The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly interlacing with every business and consumer product.
So much so that the success of IoT enables and is dependent on strong customer service and support.
According to analyst firm Frost & Sullivan, IoT can create a strong return on investment (ROI) by reducing support costs, increasing customer loyalty and referrals, uncovering insights to cross-sell or up-sell to customers, and developing customer-appealing products.
Frost & Sullivan forecasts that there will be 50 billion connected devices (IoT) globally by 2020 with IoT already spawning device-as-a-service business lines as advantages, including valuable new data streams and an unprecedented level of control over products for customers and suppliers catch on.
“IoT is the development and convergence of many communications and computing technologies including, but not limited to analytics, cloud computing, machine-to-machine, remote access, and high-bandwidth wireless applications,” says Brendan Read, Customer Contact Industry Analyst, Frost & Sullivan.
“IoT is a new and dynamic layer that by providing critical information and process management has the potential of enabling increased business growth.”
To establish IoT in customer service, Read believes solution providers and user companies must ensure that IoT systems are highly interoperable without silos, and have secured information and operations.
They must determine which products or processes need to be connected to the rest of the organisations through IoT.
In addition, Read says they have to realistically budget for IoT investments, including infrastructure, customer service, support, analytics, big data and trained staff.
“Furthermore other issues must be foreseen and addressed, including power and cabling, application complexity, multichannel connectivity, data management and privacy,” Read adds.
“Doing so now, as IoT is taking off rather than when it matures, will minimise challenges and increase ROI. IoT will form the foundation for effective customer service.
“Facilitating highly functional, intuitive, scalable, reliable and secure customer service applications through IoT, will be where the rubber finally meets the road that will get businesses to where they want to go.”