The Internet of Things (IoT) is at the heart of digital transformation. There are millions of connected devices. According to IHS Markit, the number of connected devices worldwide will jump 12% on average annually from around 27 billion in 2017 to 125 billion in 2030. Many organizations are trying to include the technology in their products to enhance customer satisfaction.
Eureka Forbes, one of the leading providers of water purification units, vacuum cleaners, air purifiers and home security solutions, is currently experimenting with the technology and coming up with IoT enabled products. The company has a customer base of over 15 million and is present across 450 locations with 18,000 dealers in India. It also has a global footprint across 35 countries.
IoT Enabled Water Purifiers
Let’s see how the company is using IoT along with mobility in its recently produced water purifiers. These machines are fitted with candles which inject or remove salts according to what is good or bad for the health of customers. When the life of a candle comes to an end or when there is a certain amount of clog alerts are generated by the IoT system and the company responds to the customers. In fact, the alerts are generated even before the unit starts malfunctioning. Thus, enabling proactive maintenance.
“When the transaction goes totally digital, the customer feels that we are genuinely interested in their well-being rather than just following a maintenance contract. It’s more of enhancing customer engagement through IoT,” says Khushru Mistry, Head – IT, Eureka Forbes.
How it Works
Let’s say, around 85% clogging has happened (at 90% the machine stops working). At this level, the IoT system triggers an alert to technicians through the company’s CRM platform and the appropriate technician gets the information. The system assigns the right technicians to the job, which is also important, as not all technicians are trained on these high-end devices. Apart from the system identifying the right skill set, it generates alerts for the integrated ERP system, which then identifies the spare parts and conveys its availability to the particular skill based technician. The engineer is also intimated about the location of the spare part and which warehouse to pick it up from. So, there is just one level of engagement. With the IoT system in place, earlier the technician had to go to the site, inspect the machine and figure out the problem, after which he goes back to get the spares. With the IoT system in place, the machine is able to indicate the general area of the problem even before the technician’s visit and appointment is done right on the mobile phone. Alerts also are sent out to the customers, since people these days are so conscious of health and hygiene.
“With the help of IoT we are avoiding that double journey. Also, through the process, eventually, the customer gets that much more interested in interacting with us. This IoT system and platform is already out in the market and we are trying to see how we can retrofit the older units. Retrofitting is always a challenge,” says Mistry.
Besides providing transparency to the customer, the system also provides complete visibility to the technician as well as the company by providing relevant information such as whether the unit is in warranty or extended warranty or if it has been taken on rent. This primarily helps a technician position the spare part to the customer.
“I strongly believe that the way we are going about it, it makes business sense and will cut bottom line costs and increase topline growth. We are trying to include all elements in our approach to the customer such as technology, socio engineering, utilizing publicly available data, interfacing with the customer, etc. In today’s age, every company needs to focus on the customer and evolving technologies need to cater to the customer needs through personalization. Moreover, they want to rent and not own and utilize it as a service,” adds Mistry.
Catering to the customers’ needs and enhancing their satisfaction is the way forward for companies in the digital age. Modern technologies such as IoT and mobility can go a long way in ensuring that.