The explosion of billions of physical devices, systems and technologies around the globe and into our lives have provided us with an opportunity to connect to the internet while collecting and sharing data. The resultant connectivity has created efficiency and solution along with a level of digital intelligence to devices that were earlier dreamt of only in science fiction stories, thanks to the cheap processors and wireless networks, today it is possible to turn literally anything into the part of IoT or Internet of Things.
Why IoT matters for your business now more than ever?
As an entrepreneur, if you haven’t already, you should seriously start thinking about ways to support this enormous growth in the number and complexity of devices. One way of doing it is providing effective self-service along with the option of getting expert customer service to help with easy installation, usage, and troubleshooting of these smart devices.
Provide your customers a simple and accessible way to avail IoT-related tech support and within no time, you will see yourself in a spot far ahead of your competitors. But, as every moon has a silver lining, offering tech support in this age of IoT is not without its own challenges. Let’s look at a few-
1) Not only the individual smart devices but the overall technological ecosystem lays a huge impact on your customer’s experience which, in due time, will only increase and present more complex issues for tech support to resolve.
2) At an average, a broadband household in the US at any given time have at least 8 devices connected to the internet. It will only increase in the coming time and with it the demand for more tech support providers.
3) A wide range of devices connected to IoT, that are probably made by different manufacturers will be harder to keep tab of and will eventually make the job for the tech service provider that much harder.
4) Since IoT is a whole new concept which is being rushed to the market without much field-test, it is yet to see what new complications it may create and how the IoT tech support team with its innovative ways resolve it.
5) As the dependency on smart devices increases so will be the risk of getting them hacked. This will be another challenge support centers must face while maintaining high-security standards along with providing remote support.
But all is not lost, I may have exaggerated a bit. Believe me, there is a lot of potential in this industry for those who know how to harvest it. For those who don’t, here are a few guiding principles you should follow in order to meet customers’ expectations for tech support services in this age of IoT.
Keeping your Support Program Up to Date
You can start this by conducting seminars on a regular basis to keep your customer support team up to date about the various new devices introduced into the market. In this way, you will be prepared when the customers start calling you on new devices. It will also help to know a bit about these device manufacturers and what technical problems are being reported so far about them.
Making Security Concerns Top Priority
As I have discussed above, security reasons by far exceed every other concern the customers will face when it comes to devices connected to IoT. Even now, the majority of the home device owners are worried about the data generated by these home control devices apart from any unauthorized access. To counteract this, start educating your support team about the various security services.
Working in Collaboration with other IoT Partners
Traditional call centers work within the close proximity of their client company only but with IoT, things are about to change. Since interconnected devices involving different programs, hardware and devices often make it hard to pinpoint the root cause of any technical error, collaborations between vendors, manufacturers and service providers is a must to diagnose and fix any IoT related issue easily.
Make your Tech Support Service Customer-Centric
First of all, understand this fact that the Internet of Things is nothing else but the Internet of Services. Next, understand that customers have great expectations with products, failing which they expect the customer service to resolve the issue quickly. So, if you are planning to offer IoT related tech support, then offer it on a full scale, regardless of the associated difficulties.
With a heavy heart, I must say that the simple days when call centers were expected to deal with simple issues and provide basic support are coming down to an end. And its place, in near future, will be taken by IoT-related issues which will make the job of call center operators much more complicated than what it used to be.
So, will our IT call centers be ready in due time to meet the customers’ demands for tech support in the age of IoT? Only time will tell…