IoT Delivers Competitive Advantage for Customer Service Organizations

by Holly Simmons

Every company wants to provide superior customer service.   However, with changing consumer needs, advances in technology, and the transition from a product-centric landscape to everything-as-a-service, companies are struggling to deliver the best service possible. In a recent ServiceNow report customer service leaders reported their top three challenges:

  • 57%: Connecting service processes from first contact to permanent problem resolution
  • 54%: Their company is siloed and the silos don’t talk to each other
  • 50%: Lack of automation of customer service processes

While IoT can’t entirely solve these problems, it does substantially improve a customer service organization’s ability to outperform competitors in these areas. The time has come for companies to consider a more holistic approach to customer service that includes IoT and other enabling capabilities beyond just front-end engagement. A modern customer service system can bring everything together – departments, partners, customers, workflows, and technology – to be more efficient and effective.

By harnessing the power of the IoT and modern customer service systems, companies can see immediate impact in:

  • Delivering effortless service: Customers are demanding more self-service ways to obtain support. Pairing automation with the IoT enables customers to not only obtain support when and how they please, but to also make requests for more complicated needs such as requesting and implementing device or hardware updates, addition of services, or just gaining visibility into the real-time status of the service they are purchasing. Automation has been shown to be just one way to differentiate customer service. According to the report, best in class customer service organizations are 36% more likely to offer self-service to customers.
  • Resolving issues before the customer calls: The IoT provides customer service with visibility into the products, devices, hardware, applications, and services that customers purchase. This provides not only the ability to know about issues before customers do, but to align performance against service level agreements (SLAs), contracts, or entitlements. Additionally, customer service can triage with other departments using IoT data to identify, diagnose and resolve problems. Best in class customer service organizations are 136% more likely to resolve the root cause of issues and 127% more likely to collaboration with the rest of the organization to deliver superior service.
  • Recouping time with proactive support: 89% of customer service leaders have a top goal of being more proactive and 85% to make customer service a strategic asset to the company. With the IoT and performance analytics providing real-time visibility into customer devices, hardware, and services, customer service teams can escalate problems before they affect large numbers of customers, notify customers before they call about an issue, and continuously improving the company’s products and services.

Companies have much to gain with the IoT and a modern customer service management system. By eliminating inefficiencies and breaking down siloes, customer service can begin to take advantage of the connected world we live in and meet the ever increasing expectations of the modern consumer.

Holly Simmons is senior director, Global Product Marketing, Customer Service Management, at ServiceNow.

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