Latest News  

TELUS International Europe: More proactive, personalized customer experience, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT)

Industry research is apt to say we're on the cusp of a future full of "smart" devices — that is, billions of everyday items embedded with wireless internet connectivity

2017-03-27 21:40:13





Grégoire Vigroux
Vice-President Marketing of TELUS International Europe


While different research firms have made very different projections, we're looking at an average of about 30 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices by 2020.

While it may sound futuristic, in reality, that future is already here. Today, wifi-enabled fridges with touch screens let you manage your groceries, electric cars receive automatic software updates while you're sleeping and industrial machinery is being redesigned with embedded sensors that can communicate with maintenance teams on the other side of the world.

But the implementation and adoption of IoT-related technology has not been a seamless experience. A recent report from Forrester on boosting customer service with IoT shared several key problems experienced by the connected customer. First, inane workarounds affect many products and services. The first iteration of a keyless entry system, for example, required more time and effort than using a traditional key to unlock the door. Then, there have been infuriating connection outages that threaten reliability and drive initial adopters back to their internet-free devices. And finally, there are the elaborate maintenance requirements caused by an interconnected ecosystem of devices which customers and contact centers have not yet grown accustomed to.

To combat these and other issues, companies are changing the way they build and train their customer service teams in an effort to anticipate customer needs before they reach out for help.

The growth of predictive support


Embedding sensors into product mechanics is changing the workflow of customer service delivery. "The Internet of Things is causing this shift in customer experience operators working from a reactive mode to a proactive mode," says Michael Martin, a senior executive and IoT lead at IBM.
This is particularly true at the industrial level— a space occupied by machines often worth millions of dollars — where IoT has changed the delivery of customer service in its entirety.

Typically, maintenance in the industrial sector has meant calling in a problem and having the company send out a technician to troubleshoot and repair the issue on the ground. Connected products, however, enables the remote monitoring of certain parts, allowing the manufacturer to know if and when something is not performing as it should. For example, Michelin has embedded sensors into the tires it sells to trucking and transport companies to track tire tread and air pressure. The sensors can identify an issue or area of concern well before an actual problem arises.

This shift from reactive to predictive customer service has changed the role of the service agent. "It's not about people cranking wrenches and fixing a physical product anymore," says Eric Snow, senior vice-president of PTC, a global provider of IoT and augmented-reality technology. "Now customer success is about finding people who are much more skilled at helping a customer do their own self-service and make their own fixes."

The evolution in service has also meant a change in service level agreements, explains Snow. Instead of charging per call, companies are now offering packaged service plans for customers — similar to how the music industry jumped from album downloads to monthly digital-streaming subscriptions like Spotify.

Big data means better customer service


The abundance of information produced from connected devices is seemingly infinite, resulting in the expanded role of the customer service agent.

IBM's Martin sees those in a customer service role as "super experts" based on the amount of data at their disposal and points to one of his clients, a large government-owned utility, as an example. "If the customer is going on vacation, they might have sensors that can detect leakage, letting the operator be predictive or proactive in getting ahead of the problem," he says.

As a result, the utility now educates its operators to think beyond the standard customer service manual in an effort to provide a more holistic customer experience. "They're teaching [agents] to interpret the data available to them from the sensors," says Martin. That kind of data could tip off a customer service representative to an old appliance using an excess level of energy, for example. In addition to flagging this to the customer, the agent might also be able to suggest an eligible government disposal program.

New skills required


A more holistic delivery of service is not the only change in a world with connected devices. In some scenarios, IoT has changed the role, expectations and skillsets of customer service agents entirely.

Ken Herron, a renowned IoT expert and the Chief Marketing Officer of IoT messaging company Unified Inbox, points to the massive, sprawling malls of Dubai as an example. "They employ large amounts of staff to help customers locate their cars in the enormous parking lots they've built," Herron says. His company makes technology that allows mall-goers to text their license plate numbers to a camera in the parking lot. That smart camera will then look up their plate number, identify where they parked their car and even produce a map they can review on their smartphones with the quickest route back to their car.

With this system in place, the need for a large number of parking lot attendants evaporates. Those who remain won't need to show people to their cars; rather, they'll be in a position where they can up-sell premium parking spots to shoppers, and help them navigate the app.

In the end, as more connected devices come on to the market, the shift in customer service will become more apparent. Customers' relationships with brands are already changing from a purchase-support model, to a proactive and personalized experience. Hiring and developing personable and technology-forward support staff will become more crucial as more everyday items are plugged into the internet.

Related articles: www.telusinternational-europe.com /
www.telusinternational.com


0 COMMENTS ^ Go back to Top
WRITE A COMMENT ^ Go back to Top
 
Your email address will not be published.
Nickname
Email
Comment
Validation Code
   
 
 
NEWS
Stefanini officially launches the office at Chisinau

IT solutions provider Stefanini announced it officially launched its office at Chisinau, in the presence of local representatives such as Sabin Gîrlea, Operations Director for Application Development division

 Read Full article »
Computaris Romania hiring over 30 engineers for Bucharest site

Computaris Romania has achieved its Q1 2017 plans to hire more than 30 software engineers, exceeding 100 people at its Bucharest site.

 Read Full article »
Zitec expands at Brasov and plans to hire 20 IT professionals by the end of this year

Romanian software company Zitec recently announced it has opened an office in the central city of Brasov, where it plans to hire 20 by the end of this year.

 Read Full article »
Ericsson and Skanska trial IoT for Smart Buildings

Skanska, the world leading project development and construction group, has initiated an Internet of Things (IoT) trial with Ericsson for Skanska Commercial Development Nordics.

 Read Full article »
Skanska started the workings at Campus 6, its newest project locally

The official ceremony joined local officials, such as Gabriel Mutu, mayor of bucharest's sixth district, Aurelia Luca, Country Manager Skanska Property România, Katarzyna Zawodna, Business Unit President Skans

 Read Full article »
Deloitte Romania: learning and career development, high up on the business and HR agenda

Driven by the frequent change of the professional competencies required to perform at work, lack of experienced candidates and employee's desire to develop professionally continuously, learning and career devel

 Read Full article »
Softelligence to hire 100 by end-2018

Romanian business software company Softelligence recently announced it plans to hire 100 developers by the end of next year in its software engineering office in Craiova.

 Read Full article »
Cosmin Pătlăgeanu, Marketing Manager, Luxoft România is the new president of ABSL

The Association of Business Service Leaders in Romania (ABSL) announces the naming of Cosmin Pătlăgeanu, Marketing Manager, Luxoft România as the organization's new president.

 Read Full article »
PIN MAP IASI: The first business map of Iasi is launched

After a team effort of over half a hear, the team of The PIN Map project announced it is launching the first map of the offices in Iasi - PIN Map Iasi (www.pinmapiasi.ro), within a press conference hosted by Ia

 Read Full article »
UiPath Automation Academy RPA-certified 500 users in April

One year ago, UiPath offered RPA free for individual users, education projects and small to medium businesses. UiPath Community Edition has been a great success, and their Community Forum now hosts a growing nu

 Read Full article »
 
MOST RECENT VIDEO
 
 
MOST READ ARTICLES
» PIN MAP IASI: The first business map o...
» Softelligence to hire 100 by end-2018
» Cosmin Pătlăgeanu, Marketing Manager...
» Deloitte Romania: learning and career ...
» A look ahead: How artificial intellige...
» UiPath Automation Academy RPA-certifie...
» SoftOne Romania becomes operational hu...
» Romanian Outsourcing Awards for Excell...
» Romanian Outsourcing Awards for Excell...
» Alten opens a delivery center in Iasi
 
EDITOR CHOICE
TELUS International Europe: Three ways travel and hospitality contact centers can localize the customer experience

Flight delays. Booking or check-in problems. Regional, cultural and linguistic differences. The travel and hospitality business can be a perfect storm for contact centers offering both added challenges and uniq

 Read Full article »
Romanian Outsourcing Awards for Excellence 2017 applauds its Winners!

Outsourcing Today, the integrated communication platform of the business services sector and The Diplomat – Bucharest is honored to praise its winners awarded at The Third Edition of Romanian Outsourcing Awar

 Read Full article »
Romanian Outsourcing Awards for Excellence 2017 - Finalists Announcement

Outsourcing Today, the integrated communication platform of the business services sector and The Diplomat – Bucharest, present the Third Edition of Romanian Outsourcing Awards for Excellence, on May 11, 2017

 Read Full article »
TELUS International Europe: Turning a satisfied customer into a loyal customer – Q&A with a hospitality expert

Leonardo Inghilleri literally wrote the book on customer service in the hospitality industry - and an international bestseller at that.

 Read Full article »
Romanian Outsourcing Awards for Excellence designates the industry winners on May 11

Outsourcing Today, the integrated communication platform of the business services sector, presents the Third Edition of the annual Romanian

 Read Full article »
Latest News  
 
about us | newsletter | contact | members area
Copyright © 2015 by Diplomat Media Events Design by Diplomat Media Events