More and more IoT devices and services are going to infiltrate every aspect of home, work and play. A key message here to IoT service providers is that customers don’t care about your product or service; they only want them to deliver on promises.
Customers don’t want to spend their time learning how the technology works or even worse, troubleshooting to make it work. That’s because most customers don’t actually care about the details behind the how and why. They just expect technology to entertain them, make them more productive or make their life better in some way.
Customers are generally going to have high expectations for customer care when purchasing IoT devices. Service providers know that reviews drive purchases more than ever and that customers tend to write more negative reviews than positive ones. Solving a customer problem quickly and painlessly makes good business sense if you want to succeed in this market.
For IoT products and services that charge a recurring fee, typically a monthly fee, customers have even higher expectations for customer service. By paying monthly, customers are constantly reminded what they’re paying and that this product had better deliver on its promise. With the extremely high cost of customer churn, keeping customers happy and loyal has to be an even higher priority for these service providers.
Delivering superior customer service built right into the product is the new way to deliver the best experience. In the past customers were given a phone number or web site, completely separate from the product, that was the channel to get customer service. Now customers expect customer service to be built in as part of the experience, easily accessible any time they have a question. Poor customer service experience has proven to be a key driver of churn. So providing customers with fast effective customer service as part of the IoT product is absolutely key to thrive in this market.
Fifteen years ago the wireless industry went through a painful transition as their customer care changed from primarily voice-based customer support cases to mobile data and smartphone related issues. Many wireless carriers suffered through years of low customer satisfaction metrics as they adjusted to this new reality. The fact that customers were paying monthly only made things worse.
We have another transition ahead of us and getting new tools into the hands of customers is critical to avoid the same problems, especially where there are recurring fees.
Today many companies have ambitions to charge recurring fees for IoT products and services, but do they understand how demanding customers are going to be?