Why Digital Twins And Customer Service Are A Perfect Pair

Post written by

Michael Ringman

Chief Information Officer at TELUS International, a global customer experience provider powered by next-gen digital solutions.

If you haven't yet heard about digital twins, you will. The concept of creating a digital replica of a physical object may sound far-fetched, but it's no longer science fiction.

In fact, 30% of Global 2000 companies are predicted to use data from digital twins by next year, both to accelerate innovation and to increase organizational efficiency. A recent research report encompassing industries including healthcare, utilities and transportation predicts that the digital twin market, currently valued at $3.8 billion, could grow to $35.8 billion by 2025.

Digital twins are powered by internet of things (IoT) technology that incorporates sensors and creates connections to the internet. They differ from IoT technology in the sense that a digital twin can represent anything in a physical environment that is continuously updated to reflect the item in its current physical state.

In the context of customer service, digital twins have a lot of potential because of the need to deliver more personalized, anticipatory and consistent service across all channels. By bridging the gap between the physical world and the digital world, digital twins can enable a brand’s customer service to provide this differentiated level of service through the data they provide.

A big challenge facing contact center agents who provide technical support is identifying and resolving customer problems quickly, accurately and consistently. It isn't always easy to determine the nature of an issue based on a phone call or chat conversation alone, especially as products and services continue to become more and more complex.

Digital twins resolve this struggle by providing accurate data straight from the source: the product itself. Through digital twin technology, companies can test upgrades and new features while proactively troubleshooting before releasing them to the public to avoid any unwanted errors. This practice provides organizations with both lessons and opportunities learned from the digital twin that can then be applied to the physical product or solution.

By including IoT technology and sensors into products that gather data, information can be sent back to the organization to provide on-the-ground insight into how products are being used, how well they're performing and the status of the operating system. This allows call center agents to glean more accurate information about malfunctions to more swiftly determine the measures that must be taken to restore the product to peak performance.

An important consideration when employing a digital twin is that organizations are recording data and transferring it via cloud technology. This data may be sensitive and contain intellectual property, which puts the organization at risk of a breach. To avoid this, security should be considered a priority from the start for organizations integrating digital twin technology into their customer experience.

As such, brands should avoid the bandage fix of layering on new security software as an afterthought. In addition to this approach not meeting all your needs, it can also complicate an already complex aspect of your business from a technology standpoint. As often happens when new platforms and systems are introduced, legacy systems are no longer top of mind, and updates and maintenance can lag. As such, consolidating new security programs with legacy systems will offer brands more seamless methods of managing and updating their programs while also offering cutting-edge digital twin technology safely and securely.

In the same breath, implementing the latest and greatest cybersecurity system isn’t going to protect a company if it can’t be properly managed by employees, whether or not companies have the resources and skills in-house. From a people perspective, brands need to assess if hiring, training or upskilling will be necessary to manage any new technology.

Digital twins positively impact companies as a whole, providing insights to drive critical business decisions such as the development of leading-edge products and services and maximized ad spends and marketing activities, leading to a better overall customer experience. These activities stand to drive sustained top-line growth.

In other words, when it comes to providing a better overall customer experience, physical objects paired with digital twin technology are a perfect match.

Forbes Technology Council is an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs and technology executives. Do I qualify?
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If you haven't yet heard about digital twins, you will. The concept of creating a digital replica of a physical object may sound far-fetched, but it's no longer science fiction.

In fact, 30% of Global 2000 companies are predicted to use data from digital twins by next year, both to accelerate innovation and to increase organizational efficiency. A recent research report encompassing industries including healthcare, utilities and transportation predicts that the digital twin market, currently valued at $3.8 billion, could grow to $35.8 billion by 2025.

Digital twins are powered by internet of things (IoT) technology that incorporates sensors and creates connections to the internet. They differ from IoT technology in the sense that a digital twin can represent anything in a physical environment that is continuously updated to reflect the item in its current physical state.

In the context of customer service, digital twins have a lot of potential because of the need to deliver more personalized, anticipatory and consistent service across all channels. By bridging the gap between the physical world and the digital world, digital twins can enable a brand’s customer service to provide this differentiated level of service through the data they provide.

A big challenge facing contact center agents who provide technical support is identifying and resolving customer problems quickly, accurately and consistently. It isn't always easy to determine the nature of an issue based on a phone call or chat conversation alone, especially as products and services continue to become more and more complex.

Digital twins resolve this struggle by providing accurate data straight from the source: the product itself. Through digital twin technology, companies can test upgrades and new features while proactively troubleshooting before releasing them to the public to avoid any unwanted errors. This practice provides organizations with both lessons and opportunities learned from the digital twin that can then be applied to the physical product or solution.

By including IoT technology and sensors into products that gather data, information can be sent back to the organization to provide on-the-ground insight into how products are being used, how well they're performing and the status of the operating system. This allows call center agents to glean more accurate information about malfunctions to more swiftly determine the measures that must be taken to restore the product to peak performance.

An important consideration when employing a digital twin is that organizations are recording data and transferring it via cloud technology. This data may be sensitive and contain intellectual property, which puts the organization at risk of a breach. To avoid this, security should be considered a priority from the start for organizations integrating digital twin technology into their customer experience.

As such, brands should avoid the bandage fix of layering on new security software as an afterthought. In addition to this approach not meeting all your needs, it can also complicate an already complex aspect of your business from a technology standpoint. As often happens when new platforms and systems are introduced, legacy systems are no longer top of mind, and updates and maintenance can lag. As such, consolidating new security programs with legacy systems will offer brands more seamless methods of managing and updating their programs while also offering cutting-edge digital twin technology safely and securely.

In the same breath, implementing the latest and greatest cybersecurity system isn’t going to protect a company if it can’t be properly managed by employees, whether or not companies have the resources and skills in-house. From a people perspective, brands need to assess if hiring, training or upskilling will be necessary to manage any new technology.

Digital twins positively impact companies as a whole, providing insights to drive critical business decisions such as the development of leading-edge products and services and maximized ad spends and marketing activities, leading to a better overall customer experience. These activities stand to drive sustained top-line growth.

In other words, when it comes to providing a better overall customer experience, physical objects paired with digital twin technology are a perfect match.

Forbes Technology Council is an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs and technology executives. Do I qualify?

CIO at TELUS International, a global customer experience provider powered by next-gen digital solutions.