act. Using IoT data, brands can empower customers with self-service tools, such as knowledge article access, embedded videos, installation instructions, and/or configuration settings, when responding to their questions.

Let’s say you recently sold a new refrigerator. Upon activation, there appears to be a wide temperature fluctuation in the main compartment. With access to the right IoT data, you can respond to the customer’s question about how to properly configure multiple cooling zones with a response specific to the make, model, installation date, and current state of operation. You could even send the customer detailed instructions on how to properly configure the refrigerator along with a checklist of related maintenance items for handy reference in case they’re the cause of the fluctuation.

Access to such valuable IoT data lets you solve a customer’s issue more quickly and with a much more detailed and personalized response.   

IoT-enabled approach to customer service

Automatic engagement

What if you could address issues without a customer having to ask for assistance? What if the IoT-enabled device could automatically log a service request on their behalf?

At this stage of the IoT-enabled approach to customer service, the customer engagement model begins to transform. Your brand shifts from a reactive model, where IoT data merely augments an inbound interaction, to a proactive one. In the proactive model, inbound IoT-originated interactions become new, de facto customer service channels supported by your contact center.

In addition to channels like chat, email, text, social, and phone, you now have “IoT channel” interactions originating from a brand’s connected products that stream data into the contact center. When this happens, contact center managers need to align service staffing levels and agent resources to support the new IoT interactions.

To continue with the refrigerator example, the IoT-enabled appliance learns about the softness and hardness of the water, and how often water is passed through the filtration system. It develops a custom water filter replacement schedule, and the customer receives a proactive notification with details on when to replace the filter. The notification includes directions to the closest store and a link to an ecommerce site. The notification may also include a link to a how-to installation video that will guide the customer through replacing the water filter.

In this example, the IoT device data was used to create a performance model of the water filter and predict when the water filter would need to be replaced. You’re now able to leverage that data and proactively engage with the customer, drastically reducing the inbound calls about poor water quality, the type of water filter needed, where to purchase a replacement filter, and how to install it.

With IoT data, you can decide whether to deliver an augmented inbound experience or a more proactive experience. Ultimately, you and your customers both win.

Looking ahead

In my next post, we’ll explore the capabilities of IoT data in helping you offer a personalized auto-fix and even prevent product or service failures altogether.

In the meantime, check out the earlier posts in this series for more information:

To learn more about IoT Service Monitoring for Connected Assets, take a quick product tour.

IoT service monitoring for connected assets

Jeremy Kembel

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