Internet of Things isn’t just for industrial enterprises or smart home enthusiasts. The strengths of this tech revolution—in which equipment shares real-time data—are ideal for meeting the challenges of service providers, from restaurants to automotive shops to pet groomers. Chief among those challenges is evolving customer expectations.
Today’s consumers expect fast, consistent service. In one 2021 survey, nearly 70 percent of respondents considered fast shipping a deciding factor for online purchases. Increasingly, “fast” means instant, with the same-day delivery market expected to grow at a rate of over 20 percent through 2027. But these expectations aren’t limited to e-commerce. If you can’t meet a client’s timeline, they’ll go somewhere else—maybe somewhere that’s already using IoT solutions for a better customer experience.
IoT has plenty to offer in addressing service challenges, including predictive maintenance, asset tracking, and advanced process automation. But the critical advantage IoT brings to service industries comes from one capability: service tracking.
Service tracking is just what it sounds like real-time visibility into the progression of a task, whether that’s boat repair or a haircut. An IoT solution provides this visibility automatically. Here’s a quick picture of how IoT service tracking works:
Of course, every IoT implementation is unique, and this is just a snapshot. It may leave you wondering why service providers should pay attention to IoT. The answer is that IoT provides extraordinary advantages for service companies.
Service tracking with IoT leads to a range of benefits. Early adopters in service industries are already implementing IoT solutions to:
Of course, service tracking isn’t the only way IoT benefits service providers. IoT greatly simplifies asset tracking for goods and equipment. Sensors in core equipment can track usage for more precise preventative maintenance. They can even send data to machine learning models to enable predictive maintenance. And this is a fast-moving technology; there’s always more on the horizon.
What service tracking can offer is an Uber-like experience for everything. Uber’s strength is its predictability. When you open the app, you know your driver will be there at a certain time, which gives you the freedom to make other choices. Say your driver is 15 minutes away; maybe you have time to grab that cup of coffee. If a nearby cafe uses IoT service tracking, and their app tells you the wait time is just 6 minutes, you’ll know that you do.