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Why the Internet of Things is important for customer service

Our latest project with Dutch energy company Oxxio received lots of news coverage last week. In partnership with web agency TamTam, we developed an app that allows Oxxio customers to engage with ‘O’, their personal energy adviser that keeps them informed and helps them cut their energy bill.

Everything will be connected with the Internet of Things

I am truly excited by this, because this project is about successfully answering unasked questions and connecting various data sources to make every interaction personal and relevant. Therefore let’s discuss context, and how we can apply it in other industries as well. Let’s understand why the internet of things is important for customer service. How it helps automate customer service.

The Internet of Things

We are moving towards a world where everything is connected. Last year, Gartner predicted that in 2020, 20.8 billion connecting things will be in use. This creates an enormous potential to engage with your customers in a more contextual way. And I am certain that customers will demand more contextual and relevant communication with the company they buy from.

For a customer, it’s a simple request to make.

For a company, it’s a challenge to get it right.

You need to connect all data sources and design business rules that get triggered at the right time. When your smart energy meter sees that a household is using much more power than usual, you want to automatically inform them and ask if they need your help. When you are always listening to your customers, you can answer questions and solve problems before they arise.

But this doesn’t just apply for utility companies, connected devices and sensor data can be applied in every industry to increase the level of customer engagement. You can use financial data to proactively help households save money, tip them on deals or let them know when they qualify to refinance their mortgage. You can coach people to live healthier lives, based on wearables and other connected health indicators. Everything is possible.

When you source data and really know your customers, then you can make a difference every day by proactively sharing information that’s relevant and personal. Help your customers reach their goals, help them save money, alert them when you have a deal that’s just perfect for them.

Service customers automatically

Why this is so important

Oxxio is really the first case that demonstrates how we can create personal and relevant dialogues proactively. Every company can leverage such techniques to create happier and more engaged customers. And the thing is, this isn’t something that only a handful of companies are going to do. No, every company in the world will have to start thinking this way since customers will pretty soon simply demand it.

Customers want the right information at the right time. Personal and relevant. They want their questions answered and their problems solved, and they don’t want to ask for it — they demand companies stepping up their game and taking care of it.

Oxxio uses its own app to engage with customers proactively, but you can also run your bot in apps like Messenger to reach a larger audience. The interface doesn’t matter so much, it’s about a fundamental mentality shift. It’s about committing yourself to engage your customers in the best way possible, by answering their questions before they have a chance to ask them.

We are really excited to be part of this project and I can’t wait to share what’s coming next. In the meantime, if you realize that your company should take the next step in customer engagement, please get in touch so we can discuss your options.

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In 2005 we developed our first chatbot for MSN Messenger. This Rabobank chatbot helped customers discover if they qualified for a loan.

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Dutch energy company OXXIO, announced their customer service will become 100% digital. OXXIO “O”, the chatbot inside the app, is powered by DigitalCX.

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