Latest News  

TELUS International Europe: Discover how successful smart-home providers deliver exceptional customer service

Key Takeaways


• Internet of Things (IoT) connected home devices are making the contact center and customer service more important than ever.
• A friendly approach and positive attitude are important, but there's no substitute for a deep knowledge and understanding of the technology
• Look for opportunities to utilize consumer data from smart-home usage for a greater level of customer service

2017-11-20 22:33:02





Grégoire Vigroux
Vice-President Marketing Europe at TELUS
International

One of the biggest trends in consumer technology today is connected smart-home devices. Upwards of 80 million smart-home products — such as IoT-connected thermostats, security systems and home appliances — were shipped in 2016, according to a report by IHS Markit. As products continue to come onto the market at a breakneck pace, customer service is becoming a differentiating factor for smart-home providers.

Smart-home devices are meant to work together on a network.  For example, customers can tell Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa to change the lighting or temperature. When a smart-home device doesn't work properly, it's difficult to know which component is at fault and which company to contact. "The smart-home market right now is very fragmented, with many different device and platform providers," explains Blake Kozak, chief smart-home analyst for IHS Markit. "Which is a bit of a challenge for the consumer when it comes to service."

The learning curve for installing and using Nest, iRobot or Amazon's Echo may make it such that first-time users rely heavily on the contact center for assistance. On the flip side, the support experience requires that contact centers – and their agent populations – adapt to the greater complexity of connected devices.

Still, given the challenges, some smart-home brands and service providers are starting to crack the code of how to excel in the customer service departments. Here's how successful smart-home providers approach customer service, and how service for these connected devices will likely evolve in the future.

Preparing your support team for the IoT-connected consumer


See the InfoBrief

Excelling at smart-home customer service


Professional smart-home installers and service providers are fast becoming a central customer service touchpoint when their Nest thermostat or smart doorbell malfunctions. "It takes a lot of time and research to actually install, and properly use, a smart-home system, and it becomes especially challenging when you have multiple devices that are interconnected," says Kozak. "We're seeing a lot of the market swing more toward the professional side, because they can vet products before they go into the home. [They] know which products will work together, and which don't, and consumers then know who to call if the device doesn't work."

In many cases, providing excellent customer service to smart-home customers requires effectively linking up contact centers, with on-site technicians increasingly doing installs or repairs in the customers' homes, says Jason Powers, CEO of Powers Energy Solutions, a U.S. based Nest installer and service provider.

Once a customer knows how a device works and how it connects with the other devices in the smart-home network, they're much more likely to become repeat customers, says Powers. Additionally, a savvy and informed customer can do a lot of troubleshooting on their own.

With their intimate product knowledge and experience, technicians increasingly provide that type of education to customers. "They're less likely to call you up at 3 a.m. saying they can't figure out how to adjust the temperature," Powers says.

But for truly outstanding smart-home providers, customer service goes beyond education in search of additional ways to add value. For Powers, that means going the extra mile to do things like file the necessary paperwork for customers whose smart-home devices qualify for eco-friendly or energy saving rebates. "You could get $100 off a smart thermostat in certain areas if you submit a form to your local utility, for example, or for a smart irrigation controller for water efficiency in places like California and Arizona," says Powers. "Understanding how those rebates work, and facilitating them, I think is another piece of the customer service puzzle."

Stand-out smart-home service of the future


According to Kozak from IHS, both smart-home manufacturers and service providers need to look for ways to utilize customer data generated by smart-home usage to further improve and optimize their approach to service, and also unlock new revenue opportunities. "Surprisingly, some of the largest manufacturers of smart-home hubs and devices aren't even leveraging user data," he says. "If someone calls in to repair a thermostat, there's potential to upsell other related products based on the service agent seeing their usage pattern of current devices as well."

Sustainability is also set to play a significant role in how smart-home providers approach customer service. Many smart-home products are designed to replace — or, at least, reduce the usage of — products that are more harmful to the environment.

Providing ways to uninstall and properly dispose of obsolete items as part of smart-home service gives consumers the peace of mind they're making environmentally sound decisions. "We've partnered with a thermostat recycling corporation to make sure that any mercury thermostats that we find are recycled properly," says Powers. "It's a value-added customer service that also shows we take environmental stewardship very seriously as part of our business."

It's also important to connect services to make sure everyone from contact center staff to technicians can collaborate remotely to troubleshoot issues. "We use a lot of information-sharing when a technician is out in the field," explains Powers. If a technician is having issues solving a problem, they can post a video or photo to an internal support network and source suggestions from colleagues. "Then other technicians can chime in and help solve the problem, and say ‘Here's my cell number give me a call and I'll help walk you through it.' It takes a village — that's our motto when it comes to customer service," says Powers.

Powers also notes that, while it's important that customer service staff and technicians have a friendly demeanor and great attitude, there's no substitute for deep knowledge and understanding of the devices and technologies being serviced. Finding people who are willing to learn, then training them on the technology and on teaching them how to educate customers are indispensable to any smart-home service team. "We need to educate and empower people on the products, so they can create not just any smart home — but their smart home," says Powers.

Keep up-to-date with the latest thinking about BPO, ITO and Contact Center solutions. Each month, TELUS International, a global provider of contact center outsourcing and BPO solutions, shares insights on the latest customer service trends.

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
JLL: Total office space in Bucharest to reach 3 million sqm

The second quarter of 2019 reconfirmed the increased interest for the office market in Romania. Over 115,000 square meters of office space were leased over this period at the national level, a value similar wit

 Read Full article »
Horváth & Partners launches Steering Lab, Big Data and Machine Learning-based excellence center

Management consultant Horváth&Partners announced it launched an excellence center in Romania, Steering Lab, AI-based and using tools of Big Data and Machine Learning.

 Read Full article »
Colliers International takes over the property management of Vastint's Business Garden Bucharest

The real estate consultancy company Colliers International will be in charge with the property management of the office compound Business Garden Bucharest, developed by Vastint in Orhideea area in Bucharest.

 Read Full article »
Survey: Romanians switch to a lower-paying job for other advantages

One out of five Romanians took at least once throughout their career a lower-paying job and two out of five would take a lower-paying job in exchange for other advantages they see as more valuable, a survey con

 Read Full article »
Fujitsu named a leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center Outsourcing and Hybrid Infrastructure Managed Services, Europe

Gartner has once again named Fujitsu a Leader in the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center Outsourcing and Hybrid Infrastructure Managed Services, Europe. This is the seventh consecutive year that Fujitsu

 Read Full article »
KKR enters exclusive negotiations with GBL for Webhelp Group

KKR, a leading global investment firm, announces it has entered into exclusive negotiations to sell a majority stake in the Webhelp group to Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBL). GBL will invest alongside Webhelp's

 Read Full article »
TELUS International continues to grow in Bucharest

In order to support the extensive hiring planned for TELUS International in Bucharest this year, the company has acquired 1,200 sqm more space, in addition to the 8,800 sqm office space it has in AFI Park.

 Read Full article »
EY: Four out of five companies plan to reduce their legal spend over the next two years

Eighty-two percent of companies plan to reduce their legal function costs over the next two years, with 42 per cent of respondents planning on doing so by more than 10 per cent, according to a new report releas

 Read Full article »
ANCOM: About 15 million connections affected by security

About 15 million connections were affected in 2018 by security incidents that had in view the security and integrity of electronic communications networks and services, most of them being about mobile telephony

 Read Full article »
PwC Report: In ten years, digital transformation will impact 600,000 jobs in Romania

Over the next ten years, the digital transformation generated by new technologies will affect 600,000 jobs in Romania, according to the PwC's Workforce Disruption Index, presented on July 2, 2019 at Workforce f

 Read Full article »
 
 
 
MOST READ ARTICLES
» Raiffeisen Bank Romania outsources onl...
» Oracle results pushed down by a strong...
» World-class HR organizations now spend...
» Microsoft and Oracle to interconnect M...
» Apostoleanu, Oracle: Human talent, mos...
» The importance of training in developi...
» ANIS: Romanian IT market annual revenu...
» Healthcare IT outsourcing market is ex...
» Bosch Service Solutions to grow 20% Ti...
» Omnichannel: 4 pillars of a purposeful...
 
EDITOR CHOICE
My HR Lab: Research of suitable candidates and giving feedback to rejected ones, the biggest challenge in HR

During June 2019, My HR Lab company run an online (social media platforms) survey "Challenges of the recruitment process" which enrolled over 100 professionals working in HR and recruitment in Romania.

 Read Full article »
The local market needs more added-value and complex projects to be developed by the companies

The statement has been uttered within this year's Romanian Outsourcing and Shared Services Summit by Catalina Dodu, Country Manager at Atos, pointing to the local enablers that could enhance the innovation and

 Read Full article »
The office market at a glance: The round for tenants is on

Data provided by CBRE show that the office spaces segment will continue to grow rapidly in 2019, and 15 new projects covering 304.000 sqm will be delivered. According to the real estate consultancy agency, curr

 Read Full article »
People Empowering Business Forum 2019 to take place on October, 30 at Bucharest

Latest trends like demographic upheaval, globalization, digital technology, and changing social values and worker expectations, are disrupting business models and radically changing the workplace. These are req

 Read Full article »
Addressing the mantra of cyber-security: Confidentiality, integrity and availability

The fast advancement of technology in all the aspects of everyday life, either personal or professional, and the emerging of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning), not to mention cloud technolo

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