In a recent webcast titled, “A New Customer Experience: IoT and the Connected Consumer,” Parks Associates research analyst Patrice Samuels joined Chris Koverman and Sampath Gomatam of Support.com to discuss the complexities of offering support in an Internet of Things (IoT) world.
Ubiquity of Connected Devices
IoT IssuesSetting the stage for the webcast, Samuels discussed the proliferation of devices in today’s connected homes. She said, “Broadband households now have an average of seven connected devices, and this is expected to grow considerably with the new categories of connected devices that are emerging.”
These categories include home automation and connected healthcare devices, which have both seen double-digit growth in recent years. As you might imagine, offering support for these devices has changed the contact center landscape considerably.
Self-service channels have evolved to address this growing connectivity. According to Samuels, 31% of consumers will browse the web and support forums to resolve their problems, and approximately 50% of consumers who are aware of self-help tools use them.
However, not all self-service channels are created equal. For example, 39% of interactions with “virtual agents” will escalate to a contact center phone call. In fact, many virtual agents prompt consumers to contact a technician.
With this in mind, it’s important to optimize the contact center so professional support is seamless, cost effective, accurate and consistent. Improving metrics like first-call resolution can lead to greater customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
Challenges of Smart Home Support
In the webcast, Koverman, Support.com’s VP of Engineering, noted that the Internet of Things is less about “things” than it is about connections. The real value of smart home devices comes from connecting to mobile device apps.
However, this connectivity creates many challenges including interoperability difficulties, enablement hurdles and increasingly complex support interactions. This complexity requires technology-aided support that’s integrated with the IoT ecosystem to ensure:
- A simplified, comprehensive view of solution components for support agents
- Data-driven problem characterization and resolution
- Context-sensitive support guidance that delivers the right knowledge at the right time
During the webcast, Gomatam, VP of Product, discussed Nexus® from Support.com and how it’s uniquely positioned to automate and streamline support interactions despite their growing complexity. Nexus enables contact centers to:
- Capture actionable data
- Optimize resolution paths
- Increase agent consistency
- Reduce training time
- Publish real-time updates of changing knowledge
Participants of the webcast agreed that these are the top priorities for their contact centers. Nearly 45% said that creating and optimizing fast resolution steps would have the greatest impact on support for the connected home. A close second was the need to capture actionable data, cited by 31% of webcast participants.
Learn more about providing support in the increasingly complex IoT world.