Ever have one of those moments when you saw something really amazing and you realized it would change the world around you? IoT is one of those disruptive technologies that will change things for a lot of manufacturers. I’ve followed IoT for the last year, but about a month ago I had the privilege of participating on a road trip where mcaConnect and Microsoft teamed up to discuss the impact of IoT on Field Services. From a CRM perspective, there is no business area more impacted by connected IoT devices than Field Service. For companies looking to deliver an exceptional Field Service experience, the potential of product performance data in the cloud to analyze and predict required service before failures occur is a game changer. And it’s the service experience every Field Service executive should be aiming for to drive real service value to their customer.
Without a doubt there is a cost for manufacturers to incorporate IoT technology into their products. But for many companies, the cost to transform the service experience is well worth the investment. The payoff is multifold. First, customer value produced by proactive service leads to happy and loyal customers who will buy more and pay more for the products and services they receive. Second, IoT data can yield knowledge that drives more productive and informed service delivery. Third, IoT connected devices can provide new areas and models of service that produce new and more profitable revenues. And last, IoT-enabled products can be key to differentiating product and service offerings from competitors. In fact, your competitors may already be on their way to leveraging IoT devices in their service strategy right now.
From a CRM perspective think of Azure IoT and connected devices collecting data in the cloud which is analyzed to predict product failure events. These events could be sent to CRM as Cases which would flow into service work orders before a problem was ever reported by the customer. Think of an intelligent CRM Field Service solution that identifies a Field Service resource just miles from the problem predicted by IoT analytics. Imagine a surprised customer who gets a call asking if a Field Service resource can stop by in 30 minutes to fix a problem before it ever impacts their business. That is how you create loyal customers and drive field service efficiency. Better service with lower costs is a win-win solution.
Sure there’s a lot of hype out there about IoT and the future. But a real world, cost effective, and achievable application of IoT is Field Service. And with a few small steps, it is a solution that is easily in reach today. There are a number of case study’s to support the power of Microsoft’s Azure IoT platform and Dynamics CRM Field Service as an integrated solution. I’d love to hear from anyone who has begun or is planning to roll out IoT connected devices as a part of transforming their Field Service delivery.