Equipment manufacturers can no longer afford to ignore the challenges they face in their day-to-day business. As these challenges directly impact customer experience, they need to redirect their focus on innovation and customer-centricity to remain relevant and competitive. Tweaking their service models and taking a proactive approach to how they serve (and service) customers is the only way to win customers.
Here is how an integrated IoT platform can help equipment manufacturers evolve from a reactive model to a more engagement-driven, preventive model, and boost customer experience.
Challenges manufacturers face with respect to customer experience
For equipment manufacturers, customer experience, although critical, often takes a beating because of the traditional approach to equipment management and maintenance.
The reasons for poor customer experience are many:
- A reactive approach to maintenance means the action is taken long after an issue has already impacted customer experience.
- The inability to understand customer behavioral patterns leads to the absence of targeted marketing campaigns, which affects service personalization.
- Manual data entry by service engineers, field personnel, and technicians often leads to errors and impacts customer support and service.
- Poor or no access to intelligent insights results in no product differentiation, meaning all customers are offered the same products – no matter what their needs or preferences are.
- Inability to capture real-world equipment usage information leads to poor product performance and maintenance.
- Inability to track equipment on the field not only results in lackluster customer experience but also loss of spares and after-sales revenue.
- Poor insight into how customers use equipment results in loss of cross-selling and upselling opportunities.
The Many Benefits of Using an Integrated IoT platform
When it comes to improving customer experience, IoT can play a huge role in allowing equipment to be monitored (or controlled) remotely. Connected in an intelligent network of smart devices, IoT can enable centralized and remote monitoring of equipment while allowing manufacturers to take timely decisions via an easy-to-use mobile or web interface.
Here’s how an integrated IoT platform works:
An IoT gateway, integrated with equipment, constantly gathers critical equipment data and sends its to the IoT platform. This gateway then detects any performance issue or potential breakdown and automatically raises alerts – thus triggering the tickets in the CRM system. The corresponding ticket is then assigned to the nearest service dealer, who then assigns the ticket to the service person on the field. The service agent visits the site and takes the required action and the CRM is updated with the job card . In the meantime, the IoT gateway monitors the system for 48 hours to check if the equipment is running as per the standard OEM norms and only then closes the ticket – which is automatically reflected in the CRM system.
Let’s now look at 8 ways in which an integrated IoT platform can help in improving customer experience:
- 360° view of performance: An integrated IoT platform allows equipment manufacturers to monitor machinery and equipment in real-time while providing a 360° view of performance and functionality. Such insight can help in making the right maintenance decisions while paving the way for high uptime and profits.
- Several configuration options: Configurable equipment, an adaptable web administration, and an adjustable front-end mean that manufacturers can customize and tweak the solution to meet explicit prerequisites and make data-driven decisions to maximize revenue.
- Real-time insights: A remote IoT equipment monitoring solution also gives real-time insights on performance, quality, and availability of assets, empowering manufacturers with increased visibility, exceptional customer service, and improved product reliability.
- Intuitive dashboards: An integrated IoT platform constantly analyzes critical equipment data to generate intuitive dashboards. These real-time and easy-to-view and easy-to-customize dashboards allow manufacturers to keep a tab on important equipment parameters and maintain performance at all times.
- Proactive SMS alerts: With modern SMS capabilities, an IoT platform can send warning alerts to field agents. Such alerts can help them in taking timely action, enhance performance, and avoid shut down situations.
- Integration with CRM: A modern IoT platform also provides seamless integration with the existing CRM system. Such integration means agents can raise tickets directly in the CRM system and have them reflected in the IoT platform in real-time for quick access and analysis.
- Configurable reports: An IoT platform’s built-in reporting package can be configured based on the OEM’s specific requirements and priorities. These configurable reports mean manufacturers can tweak parameters according to their unique needs and generate reports based on their requisites.
- Universal hierarchy: Given that different teams require insight into different aspects of equipment, an integrated IoT platform allows managers to easily define which parameters to be shown to which users. Since the system supports two-way communication, it can easily be used for setting equipment parameters and control.
In a world where equipment manufacturers are constantly being scrutinized based on the customer experiences they provide, relying on traditional approaches to equipment monitoring and maintenance is a recipe for disaster.
Opting for a modern IoT platform sets the foundation for informed, real-time decision-making. With intelligent insights on equipment performance and status, manufacturers can enable effective operational control via real-time monitoring as well as maximize availability and uptime.
Efficient lifecycle management of equipment in terms of maintenance, operational performance, and safety helps in ensuring that customer experience is always seamless and up to the mark and service revenue is optimal.