The joke that your air conditioner only breaks down in the summer is no joke.  Same with the furnace.  When was the last time it didn’t break down on the coldest day of the year?  To avoid these difficult lessons, we sign up for maintenance plans where someone comes out proactively to check on our heating and air conditioning units to avoid untimely downtime.  But this starts to feel like insurance and if the technician didn’t find anything wrong with our furnace, did we just waste money?

To provide the correct balance of customer service is not the only issue manufacturers struggle with.  Cell phone carriers can see subscriber call patterns in great detail.  Web site owners can see the exact page users have browsed, what they put in their shopping cart, what products they looked at, what sites they came from, and what sites their customers went to next.  Cable companies know every program you watched live, on-demand, or recorded for later.  But it is very difficult for a manufacturer to get a decent understanding of how, when, and where their product is being used.  Market research and focus groups just don’t do them justice any longer.

Based on these extreme challenges, manufacturers are asking the following questions:

>  Now that my product is connected to the internet, what information should I try to capture?
>  How can my products alert me to an upcoming issue?
>  How can my product alert me to a fatal issue?
>  What does my business process look like to resolve upcoming and fatal issues?
>  Can the information I receive from my product give me clues to how the customer is using it?
>  What type of permission do I need from my customers to capture information about product usage?
>  How do I turn usage information into marketing programs?

Manufacturers of all kinds are connecting their devices and products to the internet.  Medical manufacturers can transmit information about the patients’ health and monitor issues.  Consumer goods suppliers are tracking everything from diagnostics to refills.  Commonly called the Internet of Things (IoT), AmberLeaf is at the forefront of the burgeoning technology helping our clients improve customer service, develop innovative marketing programs, and enhance their customer intelligence initiatives.  Using a combination of technologies from marketing automation, master data management, ETL, cloud based databases, and customer service vendors, AmberLeaf is helping manufactures deliver the promise of Internet of Things by drastically improving their customer experience.

Example 1:Our client provides high end manufacturing technology to other manufacturers.  Their products are mission critical to their clients and any issue could have a dramatic impact on production.  Their devices are constantly running self-diagnosis algorithms to detect functional anomalies.  When an issue is detected, the information is sent to their customer service application over the Internet and placed in an agent’s queue.  The application automatically retrieves all of the asset information about the client to help the agent understand the situation and context for the equipment.  It is possible that the remote agent can resolve the issue without any customer involvement at all.  However, if customer collaboration is needed, the agent can chat, email, call, or even webinar so they can share screens.  Or the agent can dispatch a field technician to visit the customer site.

The proactive nature of this business process separates our client from their competitors.  The ability to avoid serious issues before they arise makes our client an invaluable partner to their customers.  AmberLeaf created the integration between the device and the customer service application and configured the service application to adhere to the new proactive business process.

To learn more about how this client harnessed the data and insight available from its products to expand their customer relationships; watch these videos:

>  Carbon3D video highlighting the Adidas partnership
>  Adidas video explaining the value of the partnership

Example 2:  Our client provides coffee makers and coffee for individuals and corporate offices.  Their new models came equipped with a Wi-Fi connection, but the information that was being gathered was falling on deaf ears.  AmberLeaf created the integration between the devices (over a billion transactions a month) and their marketing and customer service applications.  The customer service application leveraged the information to inform their customers that they may need to upgrade their product or have it repaired before a complete breakdown. The marketing application looked at the usage of the coffee maker, what coffee was being used, how often it was being used, and when it was being used.  This information provided marketing with cross-sell strategies, upgrade strategies, and offers to help their customer reduce their spend.  AmberLeaf is helping our client separate themselves from the pack by providing proactive service and relevant marketing offers, locking in their customers from switching to other providers.

AmberLeaf (www.amberleaf.net) combines strong business and operational planning with innovative technology solutions to ensure our client base serves the right customers in the right ways to generate the greatest return. To learn more about how we can help your company improve customer experience, contact us at 312.474.6120, or info@amberleaf.net.