Why data and IoT can track down anything, even my missing trashcan
- Posted on November 16, 2020
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
We have been seeing a serious amount of investments over the years in technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), field services and contact centers. These are extremely valuable to customers as they provide enhanced services and features. But are companies really connecting the dots and improving the customer experience? I don’t think they are, and they need to think through how they can go above and beyond.
As an example, I’ll share a small anecdote of my own experience this week.
We live in Germany and every Monday is trash day for us (we are serious about trash - we have 4 different kinds). When I went outside to pick up our trashcan from the street on Monday evening, it was gone and nowhere to be found. Thinking that one of our neighbors had accidentally taken it, we waited until Tuesday for the trashcan to re-appear. But Tuesday came and still no trashcan. I did not want to harass our neighbors and question them on the whereabouts of our trash, so I waited until Wednesday.
Our stress level began to raise slightly. Having no trashcan during the lockdown is almost as bad as having not enough toilet paper. So, I finally called the recycling company, which picks up our trash. I talked to a very polite and technology-enabled agent in the call center.
After checking my details in her system, the rep confirmed that our trashcan was indeed picked up and emptied on Monday (good!) but that it fell into the dump truck during that process (?). A quick explanation to how she they knew that: our trashcan has an RFID chip and the dump truck seems to have a reader and IoT device to recognize that situation – very impressive! The agent then offered to open a service request to get a new trashcan delivered to our house.
Thanks to technology, everything ended well in the end and I will have a new trashcan delivered to our house in two weeks. But the real question is "Why did I need to call in the first place?" If the recycling company has a system that is able to monitor what has happened, why can't they inform me about it? Why isn't there a workflow that triggers a replacement bin to be sent to my home?
This scenario reminds me of Avanade client BDR Thermea and how we helped them by creating an IoT connected services platform that integrates with Microsoft Azure to capture the status of its connected devices.
And look no further than the Microsoft and the Siemens Smart Infrastructure where Avanade implemented Dynamics 365 into that project. Just another proof point of how innovation can power business success and greatly enhance the customer experience.