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The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming all aspects of work life and personal life, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that IoT is expected to be a driver for better customer service.

In fact, last year, Gartner referred to IoT as the “fifth driver” of CRM (customer relations management), joining social media, big data, cloud computing, and mobile technologies. As virtually anything can be connected to the Internet, it’s important for those in sales, marketing, and customer service operations to be able to take advantage of what IoT has to offer. Here are 3 ways to get better CRM from IoT technology.

1. Data: IoT offers data, and lots of it. This mountain of information can provide details about a potential customer’s location, purchasing habits, exercise routine – anything that is being transmitted from one device to another. With all of this very personal data generated in real time about individuals, CRM solutions should be able to create customized service unique to each customer or client. If leveraging the big data properly, CRM solutions should be able to anticipate the customer’s purchases or need for services and allow the marketing and sales teams to develop a targeted pitch.

2. Real-Time Interaction: IoT also gives customers the chance to interact with businesses in real time. They want to be able to follow their purchases from order to warehouse to delivery, for example, and they want it to be a seamless process. To do that means having consistent service at all endpoints and across platforms. “This means all data must be live across channels,” Paul Sweeny wrote in a article. “If a customer comments on social media that they are having trouble finding a product locally, real-time CRM will pick this up and alerts you to their query, prompting you to interact.”

3. Predictive Maintenance: In the not-so-distant future, expect CRM solutions to be built right into IoT devices. Sensors built into Internet-enabled devices will be able to detect potential problems, and begin communicating immediately with customer services—problems that once may have developed slowly and not be discovered until it was too late,. This technology may have businesses rethinking warranties and service contracts by allowing regular monitoring of the device’s productivity.

One reason so many customers like small businesses is because of the personalized services. Real-time CRM solutions can help enterprise organizations give their thousands of customers similar customer service by using IoT technology to intuit when the customer needs assistance, or to determine how she or he is using a device. It’s the way to provide a high-quality, personalized service on a hugely scalable basis.

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Carl Krupitzer

Carl is CEO and co-founder of ThingLogix

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