To understand the impact of IoT on customer service you first need to know what it is. Briefly defined, IoT is a system of interrelated devices, digital machines, and objects that have unique identifiers. All these entities also have data transfer capabilities over networks without the need for human/human or human/computer interaction. In this article, we’ll explore how you can redefine and improve customer relationships through IoT.

In 2015 there were about 5 billion IoT devices around the world. By 2020 the number of IoT smart devices are expected to hit 21 billion. Recent research showed that more than 53% of respondents agreed with the statement that IoT devices and systems are critical to their operations.

I. It’ll Make Customer Service Smarter

All the smart devices that your clients use generated some kind of data. This data could range from what they searched, what they like, who they listen to and how often they seek certain services. This kind of data will enable you to understand the needs and motivations of your customers and to be able to customize your services to meet those needs. This data can significantly influence value addition. For manufacturers, this data helps you gauge the past use of your products and feed those insights into future products.

II. Automation of Many Customer Service Concerns

The essential service that IoT offers is automation. The proliferation of smart devices and objects has made it significantly easy to automate most of the rote customer service needs and protocol. This could be a simple as provide knowledge bases, ticketing, troubleshooting, Email Blast Marketing, and monitoring client performance. This feeds a critical element of self-service into customer relationship management and minimizes the need to contact centers. This has made it possible for firms to be able to reach out to clients and solve their issue within a matter of minutes or even seconds.

III. Highlights Evolving Client KPIs

One of the ways IoT makes it easy to appeal to your customers is that it enables you to standardize your experience. Therefore they are able to get the same quality and speed of service in a first world country as well as in a third world region. This is very critical given that the modern day customer is often impatient and unforgiving in the light of lackluster customer experience. This also makes it critical that you are able to anticipate the news means and methods that clients are relating to you. IoT enables you to track customer trend and adapt to take advantage of them.

IV. Redefining Customer Relationships

A smart IoT objects and gadgets become cheaper and more accessible to clients the methods of appealing to your customers will change. For example, 35 million American households have some form of multimedia with only 31% making full use of those gadgets. This access to affordable IoT devices necessitates the need for customer-centric service models. It puts incredible PR power in the hands of your clients. This will also mean the customers will expect a more personalized, quick and proactive engagement since the gadgets put lots of options in their hands.

V. IoT Will Connect Social Data To Online Devices

From home meters controlled through, phones, smart TVs powered by CIA bugs to washing machines powered by tweets the rise of smart IoT gadgets heralds a new era. This period is defined by smart access management like Kafka as a service that allows a customer to control devices in physical buildings by simply using their social identity and profiles. This levels of access and monitoring put in your hands the ability to provide your customers with safe, secure means of creating social identities that they can use to access certain goods and services.

VI. Predictive Social Media

Your ability to engage your clients lies in your capacity to engage them in user-generate content platforms. Social media have revolutionized how IoT allows you to deal with your customers. You can advertise, seek feedback, troubleshoot on the platforms. They also allow you to perform your biggest PR stunts. For a few dollars, you will be able to reach such a huge number of potential clients in real time. The combination of social media and its implicit algorithms and smart gadgets have unveiled a whole new world with its own codes and means of engagement between you and your clients.

VII. Increased Complexity in Customer Service

The increasing integration of smart features and devices also has a downside. They will make it very easy to cause a widespread failure across multiple systems in case of a malfunction. This means you’ll need a team or persons who have a proper understanding of the workings of several systems at a go. For example, the failure of a thermostat will lead to a shutdown of an HVAC in a home which might also impact power bills and general safety issues. These varying levels of overlap significantly alter how you deal with clients. 

The pace towards the building up of more sophisticated IoT systems, objects and gadgets will continue apace. Therefore all firms have to anticipate which features or devices will affect their customer relationship management. Anticipating and engaging upcoming IoT units could be the difference between succeeding and shutting down due to loss of clients and markets.

About the author

Kevin Faber is the CEO of Silver Summit Capital. He graduated from UC Davis with a B.A. in Business/Managerial Economics. In his free time, Kevin is usually watching basketball or kicking back and reading a good book.

Follow him on Twitter: @faber28kevin

Featured image via Yayimages.