The Internet of Things (IoT) is ushering in an era of sweeping change across industries. From smart appliances in the home that control everything from lighting to temperature to ordering groceries, to healthcare devices that allow physicians to monitor patients remotely, to smart cities that use IoT sensors to manage traffic, street lamps and trash pickup — today’s IoT applications are just scratching the surface of the technology’s potential.
Gartner has estimated that there will be 25 billion internet-connected things by 2021. Not surprisingly, organizations are eager to tap into this data stream. However, most organizations are as yet unprepared for the implications of doing business in a hyper-connected world. Access to real-time data streams delivered by IoT devices, sensors and networks is disrupting existing business models for data management, information security, customer experience management and support operations. To derive value from IoT big data, organizations will first need to invest in the technology and human skills to process, analyze and extract actionable insights.
IoT devices are proliferating at breakneck speed, frequently creating setup and interoperability headaches for consumers. Frustration can be high when customers run into difficulties attempting to connect new products to the other devices they own. Confusion about where to turn for assistance sidetracks the customer journey as consumers are often forced to deal with different product manufacturers and external information sources to resolve technical issues.
Delivering customer service for IoT devices requires a shift in mindset, strategy and processes. Companies that adhere to providing siloed support for point products risk losing their customers to competitors that provide more comprehensive customer service solutions. IoT contact centers will need to upskill and empower their customer service agents to handle complicated setup and troubleshooting interactions involving multiple devices. To be effective, agents require critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, and additional training to understand the full IoT ecosystem and how a particular product connects and shares data with other IoT devices.
Additional customer service challenges for IoT companies include:
Rapidly rising consumer demand for connected devices is making the IoT marketplace one of the most competitive in recent history. The ability to offer comprehensive IoT support solutions for an entire product ecosystem will distinguish the preferred brands from the pack.
Partnering with an outsourced IoT contact center provider with expertise across multiple products allows device makers to tap into the state-of-the-art technology, big data applications, skilled staff, robust knowledge systems and strategic expertise required to deliver high-touch, one-stop customer service. CustomerServ’s IoT call center outsourcing vendors provide deep expertise in: