The IoT or Internet of Things is a network of various electronic objects embedded with special hardware and software that allows them to interact with a common node and be remotely controlled in turn. IoT gives the devices the capability to data transfer across a network without any need for human-to-computer or human-to-human interaction.
According to a prediction made by Gartner, three years down the line, 5 percent of total customer service cases will be initiated by these connected devices autonomously. This will happen because an increasing number of objects will be connected to the net. The prediction gets support also from the Head of Futures and Insight at BT, Nicola Millard.
Recently, a comment was made by Millard at a customer conference that a lot of current and advanced technologies including Internet of Things may have a proactive role in call centers. So, this is a technology that will soon be in high demand and not be a passive component in the contact centers.
IoT and Customer Service
Since the IoT or Internet of Things has been coming up with new opportunities, it is being claimed that the technology will have a big impact on the modern-day customer service. However, a pertinent query is how will IoT change the day to day functioning of a call center, as well as, the role of a contact center agent?
According to mplSystems, a leading UK based software company, there are three major ways in which the IoT will have a huge impact on a contact center and customer service.
Call center agents will have a more specialized role and they will also be better equipped
Since the network of devices is intelligent enough to alert and detect problems related to a call center, the agents will see a change from receiving a high volume of reactive and inbound requests from customers to delivery of proactive and outbound customer services. This is a big transition that will see the role of a call center agent changing from being a generic provider of customer service to a problem or product type specialist.
Agents will have to know the details of all faults that are sent as alerts to the call center. They need to be well-informed about the problem so that the relevant information can be conveyed to the concerned customers. They will not only need to be aware of the issue but also have corrective measures in place and may even start applying them for effective problem resolution.
From the perspective of business, there will an increase in the service level for customers, productivity, and knowledge of the agents will rise and cost savings will be experienced by the business in a proactive and streamlined manner.
Delivery of customer service by a call center will be proactive rather than being reactive
There have been strong predictions that Internet of Things will transition a call center from being a reactive and inbound center to a highly proactive and outbound service center. This feat can be accomplished by using intelligent devices that will have the ability to self-diagnose issues and send an immediate alert about it to the concerned call center. An automatic outbound call will be triggered by the integrated system and delivered to the agent so the latter can provide proactive service to the customers instead of waiting for the failure of the product followed by an inbound call made by the customer.
For instance, it will be possible for a washing machine to self-diagnose issues and intimate the concerned manufacturer it is time to replace a particular part. The call center can then make an outbound call to the concerned customer to intimate them about the issue. The device is fixed before a severe problem can take place, enhancing the customer experience drastically.
Alternatively, all those products that require refills, like drinks dispensers, would have the ability to dispatch an intimation to the mobile devices of the workers based in the field. These workers can add the notification to their existing jobs list and then make a delivery with boot stock. It means that there is no need to send an alert to the call center, reducing the number of requests and inbound calls they have to otherwise deal with.
Availability of new data will help in improving customer experience
The Internet of Things or IoT will also bring a massive explosion of data. If this data can be managed efficiently, it can really be of great value to a call center, as well as delivery of customer experience. Moreover, a call center will be able to have a greater grip over customer service as the IoT will provide them with newer information streams that will be integrated with their old infrastructure. There will be no long queues for the customers anymore and they do not have to go through time-taking security queries or waste time in explaining complicated faults. That is because agents will be ready with all the necessary information they require from multiple sources of data.