Pie Digital, provider of a cloud-based and mobile software services management platform for broadband and premium service providers, yesterday launched TotalTechHero, an application suite that fully enables service providers and customer service representatives (CSRs) to support connected homes while reducing customer care expenses by up to 40 percent.
With Pie's technology, the consumer downloads an app, either through an app store or from the broadband service provider's Web site. The app then constantly monitors the home network and can alert the consumer to network issues and other technical problems with any of the devices connected to it. It can also provide the consumer with step-by-step instructions on how to correct many issues and connect him with other resources to find the solution to his network issues.
The application also allows the consumer to optimize his network, protect it, and even prioritize the devices in terms of the amount of bandwidth that is delivered to each.
"There's a big range of conditions in the home that tend to be big call drivers," says John Orcott, CEO of Pie Digital. "A lot of the time, the consumer can fix them on his own without having to call tech support. This app lets him do that."
When the consumer does need to call tech support, the agent who answers the phone can use the application to connect to the consumer's network and diagnose problems remotely, without having to send a technician to the house.
"The app also lets the service provider eliminate the first two to four minutes of the service call by avoiding the discovery process," Orcott says. The support agent doesn't need to ask the typical questions, like whether the customer is on a PC or Mac or which operating system he's using.
"The [support agents] have a common language with the consumer and they all see the same information," Orcott says. "Everything is presented in human terms."
Pie's telco-grade architecture also combines a secure cloud-based knowledge base with consumer and call center applications.
TotalTechHero increases first call resolution, shortens call handling time, and eliminates many additional support calls, addressing a few major issues for call centers, according to Orcott, who says this ultimately leads to higher customer satisfaction.
At the same time, TotalTechHero creates a new revenue channel for service providers via highly personalized, relevant upsell of products and services that are relevant to the issues the consumer is having at the time. As an example, Orcott says the app can automatically detect when a new smartphone is added to the network, detect that the device does not have the recommended antivirus protection, and even suggest an antivirus package from the provider or one of its partners.
"A critical need for the connected home market has been tools that will enable remote management of the home network," said Mike Jude, program manager of consumer communications services for Stratecast, a division of Frost & Sullivan, in a statement. "Our research indicates that Pie Digital is the only technology vendor with a service platform that enables both network operators and consumers to proactively and effectively manage the home network."
"We're helping improve the consumer's quality of service in the home without him having to know anything technical," Orcott says.
Currently, the application supports home broadband networks and the tablets, PCs, laptops, smartphones, smart TVs, routers, and media servers connected to them. As the concept of the smart home advances, other systems, like devices to control lighting, temperature, and appliances, could be added.
According to Orcott, the average consumer makes two or more support calls per year to his broadband provider, and a single on-site visit to fix network or networked device problems in the home can cost more than $200. "We make sure problems are avoided altogether or resolved very efficiently so consumers can get the most out of their connected homes," he says.