A new era for your customer: the IoT revolution

by Maggie Nazer, Tsvetina Chankova
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Automation is an increasingly influential concept creeping in to people’s lives. The IoT company MyDevices surveyed 2,020 American adults of whom 82% indicated they would like to automate some aspect of their daily lives. Whereas customers prefer to have automation help them handle daily tasks – from housekeeping to exercising, sending gifts and even reading to children- the responsibility to make processes as effortless as possible for customers falls on the businesses and promises to become one of the top reasons for customer loyalty – as well as its absence.

Customer expectations are increasing with each passing day, allowing companies little time to catch up with the new demands for increased transparency and choice. IoT, the network of mobile devices, home appliances, vehicles and other electronics provided with sensors and connectivity, not only allows the collection and exchange of massive quantities of data, but also empowers businesses and their clients to create win-win situations and maximise the benefits to both.

In this article we bring examples of how IoT-powered customer interventions from the GemSeek portfolio are revolutionising customer experience.

 

Data as a key to transparency

IoT enables the collection of not merely greater frequency and volume of information about consumer usage of services, but also more diverse types of data. Imagine you are in the business of selling air-conditioning systems. Previously, you would have known little about your customers’ use of the product besides what they may tell you when they seek assistance or fill out a feedback survey. Today, air-conditioning systems are increasingly equipped with smart sensors enabling you to monitor their activity day and night, gaining precise knowledge about the habits of your customers.

Allowing users to have their whole consumption of goods or services at a glance through, say, an app, gives customers the unprecedented ability to make informed decisions and feel in charge. Companies should not feel threatened by this development, but rather embrace transparency and find effective ways to adapt in the environment of higher customer awareness.

While public IoT projects such as involving the public in monitoring and taking action against air pollution are getting traction, citizens and customers alike remain in need of expert opinion to be able to understand data, as well as act upon it. To that end, businesses have the opportunity to enhance their services thanks to increased customer feedback and data, as well as leverage their expertise to act as trusted consultants.      

Proactive Customer Experience

The data IoT gives businesses access to pave the way for organisations to skyrocket customer loyalty. Employing IoT sensors to collect consumption data can help companies gain intimate knowledge of their customers and be able to offer them the most appropriate packages of services given their needs. It gives them the power to guide clients with specific recommendations based on their unique patterns of behavior (or these of the segment they fall into), and naturally increase their satisfaction.

Our client, a Fortune500 multinational broadband service provider wanted to use data analytics to better understand the actual usage patterns of their client base. We helped them by clustering all existing clients into 11 well-defined segments with significant differences in consumption. The clusters differed in their demographic makeup (seniors predominantely used their fixed landlines, while the data hogs were mostly young adults), as well as satisfaction. Taking into consideration the media packages clients had bought and their reported satisfaction, we then carried out a Bundle Fit analysis to match customers’ TV, internet and mobile consumption with redesigned media packages giving clients best value for their money. The company’s call centre then proactively offered customers to switch their plans which resulted in greater up sell revenue and a significant reduction in churn.

 

Optimizing resources

Another application of data collected from IoT devices is the optimization of resources in favor of customers and businesses alike. Consider the example of a large utilities company we have been partnering with for several years. As a result of a series of outages, the business was struggling with high customer dissatisfaction and churn. Both their contact centres and engineering teams experienced significant ongoing pressure, and operational expenditures soared.

Our data scientists developed a real-time model to detect anomalies which served to create a predictive care agenda by identifying problematic regions in advance. Based on this information the company began to warn customers that there might be issues in their area ahead of time reducing the strain experienced by the call centres and cutting inbound calls by 4% in the first month of the initiative. Moreover, the model we developed expedited the issuing of tickets significantly and resulted in a 7% increase of NPS within the first three months of the project.

 

Looking forward

According to Gartner, by 2020, more than half of major new business processes and systems will feature some element, large or small, of the Internet of Things. The revolution in how customers and businesses interact is already underway and will only keep advancing. As showcased in this article, companies applying IoT analytics not only deliver better service to their clients by guiding them and helping them to be more cost-effective. The insights they tap into make developing and marketing offerings easier and faster. Still, tapping into IoT-powered insights is a complex undertaking requiring significant investment that not all companies are in position to make. The ones that will have a lot to gain.