A service event can cause you to lose a client or make the client brand-loyal. Most service events cause your client stress and dissatisfaction just by their nature.

Typically, something goes wrong or breaks, and the client is the one who needs to notify you somehow of the event after they lost some time troubleshooting the issue. Now they need to go to your website or email or phone and get into a queue before another level of troubleshooting with your people takes place. In some cases, they can help and fix the issue.

The troubleshooting typically is a script of questions and actions that starts at a standard beginning.

When not fixed during the initial contact another set of possibilities is executed. Those options are mostly Advanced Exchange, Same Unit Repair, Post Exchange or sending out field replaceable units (FRU) or whole products if the client can replace items themselves or sending out Field Engineers to do work and coordinate the FRUs arrival if not in trunk stock. All this happens while the client is experiencing downtime and loss of productivity, hence the stress.

Now imagine another world where we magically have the opportunity to serve the customer before they get into a break/fix situation. Luckily a new set of technologies has become commercially available at reasonable pricing. Those technologies are the Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

In this world products and significant components have built-in sensors or are retrofitted with sensors. These sensors can report hundreds to thousands of readings collected and managed by your IoT infrastructure which includes ML & AI activities to learn patterns which can predict impending failures. These patterns can be matched up with environmental reading as well to enhance predictability. Now also include product usage patterns and a whole new world opens for the business models to deliver service to your clients.

Fix before something fails and avoid downtime at the client.

Your IoT cloud has been getting sensor readings with patterns that indicate an FRU component is likely to fail in the next two weeks and the usage pattern suggests that they probably not use your product on Friday morning.

An automatic alert starts the workflow of notifying the client that if possible, your product needs maintenance on Friday morning or another time that is more convenient for them.

It does not matter if the client did the FRU replacement, or if a Field Engineer was sent out. No downtime, no messing around trying to get hold of you. Client satisfaction guaranteed.

See the mind map as well.

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