Customer Intelligence Drives Robot Sales

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Robots than can read our minds? No one wants that, as Stephen Colbert points out.


But robots that clean the living room are another story. The manufacturer of the Roomba automated vaccum system, iRobot, sells the $300 devices by getting inside its customers' heads. The company appears to be doing lots of things right, based on a mini case study in Adweek.


Working with RightNow Technologies, iRobot manages hundreds of thousands of customer interactions a month across multiple channels, and then uses insights gleaned from the data to refine its marketing efforts.


The company educates customers and learns more about what interests them on a self-service Web site that incorporates content from its equipment manuals and video clips. Customer service agents utilize the same knowledge base so that product information is consistent.


All telephone and e-mail interactions with customers are tracked, with agents using the information to speed transactions and better serve the customer. These strategies have reduced incoming calls by 30 percent and sliced call abandonment rates by 18 percent, Adweek reports.


The company surveys 4,000 customers every month and, again, uses the data to help refine its communications with customers.


This kind of a proactive response to customer relationship management is a strong competitive differentiator says a RightNow executive. "It's like giving your customer relationships a tune-up, not every six months but every 60 minutes."