The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly interlacing with every business and consumer product. The success of IoT enables and is dependent on strong customer service and support. IoT can create a strong return on investment (ROI) by reducing support costs, increasing customer loyalty and referrals, uncovering insights to cross-sell or up-sell to customers, and developing customer-appealing products.
Frost & Sullivan forecasts that there will be 50 billion connected devices (IoT) globally by 2020. IoT is already spawning device-as-a-service business lines as advantages, including valuable new data streams and an unprecedented level of control over products for customers and suppliers to catch on. These overall trends are derived from the comprehensive analysis of various markets, and are covered in detail in the following analyses from Frost & Sullivan:
- The Potential for Internet of Things in Customer Service
- Analysis of Connected Vehicle Opportunities in the Age of the Internet of Things
- The Changing Landscape for Customer Support and CRM
- Internet of Things—Challenges and Impediments
“IoT is the development and convergence of many communications and computing technologies including, but not limited to analytics, cloud computing, machine-to-machine, remote access, and high-bandwidth wireless applications,” said Frost & Sullivan Customer Contact Industry Analyst Brendan Read. “IoT is a new and dynamic layer that by providing critical information and process management has the potential of enabling increased business growth.”
To establish IoT in customer service, solution providers and user companies must ensure that IoT systems are highly interoperable without silos, and have secured information and operations. They must determine which products or processes need to be connected to the rest of the organizations through IoT. In addition, they have to realistically budget for IoT investments, including infrastructure, customer service, support, analytics, big data and trained staff.
Furthermore other issues must be foreseen and addressed, including power and cabling, application complexity, multichannel connectivity, data management and privacy. Doing so now, as IoT is taking off rather than when it matures, will minimize challenges and increase ROI.
“IoT will form the foundation for effective customer service,” noted Read. “Facilitating highly functional, intuitive, scalable, reliable and secure customer service applications through IoT, will be where the rubber finally meets the road that will get businesses to where they want to go.”
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