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Customer support in the age of IoT


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Are vendors and service providers ready for the IoT challenge? MS&C analyzes how customer service and customer support is influenced by the IoT.

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Customer support in the age of IoT

  1. 1. Shaping the Digital Future Customer Support in the Age of IoT Are vendors and service providers ready for the IoT challenge? Insights from the Call Center World 2016 February 2016 FLASH INSIGHT
  2. 2. 2 Copyright This document is intended for personal use only. Distribution is only permitted without any changes or omissions – publication, in whole or in parts, requires prior written consent by MÜCKE, STURM & COMPANY and correct citation of sources. All mentioned company names, logos, brands, brand symbols and other copyrighted material are the sole properties of the respective company; they are only used for illustrative purposes.
  3. 3. 3 The Call Center World showed innovative tools for interaction with the end customer but a comprehensive concept for the age of IoT is not available yet. Key Take-Aways 1 The IoT brings new challenges for customer support  With the IoT devices become fully connected and interoperating. Fault isolation and root cause analysis in an IoT enabled Smart Home environment is many times more complicated for customer support units than for standard home appliances.  Smart Home users on the contrary expect quick, uncomplicated, and competent support accessible through any channel.  As a result, customer support units dealing with Smart Home users must workout ways to handle increasing complexity and shorter innovation cycles at reasonable cost levels. 2 CCW showed innovations to improve interaction with customers  Vendors and service providers understand the need to offer first-class customer experience at every point of interaction.  New tools help speed up reaction time and promote omnichannel support.  Innovative technologies help intensify customer engagement through interaction enrichment throughout the support process. 3 Overall concept for the age of IoT is not available yet  In view of the growing complexity in their Smart Home end customers look for just one competent partner who is capable of detecting the root cause as well as designing an appropriate solution to the problem.  To date there is no concept available handling the complexity arising from Smart Home installations composed of a variety of products from multiple manufacturers by one customer support unit alone.  The customer support business in general has not tackled this challenge so far. Source: Mücke, Sturm & Company
  4. 4. 4 With connected and interoperating devices in IoT, complexity in customer support operations increases fundamentally. Transformation from traditional customer support to support in an IoT environment One vendor and contact point B2C Customer Customer Support (1st level) Increasing complexity Customer Support (2nd/3rd level) ? Traditional customer support Customer support in an IoT environment Many possible vendors and contact points Vendor 1 Vendor n Vendor 3 Vendor 2 Situation  Customer support takes place in a linear process between B2C customers and vendors.  The B2C customer gets in contact with the vendor of the respective product.  Support is provided company- internally or through dedicated subcontractors. Situation  Various vendors are involved via their products within a complex eco system.  The B2C customer or third parties regularly work as system integrator.  As a consequence, responsibilities are often unclear in a support case.  Collaboration between companies within the ecosystem is necessary to locate the problem and provide support. Source: Mücke, Sturm & Company B2C Customer Example: Smart Home as part of IoT
  5. 5. 5 Quick Support1 Omnichannel- Support 4 One Stop Only2 Competence3 While end customers set high expectations for customer support in the IoT age vendors are confronted with an increasing level of complexity. Antithesis: Simplicity for end customers generates complexity for vendors Source: Mücke, Sturm & Company End customers expect low complexity in Smart Home-related support issues. Vendors are confronted with increasing complexity due to the connectivity of devices. Customer Support vs. End customer perspective: low complexity expected Vendor perspective: increasing complexity Manufacturers Devices Software Platforms Configuration Environment Context Mutuallyinfluencing Execute fault root cause analysis B2C Customer
  6. 6. 6 The increasing digitalization and connectivity of devices results in significantly enhanced requirements for customer support. Expectations of end customers in a Smart Home context and consequences for vendors Quick Support for Sensitive Issues  For problems such as “defect heating“ the customer expects immediate assistance.  High availability, assisted support as well as efficient self-support-options are critical for success. Cross-Vendor Support  Problem-localization and solution-finding can only be managed across vendors for connected devices.  Customers expect a competent and overarching partner for all issues. Navigator Through Complexity  Innovation and the variety of suppliers to choose from complicate purchase decisions  End customers search for a system integrator for all their Smart Home components. Omnichannel Support  Customers expect to use their prioritized contact channel and want to be able to switch channels, if necessary.  Support information has to be consistent across all channels. Customer Journey Alignment  Adapt contact channels and service strategy to the position within the customer journey.  Keep the customer support process flexible. Handling Agent Role  Open up CS-interfaces and processes in order to be able to cooperate with external partners.  Enable information- and data-exchange with other companies. Knowledge Building and Qualification  Introduce innovative methods and tools for an efficient qualification of customer support staff.  Implement self-learning expert systems and integrated data banks. Consistent Service-Experience  Bundle information and knowledge in a central hub.  Ensure seamless information flow and data transfer along the entire process chain (bi- directional). Expectations of end customers Consequences for vendors in an IoT context Source: Mücke, Sturm & Company Quick Support1 Omnichannel- Support 4 One Stop Only2 Competence3
  7. 7. 7 The industry meeting for customer support CCW has shown, that an overarching concept for support in a Smart Home context is missing. MS&C conclusions from the CCW  There is a variety of innovative software solutions available helping optimize process flow across all channels.  Latest innovations for interaction at frontends accelerate finding appropriate solutions across several departments by integrating auto diagnosis results and self help attempts.  An integrated concept for cross-vendor support of connected devices in a Smart Home environment is currently not available.  First promising approaches focus on process automation empowered by machine learning.  Modern Knowledge Management (KM) systems enable the customer support to respond adequately to the current journey the customer is on.  But: the fast pace of innovation and growing complexity of the Smart Home market can currently not be depicted by KM systems.  Click-to-call/-video and targeting strategies optimize the management of multiple contact channels.  Innovative technologies enrich traditional channels such as hotline menus and enhance customer engagement. Source: Mücke, Sturm & Company MS&C conclusions from the Call Center World (23.-25.02.2016) Smart Home readiness Quick Support1 Omnichannel- Support 4 One Stop Only2 Competence3
  8. 8. 8 Several companies have been identified on the CCW that support the idea of enhanced customer experience and engagement in a Smart Home context. Innovations from the Call Center World Source: Mücke, Sturm & Company MS&C favorite innovations  Cloud-based omni-channel contact management platform with high scalability  Central bundling of all contacts  Offers solutions for mobile digital engagement in customer support.  Interaction takes places e.g. via smartphone parallel to other channels.  Knowledge management software with the capacity to learning automatically from customer interaction.  In first tests, the system achieved results comparable to human experts.  Enables interoperation of multiple ticket-systems.  „Data-robots“ identify relevant informa- tion from heterogeneous sources.  Bundling of knowledge from different sources in a centralized data hub.  Simplifies agents’ search for causes as well as definition of a valid solution.  Provides customer engagement in real-time.  Users are identified by their usage behavior and targeted via omnichannel.  All relevant information is delivered to support staff automatically to speed up customer interaction.  Aids proactive interaction Most vendors serve multiple dimensions Quick Support1 Omnichannel- Support 4 One Stop Only2 Competence3
  9. 9. 9 If you would like to discuss the impact of the Internet of things on your business or the customer support market, please get in touch with us. Contact  The competence center was established in 2016 and focusses the digital customer holistically over all „smart“ industries.  The competence center concentrates on three core topics:  Digital Transformation  Customer Experience Management  Customer Value Management MS&C Competence Center “Digital Customer” Nicolas Bell Associate Partner +49 151 58243377 Headoffice Munich Theresienhöhe 12 80339 München T +49 89 461399 0 F +49 89 461399 777 Office Hamburg Brooktorkai 20 20457 Hamburg T +49 40 3571 6273 Your contact at MS&C