Every week, Sumair and I will post our most interesting service-minded stories for the week as part of a Friday recap. We’ll comment on one story each and then add 3 others for your review.
For the eight installment, and week 13 of 2017:
Topic: Hacking Tractors for Service
Source: MotherBoard: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/why-american-farmers-are-hacking-their-tractors-with-ukrainian-firmware
Commentary: Equipment manufacturers are finding innovative ways to stave off competition from third-party repair shops. In their pursuit to capture and protect service revenue, OEMs are increasing their use of software and connectivity in their products to limit the reach of third-parties. While the article covers a situation where this is happening in farm equipment, this trend is also occurring in areas of medical devices and other industrial equipment. The issue arises when support resources aren’t readily or easily available to the end customer that needs assistance. While many industries are encouraging self-service to ease the burden on their support centers and to expedite service issues, other industries have yet to find the right balance between self-service and OEM-provided support. Till then, customers have to find unique ways to keep things working.
Topic: Siri vs. Alexa Vying for a Place in a Hotel Near You
Source: TechCrunch: https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/27/amazons-alexa-and-apples-siri-are-waging-war-over-the-hotel-room/
Commentary: The battle between Amazon and Google in the voice assistant market might seem like a reboot of the days of PlayStation vs. Xbox or VCR vs Betamax. But I think this battle royale will be more significant in relation to its impact on business and specifically on customer service. This may seem like sacrilege based on the $91 Billion dollars brought in from the video game industry in 2016, and the ubiquity of a VCR in just about every US home in the late 80’s and 90’s. But the reason I believe the battle for our wallet being waged by Amazon and Google will be bigger is the convergence of customer service expectations and the integration between apps in our world. Most of us, at least in the US, assume we will have seamless service experiences and at a high quality. In this environment, the virtual assistant will not only connect you to answers like “what is the weather outside right now”, but you will be able to order AA batteries with your voice when your kids remote control car dies. And that shipment might just arrive within hours saving a parent the agony of a sobbing child. The integrated nature of this technology to support not only information but also commerce and all at a high level of customer service becomes a game-changer. I haven’t made my decision yet on which product I will purchase for my family, but as this article highlights hotels might tilt this battle soon. And the hotel industry’s desire to incorporate this technology only further highlights its impact on delivering high levels of service. Hotel chains want to do whatever they can to provide patrons with anything they need, and Siri or Alexa have the ability to make this job much easier and seamless.
Our Three Other Articles
1- Wayfair’s Innovative Recruitment Methods Help Drive Their Award Winning Customer Service (Forbes, 3/28/17)
2- Why Luxury Brands Need to Focus on the Human Customer Experience (Chief!Marketer, 3/24/17)
3- Uber for Car Repair (GeekWire, 3/28/17)
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Till next week.