Revolutionizing Customer Support with the IoT

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In today’s fast paced, technology driven world, technologies, products and customer expectations change at the blink of an eye.  However, in an attempt to keep pace with these exponential changes, companies have begun to think of ways to reinvent the way they are supporting customers.

Interested in learning more? Going to Dreamforce 2015? Stop by our Revolutionizing Customer Support with the IoT session – Thursday September 17th at 2pm in Moscone West, Innovation Theater – to hear our Director of IoT Strategy, Sean Lorenz, and I discuss how companies can drive up customer satisfaction by embracing customer and product data from Salesforce and LogMeIn to enable the “Support of Things”.

         

Internet of Things: Why the Support of Things is the Future of Customer Experience

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The customer experience, reinvented

While already overwhelmed with supporting standard technologies – i.e mobile devices, laptops, tablets, etc. – the customer service industry is in for an even wilder ride thanks to the growing adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT). While wearables and connected products are becoming mainstream, many companies continue to cling to outdated customer service models. Downside is, traditional support models will inevitably break under the weight of this new vastly connected consumer reality.

According to a recent consumers are rapidly adopting new channels and changing support behavior. While voice and email continue to dominate, email and mobile chat are growing – yet most companies are not properly equipped – resulting in increased handle times, unhappy customers (consumers are required to get in touch multiple times, over multiple devices), and to top it off technicians on the other end of the phone are equally unhappy (employee turnaround is in record numbers).

Today’s empowered consumers expect instant gratification when they need assistance, but front-line contact center staff can’t keep up with the increased complexity of transactions, lacking the tools they need to meet customer expectations. Add in the intricacy of these new connected devices and it’s clear that the customer experience is headed for a breakdown of unprecedented proportions.

In an attempt to keep pace with this exponential change, companies are looking to reinvent the way they support their customers. This approach, sometimes referred to as the Support of Things (SoT), is the future of the customer experience. Here are three key markets where the SoT model can deliver immediate improvement for the customer experience:

  1. Not-yet-connected appliances
    While just about every company selling physical products is exploring ways to connect them to the Internet, some are not there yet. These companies don’t have the benefit of having information streams coming from the product itself that could be used to help diagnose issues. Many brands are exploring ways to connect their products, but in the meantime, they need solutions that give them insights about customer issues and product behaviors. This is where support solutions providing real-time feeds from the customer or field technician will be critical.
  1. Connected PCs, smartphones, and tablets
    Those in the remote support technology field have had a front row seat to witness the evolution of the SoT approach. Customer support professionals for connected device makers and retailers have the built-in benefit of serving a customer base that is already using connected products, which can make diagnosing and fixing problems somewhat easier. But what if the problem can’t be picked up through the call agent or customer’s Internet connection? What if the consumer’s product can’t power up properly, or can’t connect to the Internet? This common (and frustrating) scenario is where new forms of support that can be tapped into through secondary devices are winning favor.
  1. Connected household items
    Consumers are used to a high level of support with connected PCs, smartphones and tablets. But what if the thing you’re supporting doesn’t have a screen? Many connected products, such as lighting, thermostats, home theater systems, cable set-top boxes, wireless routers, kitchen gadgets, smart toys don’t have consumer-facing screens as the interface. In many cases, the interface is a mobile app. For these types of support transactions, mobile chat and mobile remote support are crucial – but even they don’t deliver the full customer experience. Video-assisted customer support, using only the camera function on every consumer’s iOS or Android mobile device, can add a new level of engagement that solves problems faster and boosts satisfaction rates. With remote video, a customer support representative can tap into a live video feed to actually see the physical product in front them as if they were there, too. This opens the door for new levels of real-time support.

Real-time visualization: crucial for SoT

Many product makers and retailers provide only phone-based or email support, which is less practical for more complicated support calls for connected products. Consumers are not happy with these options, which take time and often end up unresolved, as the customer has to describe what they’re seeing instead of just being able to physically show the person on the other end of the line.

The greatest advantage for businesses and customer contact centers that adopt video as a support tool is shortened support times. Problems that once took an hour can now be solved within minutes. The ability for customer service agents to see what the consumer’s product looks like, the exact error message being displayed on a product, or even the serial number on the back of a product, is invaluable.

The second major benefit for retailers and manufacturers is the ability to reduce product returns attributed to “No Fault Found.” We all know that customers who get frustrated with poor support often return their products to the store. What you may not realize is that “No Fault Found” returns are a huge problem that is chipping away at retailers’ and product manufacturers’ profit margins. Accenture estimates that the total cost of consumer electronics returns is costing the industry $13.8 billion USD a year – and a staggering 68% of that loss is attributed to “No Fault Found” returns.

Companies used to servicing smart devices will need to find ways to solve issues that can’t be solved through typical remote connections. Technology exists today that allows technicians to view, assess and resolve issues that were once only resolved by actually being there. Connected businesses will need to rely heavily on mobile device support tools – a core pillar in a SoT approach.

         

Your #TacoSelfie Photos from SXSW!

We’re back in Boston after a fantastic few days in Austin at SXSW Interactive. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to enjoy some tacos and to chat with us. We were thrilled to meet so many join.me users who really love our product -“join.me is so simple and easy to use” and ”I use it every day, I couldn’t do my job without it” – we love hearing this kind of feedback!

A huge thank you to the Peached Tortilla for partnering with us at the event, your tacos were delicious and your team was fantastic!

Finally, we had some phenomenal entries to our event hashtag on social media. Check out the official “#TacoSelfie” gallery below!

         

LogMeIn and OWASP to host IoT Security Meetup

IOT meetupTomorrow afternoon, LogMeIn and OWASP will be hosting a Meet-Up featuring 6 great speakers to talk about one of the most hyped topics today: Security of the Internet of Things. Hosted at the LogMeIn Budapest office, the sessions will be delivered in English and live broadcast over YouTube.  The broadcast will begin at 12:30pm EST/ 1830 CET (Vienna time).

What:  LogMeIn and OWASP IoT Security Meet-up
When:  March 17, 2015 from 12:30PM EST to 4:30PM EST
Where:  OWASP YouTube Channel Live Broadcast

Sessions:

12:30 ET / 1830 CET:

  1. Picking an IoT Platform is Risky Business led by Attila Török (HU), Security engineering manager / LogMeIn

1:00 ET / 1900 CET:

  1. Secure by design led by Aaron Guzman, OWASP LA, board member, Sr penetration tester / Belkin, @scriptingxss

2:00 ET / 2000 CET:

  1. IoT Top 10 led by Jürgen Grieshofer, OWASP AT, board member, Awarity Training Director
  1. Identity, Security and Privacy in the IoT era led by Gregory Estrade (FR), a software dev and a self-taught hw hacker, @torlus

3:00ET / 2100 CET:

  1. Know Thyself – Managing Identity in the IoT led by Sean Lorenz (US), Sr product marketing manager / LogMeIn
  1. Where are the Humans in IoT? – Usability, trust, and privacy led by Márk Vinkovits (HU), Security engineer / LogMeIn

Click here for more information about The IoT Security Meet-up.

         

SXSW – So Many Tacos, and Selfies!

We had a fantastic first day at SXSW Interactive! Thank you to everyone who stopped by to see us at the corner of 6th & Red River for Peached Tortilla tacos. Below are some photos from the fun we had today – check out our twitter feed for more. We can’t wait to do it all again tomorrow. Remember, we’re here Sunday, Monday and Tuesday from 11am until the last taco is eaten.

We’re also running an awesome social #tacoselfie contest, where you can enter to win a free seat of join.me pro by simply taking a selfie! So stop by and visit us to and find out how to enter.

See you tomorrow, #SXSW!

join.me team #tacoselfie 10949751_905178552836118_841803016157395987_n

         

Update.Me – Collaboration, Innovation, and Engagement

Week of March 13th, 2015

Wheels up! The join.me team is en route to SXSW Interactive and we’re so excited to give away free Peached Tortilla tacos and network among industry innovators! This week, aside from packing and downloading the right mobile apps, we’ve been keeping up-to-date on the latest news and announcements about SXSW. Here are some interesting articles to read about SXSW Interactive:


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SXSW Interactive Panel Picks for CMOs and Big Data Futurists
This year at SXSW Interactive, there are 70 sessions scheduled on branding and marketing alone — and hundreds more covering other areas in art, science, and privacy (to name a few).  Which sessions do you plan on attending?  This article covers the top ten sessions, based off of recommendations from Umbel’s CEO and Forbes Author,  H.O. Maycotte .

Follow: @forbes, @maycotte
Tag: #sxsw, #SXSWInteractive, #BigData

 

SONY DSCThe Real Reason Every Marketer Should Attend SXSW
Besides the networking opportunities, new tech showcased, and the rocking parties, marketers and advertisers should attend SXSW for one real reason only:  it’s an eye-opening metaphor for the cluttered media landscape that marketers have to deal with. Director of Growth and Innovation at RPA, Tim Leake, explains this in his Ad Age article.

Follow: @adweek, @tim_leake
Tag: #sxsw, #SXSWInteractive,

 

NASA-m15-045_200x200Experience NASA at 2015 SXSW Interactive Festival
NASA will share how technology drives exploration, how we’re exploring Earth, the solar system, updates on the journey to Mars, and how anyone can get involved with NASA. Talk about a total geek out!

Follow: @NASA, @NASASocial
Tag: #NASASocial

 

Real Reason-sxsw-sign-01-2015_200x20010 Hot Trends at SXSW Interactive 2015
Every year at SXSW Interactive, a handful of topics gain more buzz and more media attention than any of the others. Read this article from Hugh Forrest, Director of the SXSW Interactive Festival, for the 10 trends that will gain the most traction at this year’s event.

Follow: @mashable, @Hugh_W_Forrest
Tag: #SXSW, #SXSWInteractive

 

         

Apps to Survive SXSW Interactive

SXSW Interactive kicks off this Friday (March 13), and the join.me team is getting excited for a jam-packed weekend of interactive sessions, networking, parties, and performances! It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people you’ll meet and things to do, so once you’ve gotten your suitcase in order, be sure to pack your phone by downloading apps that will help you make the most of your SXSW experience. Start with downloading the SXSW Go app (that’s a given). Here are some others you might not have thought of:

miflightMiFlight: Take the stress out of your trip in and out of Austin with this simple crowdsourcing app. MiFlight reports on security line wait times at the top-traveled airports, updated in real-time by fellow travelers.

 

 

 

 

scannableScannable: This new mobile scanning app from Evernote will be essential as you collect business cards and receipts to expense. The app automatically syncs business card details with LinkedIn user profiles, allowing you to simultaneously save their information as a new contact in your phone.

 

 

 

taskrabbitTask Rabbit: If you’re hosting a party, manning a booth, or giving a presentation, you never know what you might need in a pinch. This help-with-anything service has an Austin branch, if you need something ordered, delivered, repaired, or assembled. You name it!

 

 

 

audioAudio Recorder: if you record presentations and sessions on your phone instead of taking notes, you’ll be more engaged and attentive, and can go back and listen to the details later. Try iTalk recorder for Apple, and Easy Voice Recorder for Android.

 

 

 

shazamShazam: Austin is one of America’s hottest music cities, so you’ll be hearing great songs all day, every day via live performances or on the jukebox at the bar.  Keep Shazam queued up so you can keep track of the songs you love at a moment’s notice.

 

 

 

foodtruckFood Trucker: we know you’ll be visiting us at the Peached Tortilla taco truck, but make time to check out some of Austin’s other delicious food truck offerings as well. This app will help you find the location of the trucks and monitor updates in real-time via their twitter posts.

 

 

 

         

What’s in Your South-by-Suitcase?

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South by Southwest Interactive 2015 kicks off next week, and the join.me team is so excited to enjoy the sun and hand out free tacos. To make sure we’re prepared, we’re making our packing lists and checking them twice. Here are some of the essentials we recommend bringing to make the most of your time in Austin:

  • Portable Phone charger(s) – You’ll be tweeting, e-mailing, and snapping pictures throughout the event, so keep this on-hand to juice up for afternoon sessions and networking events.
  • Bluetooth Speaker – Get pumped up for the day in your hotel room with your favorite Spotify playlist!
  • Water bottle – With the warm  climate, deliciously salty BBQ, and evening beverages, be sure to stay hydrated all day to keep your energy up! There will be water stations at the event to fill up on H20.
  • Pedometer – Whether it’s a Jawbone, Fitbit, or another wearable fitness tracker, be sure to pack it. You’ll get your steps in for sure!
  • Selfie Stick – For the after parties and dinners out, make sure you’re ready for some great photo ops.
  • Texas 2 Step Cheat Sheet – These two steps are the one way to fun at any country western bar in Texas! Be sure you’re brushed up on your moves.
  • Ten Gallon Hat and Armadillo Cologne – When in Rome, right?
         

join.me heads to SXSW, for collaboration and tacos!

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As our Boston Headquarters continues to dig out from Juno, Linus, Marcus, and Neptune, our join.me team has had enough. We’ve decided to fly south for the winter to sunny Austin, Texas! Sayonara, snow banks!

Ok, it’s not really just the weather that’s driving us out of Boston. We’re thrilled to be heading to SXSW Interactive from March 13-17, joining the best and the brightest in innovation and technology. We can’t wait to see what new ideas and innovations are unveiled this year.

A trip to Austin wouldn’t be complete without great food, so we’re pairing up with The Peached Tortilla to help feed hungry innovators, and are giving away free taco lunches! Check out our SXSW page to find out where we’ll be, and register ahead of time for your free tacos!

We’ll be posting fun contests, blog posts, and games before we leave – so keep checking our our page for updates! On twitter, follow @joinme and use the #joinUS to join the conversation.

See you there!

         

Dreamforce Day 3 Wrap Up – November 20, 2013