AI Will Change The Way Products Are Serviced And Supported

We’ve been working with OEM customers for more than 15 years now who have been trying to utilize IoT to improve field service and customer support efficiencies.  The workflow for these organizations has largely remained unchanged for the past 50+ years or longer

-Customer encounters problem

-They call support

-Support asks a long list of questions

-Issue gets resolved or escalated to an expert

-If the expert can’t solve it a field service technician is dispatched

-Field service technician:

-Fixes problem

-Identifies problem but needs part so they wait for them

-Calls support for help


Obviously, for complex devices, this process can be lengthy and frustrating.  In the meantime, the device is down and costing time, money and ruining the customer experience.


There has long been IoT technology out there that claims to help this by providing “proactive support”.  Some of the experiences with this have had moderate success, but most OEM’s are still struggling to find real value with these solutions.


With the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI), there are companies like RevTwo out there who have now developed a way to get the human out of the way and enable technology to do the triaging.  A first-time fix can be specifically prescribed, often within seconds.  Not a list of suggestions, but an actual fix that works the first time.


This has the potential to change that workflow for the first time in decades.  It could look something like this:


-Customer encounters problem

-They access AI and get a fix

-Problem is solved. Or

-If the AI doesn’t recognize the problem, then it gets escalated directly to an expert.

-Expert recommends fix, and if correct the AI learns this for the next time

-If a field service technician needs to be dispatched, then they are coming in armed with the parts and information they need to fix it right.


The difference here is that, while the number of steps are similar, with AI involved the time is drastically reduced.  Companies in this business claim that problems can be resolved in seconds or minutes, as opposed to the hours or days it might take now.  Huge implications for field service and call center people, not to mention the customer experience.


In fact, I am told that some companies are using AI as a replacement for most of their call center resources, and even as a replacement for some of the IoT technology I mentioned earlier.


Look for more developments in this exciting space!