Earlier this year, HGS released a white paper on this year’s 10 customer experience disrupters—those that are sure to alter the CX landscape this year. Over the next few months, we’ll dedicate a blog to each of these CX game changers. Here we dissect Disrupter No. 3, Internet of Things (IoT).
According to ABI Research, by 2020 more than 30 billion additional devices will be wirelessly connected to
physical things — TVs, washing machines, thermostats, refrigerators, and even cars. Customer service will be forced to take one step further in its evolution and engage with the customer on the device itself.
Consumers will tap digital screens and search knowledge bases for answers, video chat live with a customer service representative, schedule a service appointment, or join a community discussion.
Self-service knowledge bases will be present on all devices, from mobile apps to vending machines. This means that your customer service center’s product and service materials (both internal and external) will
need to be easier to read, contain more visuals, have more videos, and be organized by subject. Eventually these devices will know the customer’s purchase history, their personal preferences, and will be able to
both detect and predict problems. In 2016, smart brands will be building self-service solutions powered by contextual knowledge bases – (see white paper, trends 4 and 5).
Undoubtedly, IoT is raising the bar for more proactive and efficient customer care. Brands will be able to deliver higher value, employing BPOs equipped with the data and insights to drive transformation. Here, our own in-house experts weigh in on IoT:
Q: How has the IoT changed expectations of consumers?
Andrew Kokes, Global Head of Marketing, HGS: Consumers expect a unified experience, regardless of device or channel. If I search for an answer on Google using my smart phone, or if I go directly to a company’s website, or pick up the phone and call customer service, the expectation is a frictionless experience – I want to access the right answer, fast. Now, add the insight of a device that has sensors and a wifi connection, and I expect context, I expect personalization, and I expect notification before something goes wrong. But most of all, I expect that the product experience will get better, easier, and more convenient.
By context, I mean that the company should already have an idea of why I am calling. The device user data should be easily accessible, and the self-service portal or the agent should easily be able to reset or fix my device without me going into a long description of my issue, so the agent can triage, then attempt to trial and error a fix.
In an IoT world, personalization combines the contextual insight from the device, with the CRM knowledge of the business, to offer me value that is unique and targeted to me and my preferences and buying patterns.
Notifications should come to me in real time, ideally through my mobile device, alert me of opportunities to avoid service issues, or potentially on added value items of deals. In my vison of the perfect world, personalization and notifications come together to offer me a hot latte on a cold day while I am passing the local coffeehouse.
Q: Looking ahead, how will the Internet of Things improve the solutions we provide our client partners?
Subramanya C., Chief Technology Officer, HGS: In tomorrow’s marketplace, our client partners will have a lot more insight into their business due to the wealth of information collated from customer insights and CRM analysis. Companies can employ today’s IoT innovation and automation to increase market share in their space. As a result, businesses gain an edge with brand differentiation to attract and retain their customers. In this fiercely competitive, evolving business reality, a key advantage is knowing how to best use IoT to optimize CX – knowing who your customer is and proactively meeting their needs, maybe even before they realize they have a need.