How the Internet of Things can change customer service

“I think the Internet of Things is going to be transformational;” says Salesforce’s VP for the Service Cloud, Alex Bard, in an interview with Decoding the New Economy.

Bard describes how he sees customer service evolving in an era when massive amounts of data are being captured through channels like the internet of things and social media.

“All of these things are going to generate an incredible amount of data and give you the opportunity to action that data.”

“How do you provide a really great service experience when you know much more about the customer, when you know much more about their usage, when you know much more about the product?” Asks Bard.

“I think the internet of things is going to be completely transformative for businesses and how companies deliver service.”

Abolishing the service visit

“The exciting thing about The Internet of Things is we can solve problems before they happen,” says Bard in citing GE’s social media connected jet engine to illustrate the future of customer service where smart machines improve customer service.

“They’re going to capture more data in one year than in their entire 96 year history prior,” says Bard. “With that data they’ll be able to analyse and do things on behalf of that product or service that’ll reduce the number of issues.”

In this respect, Bard is endorsing the views of his college Peter Coffee who told Decoding the New Economy last year that the internet of machines may well abolish the service visit.

“Connecting devices is an extraordinary thing,” says Coffee. “It takes things that we used to think we understood and turns them inside out.”

“If you are working with connected products you can identify behaviours across the entire population of those products long before they become gross enough to bother the customer.”

For Alex Bard, the customer service evolution has followed his own entrepreneurial career having evolved from being personal computer based in the 1990s to today’s industry that relies on cloud computing, big data and social media technologies.

That business evolution is accelerating as smarter devices and connected customers change the way many industries operate.

As the Internet of Things and machine to machine technologies roll out across industry, businesses are going to find the expectations of customer support is going to change. For many companies, there’s a great cultural change ahead.

About the author

Paul Wallbank is the founding editor of Networked Globe and has nearly twenty years experience of working in and reporting on computers, the internet and the future of our connected society.