Most companies today have a reactive approach to customer care, technical service, and sales. Sales, customer care and service sit around waiting for the customer to call to request information, place an order, schedule service, or complain. In other words, the customer has to perceive some deficiency and report it in oder for the company to take some sort of action. Scientifically speaking, this perceived deficiency is a form of dissatisfaction, because it is the difference between ideal and actual states.
IoT is profoundly changing the relationship between the company and the customer. By giving machines a voice in the business process, IoT can reduce the number of customer initiated cases and this means IoT can eliminate customer dissatisfaction, or at least the expressed form of dissatisfaction.
Before a product fails, some issue or anomaly arises. The issue can be mechanical, technical, operator, or environmental in nature. If undetected or ignored, an issue can manifest itself into a problem such as a measurable degradation in vehicle performance or a total machine outage. At some point in time, the customer recognizes the problem and reports it to the company. The company records the case, responds and eventually resolves the problem. These last 3 steps constitute the recovery process.
Following the common service paradigm, the company addresses the problem that causes dissatisfaction after the customer has recognized the problem expressed his dissatisfaction. Each step in this common, reactive service experience has a time stamp, which means that even after the customer reports the problem there are 3 new opportunities to add to the customer´s disappointment, for example, if reporting the problem is tedious, when the response is not fast enough, or if the resolution is too expensive. This simple swim lane diagram shows the actors in the common 7-step service process.
Imagine how differently this customer experience looks when the company has the ability to identify and address issues before they turn into problems? In the IoT-enabled customer experience, the machine self-reports an issue and automatically creates the appropriate case. The company responds before the issue turns into a problem. The recovery process starts before the customer is aware that something is wrong and often without the customers´ knowledge. This simple swim lane diagram shows how the IoT-enabled customer experience eliminates customer-initiated cases, i.e. the expression of dissatisfaction.
The IoT-enabled service experience promises to eliminate customer dissatisfaction by resolving the issues before they cause the problems that trigger dissatisfaction.