Support in the IoT age – A case study.


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Image by: Redd Angelo - Unsplash
Image by: Redd Angelo – Unsplash

The demand for customer support is expected to significantly increase due to the technical complications of IoT.
Working with large enterprises to improve their customer support, we’ve identified two main effects the IoT is having on support centers:
1. A rise in the sheer number of devices that demand efficient and advanced tech support.
2. The technological support ecosystem is becoming more complicated due to multiple devices communicating. This makes it a challenge to identify the source of problems, as well as creates more complex processes to explain in order to fix a tech problem.

As a result support center experience an increased technician dispatch rate and a drop in first call resolution rates. In turn, this raises the cost of providing support and lowers customer satisfaction.

These issues have been a common occurrence amongst companies across different vertical. One example of this is a U.S. telecommunications provider that we started working with not too long ago.

This company was in the process of expanding into new verticals–smart home as well as wearable devices. They had a solid footing in the telecommunications industry, and were known for superior customer support.

A few months after a series of new product launches, their support operation was overwhelmed.

The additional new devices in need of support, in conjunction with the complexity of the new consumer’s home setup (more connected devices), placed significantly more pressure on the shoulders of their customer support & field services than they had anticipated.

The company’s technician dispatch rate grew. The organization was unprepared and unable to address the large volume of customer support requests, which resulted in longer response times, while creating customer frustration.

The company decided to look for a solution to reduce technician dispatches that had become too expensive to sustain. They had to find a way to solve more of the problems related to their new hardware remotely and efficiently.

The Solution
Traditionally, telecommunication companies have relied on the use of auditory communication channels when providing technical support. When it comes to Technical Support, which requires customer support agents to explain technical matters, the limitations of auditory communication often creates an information gap between the agent and the customer. This results in the agent struggling to comprehend exactly what’s taking place in the customer’s environment.

And the customer is struggling to understand the technical tasks that the agent is asking him to perform. The major cause for this gap is that the agent has to guide the customer without a visual reference and has to tell the customer what to do instead of showing them.

For years, call centers had no real way to successfully deal with this gap. However, using the accessibility of smartphones, live video broadcast, as well as the latest innovations in augmented reality, and advanced A.I. today there are solutions that enable support centers to bridge the visual gap between customer and agent.

Augmented Visual Support has risen as a solution that transforms the customer support experience and changes how contact centers interact with consumers.

The idea behind it is simple. A picture is worth a thousand words. Visual communication is extremely intuitive because “showing” is significantly more effective than “telling.”

This was the problem for the Telecommunications company. In their call center, most of the frustration that took place during interactions between agents and customers was caused by confusion and miscommunication. Augmented Visual support removes the need for the agent to interpret what the customer is describing and vice versa and thus eliminates the frustration.

The Implementation
Following a short proof of concept, the AVS solution was introduced to the majority of the company’s customer support operation, and implemented immediately.
The company was focused on their goal and thus able to quickly address any internal concerns and conflicts. Agents were properly trained and the performance incentives were reviewed and adjusted to allow the support teams to achieve the results desired by the company.
• Lower technician dispatch rate
Higher first call resolution rate

The Results
Within 30 days, the company saw a dramatic shift in the support experience it was providing to its customers, as well as results that were beyond their expectations.
By using live video streaming and Augmented Reality tools, the company’s call center agents were able to see the customer’s environment in real time, and were then able to quickly and accurately identify the source of each problem a customer had. Guidance became faster and intuitive, which lead to a much higher first call resolution.

The targets the company had set for the implementation of Augmented Visual Support was reached within the first two months of implementation. Technician dispatch rate dropped 22%, false dispatches was almost eliminated, and technician costs were once again under control.

The clear visual communication reintroduced confidence back into the relationship between customers and agents, eliminated both customer and agent frustrations, and created a positive experience that translated into a dramatic improvement in customer satisfaction.

With the age of IoT, new customer support challenges have been created.

Customer Support needs to scale and adjust to the growing demand in support while being able to address more complex scenarios. Being able to will make or break a new initiative started by a company and determine the long term success.

Addressing and dealing with those challenges will require all of our resourcefulness and ingenuity. Finding innovative solutions that are both practical, simple to implement, and scalable are the keys to empowering customer service agents to win the ongoing battle of keeping our “connected world” up and running.

Hagai Shaham
Customer Service Marketing and Content Expert.background in film making script writing and more.


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