Customer service is a practice that has rooted itself in every business’ operations in the modern world. Whether you’re an airline company that is managing thousands of customers every day, or an FMCG company that is delivering millions of products, having a proactive system that understands the success of each product or service can be of tremendous help to the business. Not only can they gauge customer expectations much better, but also continuously keep improving their catalogue.
While modern systems are good enough to handle a large number of daily complaints and feedback, businesses need to start realizing that perfect customer service follows from the minimization of these customer enquirers.
And that can only be achieved by getting it right the first time – essentially, it means solving problems before they can manifest themselves.
Enter, the Internet of Things (shortened to IoT), an interconnected digital network that aims to tether different devices and appliances within a singular network.
IoT is increasingly being touted as a major tool in the future of customer service systems. And for good reason.
Catering to Higher Customer Expectations
Customers are more informed about what they are purchasing than they were a few decades ago, and this change has mostly occurred with the invention of the Internet. The more knowledge they hold, the more they expect from a business for a product or service.
The Internet of Things allows businesses to recognize theirs customers’ expectations and work on improvements before it escalates to a bigger issue. This has also had a wide range of benefits for customer service – from better connectivity between the two entities, to quicker issue resolution, as well as a platform for sharing ideas and providing feedback.
Let’s take an example of how the Internet of Things would look and function like. Consider a car engine that’s connected to your mobile device through an app. Powerful sensors in the engine can sense low oil levels or an impending fault in it, and immediately alert both the user and the company, who can then automatically schedule a maintenance appointment for the customer, after obtaining their confirmation.
By collecting information and interpreting it at the right time – this practice is referred to as predictive maintenance – businesses can now become more proficient at ensuring that their customer is happy and comfortable with their product.
Getting Smarter at Dealing with Data Mountains
Systems today are capable of capturing the smallest of details about their customers, and this has been the result of a more robust network between the billions of mobile devices around the world.
More data means that every business needs to become better at processing all that data, and sifting the useful information from the noise. If used properly, all this data can be turned into actionable insight into your products’ effectiveness and your customers’ behavior.
As this network grows, data processing will play an even more important role in customer analysis, and directly affect the impact that the Internet of Things on a business’ operations.
Automating Large Sections of Customer Support
One of the defining features of the Internet of Things is its ability to introduce automation into support activities, and reduce the amount of manual intervention required in making sense of customer data. And customer service can benefit greatly from this form of automation.
An automated customer service can form the first line of contact between the customer and the business. With IoT, the data collected from a product or service failure can be automatically registered and processed to deliver a reasonable solution, without requiring any input from the customer.