More than one in three US adults experience issues setting up or operating a connected device, according to data today released from the Customer and Product Experience 360 Survey by iQor, a managed services provider (MSP).
Many consumers apparently are losing faith in the promise of the Smart Home as they struggle with setup and installation issues and disjointed technical support involving multiple people at multiple companies.
Tech-savvy early adopter consumers are frustrated, and many are abandoning efforts to link their devices together, potentially losing out on the full value of the connected ecosystem, according to the survey. Consumers reported having to take more than eight steps to resolve a technical problem or issue with a smart device. Further, consumers are spending, on average, close to 1.5 hours of their own time resolving these issues and one hour working with customer service. More than 20 percent couldn’t resolve the issue or simply gave up, and returned the product for a refund.
The iQor survey polled tech-savvy early adopters, indicating that as adoption becomes mainstream, consumer frustration is likely to cascade unless companies act now to improve their support and resolution process to create a much more streamlined and integrated adoption and set up process for consumers.
Dealing with Multiple People and Companies is Extremely Annoying
Throughout the customer and product service journey, respondents said they dealt with an average of 2.1 companies, over 2.7 sessions and with 3.1 different people as they attempted to install and engage with new connected technology in their home. For seventeen percent of respondents, the challenge was even greater and involved dealing with five or more people when trying to resolve an issue.
Lack of Data Retention Across Channels Delays Issue Resolution
The inability to provide a seamless, frictionless experience across all support channels creates frustration and confusion for the consumer as they interact with multiple people and companies in the resolution process. Throughout this process, only about one in three indicate their information was always retained between customer service steps. Among those whose information was not retained, 81 percent indicated this delayed their resolution and 85 percent found it to be somewhat or extremely annoying.
“Adoption of connected devices is on the verge of transitioning from early adopters to the mainstream as popularity and integration of IoT expands and homes become smarter,” said Autumn Braswell, COO, LinQ Integrated Solutions, iQor. “It is crucial that organizations streamline and improve the support process now to reduce the number of steps, people and brands required to unlock the intended value of the connected device and ensure that the customer service challenges are addressed before mass adoption.”
More than half of consumers read the instructions/manual provided as their first step to solve an issue and nearly one in five asked a friend or family member for help. Of note, the step judged highest for the combination of effectiveness and convenience is YouTube, and nearly half of consumers used YouTube as an interim step in the resolution process.
“Connected devices are improving lives globally but, as devices become more complex and the IoT ecosystem expands, brands need to rethink their service models or else face even more frustrated consumers and unnecessary, costly returns,” said Hartmut Liebel, CEO, iQor. “Connecting the consumer and product journeys, and using those insights to make consumer experience more frictionless and less frustrating, is a matter of concern for industry and consumers.”