Support of Things: Rethinking Customer Support in the Era of IoT

A solid support-of-things strategy is going to be critical to future success in this new world. Whether you want it to or not, IoT is coming so start planning now.

Customer Support

We are always looking for new ways to make our lives better,
easier, and more efficient. The Internet of Things (IoT), for example, continues
to gain momentum for this very reason.  According
to Nasscom, the IoT market in India is expected to grow up to $15 billion by
2020 from $5.6 billion this year, with the total number of connected units
growing from 200 million in 2016 to 2.7 billion units by 2020.  In a market that is seeing new
developments seemingly every day, it leaves us all trying to separate the hype
from the reality.  

Whether IoT will truly reach its potential remains to be seen, but the recent advancements and early mainstream implementations like Amazon Alexa, for example, have altered the way customers interact with companies and the expectation of how services are delivered.  These new experiences plus the explosion of
digital devices (3.64 connected devices per digital consumer[2]), has created an always-on reality which ultimately results in a more demanding, informed, and empowered consumer. 

Let’s examine that a bit more.  Today’s customer has access to a plethora of suppliers
and services at their fingertips. If they have a bad experience with one, they
can turn to a competitor in just a few clicks. Customer experience, including
post-sale support services, is rising as a key differentiator for brands
everywhere, so much so that many consumers are also willing to pay a premium
for great experience.  IoT only
complicates matters, as the emergence of connected things will require an
upgraded customer support model that will be able to adapt and keep pace with the
changing technology and customer demands.  

So what types of companies need to rethink their customer
support strategy?  Nearly all of

Let’s take a look: 

The Non-Technology Company: Even if you’re not putting
a connected device into market – IoT, just like every big technology movement,
will eventually affect your company in some way. Take internal IT teams, for
example.  As the IoT begins to become
more mainstream, employees and customers will expect that the technology they
have at home will integrate and work seamlessly with the technology at work. Employees
will want to bring their own devices and customers will expect that you can
support them in the way Amazon, Apple or any other world-class company does.  

Product Companies:  This goes for both connected
product companies and their un-connected counterparts.  If you are a product company that has a new
or existing connected device, it goes without saying that you need to be able
to help your customers seamlessly onboard, use, and maintain that product. IoT
is new and complex to most people. Having a solid customer service strategy
will be key to keeping customers loyal and in moving your product into the
mainstream.  For those that have not yet
connected a product, chances are you will either create one, integrate with one,
or support one. So it’s imperative that your customer service team is ready to
meet this challenge.  

MSP or a BPO:  The customer support market is a
multiple billion-dollar industry and with the projections of how big the market
for IoT will be, that support market is going to grow even more.  MSPs and
BPOs have the opportunity to take advantage of this growth in a number of
ways.  They can build connected apps,
providing support for various products, or even create VIP services to connect
a home, office, or even just a room.  The possibilities are endless and

Ultimately whether you are a product company supporting your
customers, an IT department supporting your employees, or a MSP / BPO
capitalizing on the market opportunity – a solid support- of-things strategy is
going to be critical to future success in this new world.  Whether you want it to or not, IoT is coming
so start planning now.



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