2nd October 2018

Happy Autumn (aka Fall)!

With the season changing here in the Northern Hemisphere, householders are one by one turning their heating back on. Or rather, trying to – some find that their heating system won’t switch back on! At this time of year, heating engineers – and companies selling smart home heating solutions – can be overwhelmed dealing with customer questions and complaints.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. IoT offers opportunities to move from an old-fashioned reactive customer support model to a proactive one, benefiting both vendor and customer. Rather than waiting for the phone to ring, it’s now often possible for a vendor to know that there’s a problem with a device before the customer does, and book in an appointment to solve it in a timely way.

To illustrate with home heating, it’s possible to remotely switch on the heating for just 10 minutes one day during late summer and check for a small spike in house temperature. If no spike is seen then there’s a problem and the customer can be alerted in good time, possibly given a set of self-serve diagnostics, and – in a worst case scenario – dispatch a service person. (A great use of resources at a time when they’d be twiddling their thumbs anyway!)