The Internet of Things (IoT) is not a new “thing” in and of itself, but rather a pervasive resource that may be used to help run your company’s business. What it does is empower you to leverage all of the tools and resources that had previously been available to you; combine them with newer Web-enabled tools, technologies and resources; and help you manage your services organization in real time.
The explosion of practical – and affordable – Cloud technology has made the IoT even more important with respect to its ability to support all things service, mainly due to its ability to offer the same levels of support to any and all services organizations, regardless of type, size, vertical or geographic coverage.
In fact, the results from Strategies For Growth’s (SFG) 2014 Field Service Management Benchmark Survey clearly show that the global business community is experiencing a “sea change” in the way services are being packaged, delivered, utilized, monitored and managed, and that services organizations prefer Cloud-based delivery by a margin of nearly three-to-one – and growing!
When you think about it, your company is in business for three main reasons: first, to Mobilize your products, services and acquired knowledge to, in turn, enable your customers to discover, select, use and share your products and services by providing relevant information, at just the right time.
Second, and possibly even more important in today’s world, is the ability to Transform the customer experience, i.e., to make it better by simplifying customer interactions and delivering better value and utility throughout the entire customer experience lifecycle.
And, third, relating directly to the bottom line, Monetizing the opportunities for growing revenue and profitability through meaningful metrics, like realizing higher revenue per customer by reducing churn, increasing repeat purchases, and growing incremental sales of related products and services.
However there are many other aspects to also consider within each of the components of Mobilize, Transform and Monetize; namely,
- Offering customers an enhanced ability to effectively connect, engage and help them on a personalized basis, wherever they are, whatever they’re doing, and with the end result of delivering a personalized and optimized customer experience.
- Personalizing and socializing every customer touch-point to delight customers by saving them time, money and effort; making customer engagement fun and rewarding, using proven gamification models such as points, leader boards, and badges; and increasing customer conversion, loyalty, referenceability and retention ratings through a customer-centric approach.
- Up-selling, cross-selling and re-selling products and services utilizing the knowledge gained from capturing these customer insights; and realizing greater Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) for your existing customer base, while lowering the cost of customer acquisition via better customer ratings, reviews and advocacy.
This is where the IoT comes in – as the facilitator to the ability of the organization to connect, engage and help customers, resulting ultimately in a more effective way to acquire, delight and retain customers.
As an independent Research Analyst and Consultant to the global Services Community, Bill Pollock has conducted more then 300 market surveys on topical service issues.