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Mind blowing customer experience is possible with IoT

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How can IoT improve the customer experience?

Customers have always made it clear: they want personalised interactions with your organisation. They want you to anticipate their needs before they even know it. So what if you had the ability to foresee their wants and needs? To really provide the ultimate customer experience?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is providing a rich opportunity to change the way we deliver customer journeys and to give customers what they want, and more. Customers are hungry for this change and research data confirms this…

According to Dimension Data’s research findings from the 2017 Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report, Virtual assistant (chat bots) is voted as the top channel growth focus for 2017, and IoT deployments are set to double.

Welcome to the future – introducing the Connected Home

In the age of the IoT and due to progressive networking in households, the integration of washing machines, dishwashers or numerous other appliances with the Internet is no longer a technical challenge.

In the business-to-business environment devices are already supporting proactive management of service processes. Applications take remote control of a device to provide status information to a manufacturer.

In the business-to-consumer era, physical devices can be integrated into the customer service process in a similar way. If the customer agrees (often through a service contract), sensor technology can help with early detection of possible failures and thereby reduce maintenance costs.

So in the customer’s home network, the device can directly contact a customer service centre and report sensor information and relevant context via IP technology. The Internet-enabled device then becomes part of the customer journey and provides personalised and contextual information. The service centre will no longer receive questions about the guarantee status or the serial number, as they’ll get this data directly from the appliance.

This means that if your washing machine has a system fault, the sensors in the machine would initiate a service request. An offer to assist message would be sent to you via your mobile phone messaging application. If the problem persists, this serice request could escalate to a video chat with an agent, who has access to real-time sensor data on your machine, and can assist remotely with accurate context of the problem.

Road safety first with the Connected Car

The same principle of IoT-connected home appliances also works in cars. Higher-value vehicles today have built-in functions to alert emergency services in the event of an accident. Soon, these capabilities will be made available in a range of vehicles. How will this work?

In the event of an accident or if a customer has broken parts in their car, sensors trigger an alert to their service provider or insurance company. They’ll then automatically make contact with the customer on their mobile phone to arrange a tow-in service or rental car agency. In worst cases, they’ll send an ambulance service to the scene.

A customer can also claim from their insurance company at the accident scene through video chat. An agent is connected to the driver and able to interact both on video and while watching real-time data feeds from the car.

To get an idea of a scenario where IoT, mobile video technology and business systems are integrated to facilitate car safety and claim management, watch this video. Dimension Data developed a solution based on Vidyo and Genesys technology and using information from a Bosch sensor kit, which transmits in real-time through a mobile application.

IoT eco-systems on the rise – call for integration

IoT-connected devices are slowly blurring the lines between human and device interactions. The call centre agent as we know it will disappear, but will be replaced with highly specialised experts. They’ll be assigned specialised tasks such as to analyse the data sent through from an IoT-connected device and then provide a personalised service based on this. The bottom line is that we’ll still need humans more than technology to shape customer experience.

Where it becomes important to focus on technology is to ensure that your organisation’s IoT-eco systems integrate. In most use cases IoT is managed through a sensor management platform that taps into contact centre technologies (to reach the service provider), as well as a messaging platform to text or alert consumers. To enable a connected world, your organisation cannot just work with a single stack of technology.

Integration of Unified Communications with the CX platform is key for supporting seamless access to service providers. An organisation needs to integrate the different platforms and create an eco-system where they ‘build bridges’ between the IoT-connected appliance and other platforms.

Don’t get caught by the ‘wow’-factor of the capabilities of IoT technologies. Rather design your organisation’s customer service process end-to-end from a business and customer perspective. Ensure that your organisation is ready to deliver on skills, content and the IoT technologies required to provide a personalised pro-active customer journey.

Dimension Data is passionate to transform the power of IoT into business value. Customer experience is an area where we help organisations to create significant competitive advantage.

See how we’re creating a great experience by integrating IoT to save rhinos from becoming extinct with our Connected Conservation solution, we’re helping doctors to make smarter decisions with our Connected Health solutions, and how we disrupt with our Connected Sport solutions.

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