How Connected Technology Can Streamline Business and Improve Customer Experience

Data amassed through the Internet of Things can help CEOs gain greater visibility into their organizations and markets. Insights can be used to automate processes, cut costs, make smarter investment decisions, capture new revenue, launch the right products and provide a differentiated service experience from their competitors.

Ultimately, IoT can help streamline departments, leading to better, faster decisions that help the whole company thrive. Here are 3 departments in particular that are reaping major benefits from the use of connected technology today.

1. Customer Support. Imagine a scenario in which a refrigerator or HVAC system can sense that it’s beginning to break down, so it automatically initiates a customer service call and schedules a service appointment before it fails. Smart, connected products can do this, and they enable customer support departments to become proactive instead of reactive.

“IoT can help streamline departments, leading to better, faster decisions that help the whole company thrive.”

When you leave maintenance decisions up to the customer, calls coming in to support staff tend to be all over the map. One customer will call with a minor issue, while another decides to wait until the minor issue becomes a full catastrophe.

Products that can self-diagnose result in greater predictability, easier troubleshooting, happier customers, and a more consistent revenue stream after the point of sale.

2. Human Resources. Modern HR departments are seeing their roles expand from hiring and compliance to facilitating the growth of companies’ cultures and successes as a whole. Data collected through IoT can help streamline certain aspects of their expanded responsibilities.
Take, for example, how workspace layout has become such a pivotal part of a modern company’s culture and overall productivity. By connecting iBeacons to employee identification badges, HR departments can generate visual heat maps that display where employees prefer to get their work done. They could then cross-reference employee performance levels with their work locations and optimize the office layout accordingly.

IoT can help HR departments ensure that employees are happy and motivated to do their best work. And when that happens, customers end up having a much better experience.

3. Quality Assurance. If there’s one area where speed is especially important, it’s in the quality assurance department. Both the detection and resolution of manufacturing issues must occur as quickly as possible. IoT provides real-time data to testers and engineers the very moment it’s available, allowing for immediate action.
Smart glasses, such as Google Glass, allow quality testers to hold live video conferences with engineers to discuss and troubleshoot reported defects. When engineers can see the issue in real time, they can provide accurate feedback and guidance in a matter of minutes—rather than waiting days or weeks for hard copies of written reports and paperwork.

IoT helps companies immediately react to quality control issues and ensure they’re offering the best possible product to customers.

There is not a blanket or obvious approach to IoT; your best use of connected technology really depends on your industry and your unique organizational goals. But once CEOs are able to streamline aspects of multiple departments, they’ll be freed up to focus on growing other parts of their businesses.


Erika Carney is CMO at Skookum, a custom software design and development firm. She oversees the company's marketing and communications programs, as well as its internal product development. She has more than eight years of experience in product development and marketing at high-growth software companies. Follow her on Twitter at @erikalcarney.