When companies collect IoT data, it’s usually fed into an enterprise asset management (EAM) system or enterprise resource planning (ERP) software where the data stays until it’s analyzed. This process can often take weeks, if not longer. Doing it this way means that important information is not in the hands of the people who can use it to improve service. So how can a business start to embrace servitization and become more proactive and predictive?
Companies should flag anomalies picked up by sensors that may need action and send them to a CRM right away. When funneled into a CRM, this actionable data can be used to automate business processes that improve service. Surfacing actionable IoT data in a CRM enables a more proactive approach that empowers customer service supervisors, agents, and field technicians. With access to this data, field service can track the current state of equipment and be proactive in emergencies or predictive in responding to trends. By using actionable IoT data, manufacturers can start to develop steady revenue streams from maintenance contracts based on uptime, instead of charging for occasional repairs.
Alternatively, companies can use IoT data to see when something is about to wear out and can sell their own replacement parts before the unit breaks, and the customer starts looking for inferior alternatives offered by competitors. Imagine a hot tub manufacturer that struggles to find the right time to sell replacement filters to existing customers. Simply monitoring IoT data from filters means the business can offer the right solution with the right replacement component at the moment the customer needs it — a great way to increase sales while building trust and loyalty with customers.
The Internet of Things has the potential to take field service to a much higher level. Most companies won’t become proactive and predictive overnight but feeding signals from IoT data into a CRM platform allows customer service to begin evolving. The journey to a highly refined level of service based on actionable IoT insights also depends on empowering field service with better information that allows workers to see into the future — and change it.