Did you know that "number of connected devices is to exceed 21 billion by 2021"? (according to Gartner). What's even more interesting that more than a quarter of those devices will contain onboard intelligence to request support! Creating a standard and a unified experience for communication between manufacturing, support, device and device owner would become important - IoT (Internet of Things) is about to add an extra layer of complexity for omnichannel customer support in just a matter of a couple of years. Big Raw Data, omni-channel customer care and consumer - all will need to be connected together. But, before we talk about this - I would like to share the following trend data from Google:
IoT just started gaining popularity 3 - 4 years ago, and Google Trends graph is perfect proof to that:
Google has an Interest Over Time index that shows relative popularity of a search term or topic over time (index ranges in value from 1 to 100 with 1 - lowest interest and 100 - top interest/volume). For IoT popularity reached an impressive level of 80+ just three years ago and had maintained search popularity on Google ever since.
Above is for the search term "internet of things," but if we take a look at the internet of things as a topic - the results and interest is even more promising. IoT reaching 100 maximum search topic popularity on google last year:
With interest in IoT devices reaching new heights and adoption following the interest - the next challenge would be absorbing Big Data flood of raw data and converting it into a meaningful information that's added to a customer support communication channel (in-app message web chat, SMS, email, co-browsing, social, email... even a phone call).
Omni-channel contact center platforms need to factor in this data, make it meaningful for humans, and most important if a customer engages across more than one channel - create a uniform experience. Today, an average consumer engages with support agents across 3 - 4 channels - this number can easily double in volume and complexity in a next few years. Want to learn more about this? - just take a look at our recently published infographic --> OmniChannel Customer Support & Gamification.
All of the omnichannel complexity, new data sources, and less patient consumers create an immense amount of pressure on the call center agents that are always in the center of the consumer journey. Be it a new about to become a customer or an old client - support agents are always there to consult about a new product or provide help with a device that's already owned by a consumer.
If just a couple years ago a customer expected a response to a support post on social media to generate a response within a 24-hour time frame - now this time-frame has shrunk to just a few hours. In a next couple years expect the trend to continue and get to the less than an hour support regardless of the channel used - be it social, web-app engagement or another channel.
To some extent, Watson and other AI technologies will alleviate some of the pressure by routing support or even providing some support for simpler cases. But, in most of the cases, it will still be up to an agent to fix the situation. According to Forrester - "75% of the consumers move to another channel when online customer support fails" - incurring extra costs.
Workforce engagement will become even more important with extra pressure and complexity applied to contact center agents. The workforce at successful companies is 2x times more engaged when compared to the rest of the crowd. For contact centers, gamification technology can improve employee engagement and help agents stay focused on their job. Aligning omnichannel support, employee engagement, a flood of Big Data is a challenge. That's why we've joined forces with Genesys - Learn more about Genesys OmniChannel capabilities and how nGUVU adds employee engagement and gamification technology into the mix by clicking this link.