During the recent ARC Forum, Matt Orcutt, Director, Customer Experience, Ingersoll Rand Residential HVAC delivered a presentation on adoption of digital technologies including IIoT to improve the overall customer experience. The approach involved examining the interactions with the customer across the website, sales, distributors, self-service portal, call center, social media and IoT. The objective is to assure each phase of the customers’ experience across the buying and use lifecycle supports a satisfied customer.
Proactive Customer Experience
What is the role of IIoT for this broader view of customer satisfaction? For equipment manufacturers, IIoT offers the ability to deliver a more holistic view of the customer experience beyond failure prevention and design optimization. IIoT provides the means to monitor the application of the equipment and its performance in the plant. Is the equipment being used properly and performing as needed? This approach helps assure customer satisfaction and a higher “Net Promoter Score” (a customer loyalty metric).
Beyond Reactive Customer Service
Equipment manufacturers commonly focus on shipping a defect-free product with a “ship and pray” approach to customer satisfaction. Post-sales support becomes reactive to those complaining with the loudest and largest customers getting the most attention. When intervention occurs, the user is already highly dissatisfied with the potential for returns and lost future orders. Usually any positive impression is lost, and the best sales and service can do is get the user to a neutral stance. The next sales cycle will surely involve competitors with some lost sales resulting in reduced shareholder value.
Current Business Impact using IIoT
Currently, the most common application of IIoT involves selling after-market services for asset health monitoring to reduce unplanned downtime. The asset health monitoring and predictive maintenance services provide a new source of recurring revenue with high margin. Many equipment manufacturers either currently offer or have plans for health monitoring services to prevent unplanned downtime which creates business losses and pain points for the user.
The other common use of IIoT involves access to a huge volume of field operating data rather than just a small number of internal tests with prototypes. This operating data provides engineering with the information to further improve the product design. This design optimization improves competitive advantage with a higher sales win rate and market share growth.
IIoT provides the capability for significant improvement over “ship and pray” and reactive service with high risk for customer satisfaction. The next level of maturity in IIoT adoption will involve a broader view of assuring customer satisfaction with automated assessments and prescriptive alerts for the product’s application and operating performance.
“Reprinted with permission, original blog was posted here”
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