IoT and Customer Service – the Good, the Bad, the Ugly - Sitel - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
What We Can Expect from the IoT
Fitbits, MagicBands, Apple Watches, smart cars … According to Forbes, connected devices will soon outnumber connected users six to one. There’s no doubt, the rise of connected devices will have a profound impact on customer service – affecting everyone from the consumer to the business leader. Regardless of industry, the IoT will further refine customer interactions and increase consumer expectations.
At a recent Sitel-hosted round table, brands including Apple, Zappos, Nationwide and State Farm Insurance companies contributed their opinions on the IoT and the impact on customer service. At the onset of the session, several of the participants had little knowledge of IoT, while others were expert. In fact, Zappos had a smart house with automated door locks, coffee machine and thermostats.
There was a consensus that the IoT will provide opportunities to better meet customer needs. The data generated by the connected devices will provide the insights needed to proactively address customer needs giving way to increased automation reducing customer effort. It was agreed that having this data would allow more information to be pushed vs. pulled from customers. And all of this could, in fact, increase customer loyalty. Some even talked about the revenue-generating opportunities the IoT will present to organizations – more products and services to upsell and cross sell.
However, it was noted that the IoT will also add complexity to the contact center. Customer service agents may no longer interact only with people; they may also interact with devices – think a smart refrigerator contacting the manufacturer to order the replacement water filter. More and more self-service will become more sophisticated. No longer will customers contact organizations for simple fixes; conversations will become more complex meaning agent profiles will need to change
State Farm Insurance was very passionate and concerned about organizations’ ability to provide compassion in the device-centric world where the human touch can easily get lost. When drivers call in to report accidents, agents are trained to console them especially at the scene of the accident. This could get lost if the car automatically notifies the company without driver intervention. And of course, privacy and security was a huge concern for everyone.
We’re still at the early stages of the IoT era. And there will be growing pains. However, the IoT has a huge potential to reduce customer effort, increase brand loyalty and elevate customer spend. At Sitel, we are working to anticipate the positive impact the IoT will have on our clients and their customers.
Do you want to learn more about the Internet of Things? Download our FREE whitepaper HERE.
Publish Date: June 23, 2015 5:00 AM
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