"Technology is already available. Now the challenge is to put it to good use."
Connected devices provide a smarter customer experience
August 5, 2020
As customers, we are constantly getting more discerning and demand ever increasing quality of service. Getting quick and competent help should be a matter of course. To exceed our expectations, our problems need to be solved before we even knew we had them. Ideally, fixes should be made automatically or we want the person that is helping us to have full control of our issue, even before we present it. IoT is a key component for making that happen.
According to IDC, by 2025 there will be 41.2 billion connected devices that together shovel 79.4 zettabytes of data. (For those of you who do not know, we can tell you that a zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes, or a one followed by 21 zeros!) But of course, it is not the volume itself that is important, but rather how we use that data to refine the customer experience.
When we talk about IoT in customer service, we are talking about devices that contain technology to collect data from the environment and communicate it to customer service or a support center. If there is one thing that customers dislike, it’s long troubleshooting procedures or having to explain an issue several times in different channels, or to different people. Of course, access to the right information also saves time for the service technician or customer service staff.
“With the help of device data, the agent gets an exact picture of the current situation and can start the case from the right place. They don’t have to ask if the lights are flashing or ask the customer to restart the device because they have already received information about it”, says Beata Nylén, one of our experts on customer service innovation.
Automated all the way
If you look a little further into the future, the vision is the fully automated mesh of gadgets that talk to each other and solve their problems themselves. According to Gartner, 40 percent of all support cases will be initiated by various connected devices as early as 2023. Connected devices will be a 100 percent automated channel that takes some of the pressure off the others in the support center.
– Technology is already available and now the challenge is to put it to good use. We have a big shift ahead of us. As a comparison, SMS technology was available for several years before its mainstream breakthrough. Why send text when you can call, you thought then. There is never a shortage of good ideas, but the difficult thing is to turn them into something that creates value for the customer, says Beata.
As an example, an automated case could be when a router contacts customer service on its own when something is wrong, at best before it breaks down altogether. The service changes from reactive to proactive. If it’s a software error, it can be fixed online, and otherwise the customer in this example receives a message that a replacement product is on its way. With the help of relevant data, the right measures can be put in place at the right time. A service organization can also save money by not having to perform unnecessary routine checks.
– Already today, organisations talk about considering the gadget as a customer to indicate its value in the ecosystem and to take full advantage of the information it gives us. By fixing errors before they become critical, the risk of the customer being affected is reduced, which is also positive for the brand, says Beata.
Data refines the customer experience
In large amounts of data, there is an opportunity to find patterns and insights that can be used to deliver better service. Maybe the customer can get a tip that a product will last better if it is placed in a spot with lower humidity or that the battery life is adversely affected by cold? Or that the customer may be interested in sharing car data to get a lower insurance premium for driving safely?
– A lot lies ahead, but what we can say about the current situation is that anyone who can feed all channels into an analytics engine will have a good position once this technology really takes off. With ACE, we at Telia want to deliver a solution that extends to the future. It is a customer-driven platform and we are more than happy to develop business and technology together with our customers, says Beata.
In a hurry? This post in 5 seconds!
- The number of connected devices will increase dramatically over the next few years. This has the potential to bring more knowledge to customer service
- It also opens for proactive customer service where devices themselves tell the support organisation that they need attention or replacing
- Data and automatic workflows can be used for taking customer experience to the next level
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