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Previously, we discussed the importance of delivering seamless customer service throughout the entire service lifecycle. In this blog we’ll discuss a key buzzword for 2018 that impacts everything from machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual collaboration, predictive maintenance, digital supply chain and more!

The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing our world and will be key for successful customer service experience in the field.


To compete in service in 2018 and beyond, service organizations need to take a serious look at IoT and the benefits it offers. Expectations of service delivery are already starting to shift and are putting focus on the power of predictive maintenance as a core part of field service operations — IoT is at the center of this change. Soon, disruption of work because of machine failure will not be tolerated and customer expectation will shift from high first-time-fix rates to high planned maintenance and failure prevention rates.

IoT will be the difference between noticing a failure and preventing a failure—or a good customer interaction and a bad one. If you are only providing service parts or break-fix you are already lagging behind. Your customer is expecting more from you. They expect outcome, not a product. The internet of things will change the entire customer experience and service organizations need to understand how to keep up.


Let’s look at key touchpoints for service organizations and how they can be impacted by IoT. Customers have requirements, operating schedules, production rules and business needs. Machines in the field may need preventative maintenance based on hours run or part replacement based on conditions such as high temperatures or frequent usage. Consider these questions:

  • What is a customer willing to pay for a service contract with no unscheduled downtime?
  • How do you track and review inventory levels, part replacements, part alternates and stocking levels to find the perfect balance between meeting customer needs and a low cost of inventory?
  • How will IoT connectivity impact how your technician communicates with your customer? Based on GPS location and fencing, will better connectivity enable a customer to know a technician is the way, let you know when their have arrived and tell dispatch they are on their way to the next job?

IoT will provide the data for AI and machine learning to help identify patterns, where improvements can be made, what inventory levels should be stocked based on historic data and who needs training to keep up with business demands.


It’s easy to see how the Internet of Things is going to impact service, dispatch and maintenance but AI, machine learning and IoT will also impact the customer experience. Having an intelligent response to customer contact will reduce the volume of calls your agents need to resolve and provide useful, automated responses to many enquiries. Through machine learning, incoming data for simple requests can be weeded out, leaving more complex and lower volume calls to agents.

When you consider the increasing complexity of data in the world you can get a sense of how your organization can leverage IoT. Learn more about IFS’s field service management solution and IoT Business Connector by visiting


Our final Buzzword for 2018 is key to helping your organization grow. It will help your organization adopt new service trends and more.

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