9, January 2017
The only constant is change. Be it an evolving customer service or the contact center industry. The contact center is no different. It has seen and survived, the major transitions from being a call center to becoming a contact center. This transformation was possible and stable because of the adoption of innovation and advanced technology. Innovation is nothing but a mix of creativity and execution. Now the creative minds have started working on a new kind of innovation “IoT”.
IoT seems to be a buzz word when it comes to manufacturing, energy, utilities, and transportation industries. But what about the Contact Center industry? Have creative minds started thinking about IoT in context to contact center and to surprise the world with the kind of innovation lies in there?
Before we deep dive into IoT with reference to contact center a few references on how IoT and innovation has delivered some great customer experience stories and turned around businesses, which was not delivering profits. Let’s take an example of a popular bike, “Harley Davidson”. This bike is a classic example of how innovation meets heritage. Past few years, they haven’t been doing great. But with an IoT implementation and proven operational excellence they have been able to change their world around. In 2014, they announced go-live of project Livewire – the first Harley-Davidson® electric motorcycle aligned with their customer-led product development approach. Selected consumers across the country were able to ride it and provide feedback on the bike which really wowed customers across the globe. Feedback sensors were integrated with every individual part and consumers were now able to provide feedback. This instant feedback from customers helped in their new product development project and eventually, customers started believing in the brand again which increased their sales and ROI.
The contact center also has the potential to become a classic example of innovation through IoT. A smart refrigerator that figures out that the condenser coil is failing, and sends a message to the contact center of the manufacturer. Routing algorithms will then determine who should carry out the repair. Integration of business analytics and CRM connectors will allow the agent to have the owners information, allowing the agent to proactively call the owner to prevent the refrigerator’s failure. This will only happen when data and systems are well integrated with each other. Connected devices will be a crucial part of the contact center in the future. The process of receiving, analyzing, classifying and assigning into the correct action bucket will be fully or nearly automated.
Some progress has already been happening with the development of IoT applications where video ATMs allow remote customers to engage face to face with a bank representative who can answer account or finance questions. There are also technologies that will allow video ATM conversations to be moved to video enables device like a tablet, phone, or Google Glass to free up ATM and let the customer have a conversation in a more private environment.
It is proven that advanced technologies, improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of contact centers. Proactive customer experience as a resultant of implementation of IoT will help in proper staffing, proper connection and recognition of inquiries, proper routing, resolution of queries, proper escalation handling, and better and enhanced reporting and analytics to agents, which are potent enablers of superior performance.