Wifi-enabled smart home devices are one of the biggest trends in consumer technology. We can expect to see many upcoming home automation devices — IoT connected thermostats, Smart security systems, Smart kitchen appliances, etc. — turn into popular purchases in 2022. However, with the increasing rise in Smart products in the market, businesses must ask themselves: are they doing enough to target a significant aspect like in-home customer care and use it to their advantage?
Despite the obvious conveniences with Smart home automation systems and devices, you’d be surprised to know that many consumers are actually unaware of the practical value that such devices could have in their lives. To put this into perspective, a CES 2020 study revealed that while 80% of survey respondents revealed a keen interest in home automation, a mere 11% actually went through to purchasing a device, and 37% are still on edge about whether to invest in Smart home devices or not. So, the question now is: With an apparent rise in Smart home systems and devices, why do the majority still not end up purchasing?
What is preventing consumers from making the final Smart home device/system purchase decision?
A Smart Home Support Report survey demonstrated many eye-opening factors that could influence the purchase of smart home devices.
- The majority of respondents claimed that ease of use and a simple installation process is very important. If a device/product is complicated, 74% of respondents would likely return it.
- Complexity is a red flag for customers. The report indicated that consumers find the most complex tasks to be troubleshooting, syncing with other devices, and syncing the device with the app, especially when there is insufficient in-home customer care.
The survey also revealed what consumers look forward to when purchasing smart home devices and automation systems. The demand for visual self-service and in-home customer care is increasing, and 78% of respondents prefer to integrate a smart device into their life as long as there is a ‘how-to video’ and an easy set-up process to go along with it. Sixteen per cent still favour using a helpline or contacting customer care.
Essentially, the fundamental takeaway from this entire survey report is that an effective in-home customer issue diagnosis & resolution tool will lead to lower cost to serve, increased customer loyalty and better ARPU.
Smart home devices and effective in-home customer care features
It has been established that customers search for simple, convenient and efficient smart home devices that come along with effective in-home customer care features. And it’s safe to say this awareness gap in the industry has been recognised. Smart home brands and service providers are now becoming more customer service-oriented and paying attention to important details such as efficient in-home customer care features. Some examples of these are:
- Xunison’s Mesh Wifi Devices are pre-provisioned, so they automatically connect when powered up — no more truck-rolls to set up devices. Simplicity is a central element here. Additionally, they alert users/residents if a mesh device has gone offline, any fluctuations/decreases in signal quality, and advise them of optimal placement of mesh units to receive maximum potential. Although the devices are ‘plug-and-play’ — preconfigured with a simple QR scan, any further changes in the configuration on the routers is only a matter of a few clicks. Ultimately, these features make the set-up process a breeze and eliminate the need to send out a technician.
- Smart sensors such as Temperature and Humidity Sensors contain features such as allowing the user to set their ideal conditions and alerting them if there is any slight change in the temperature/humidity. A wireless indoor thermometer/hygrometer combination measures air temperature, and humidity and measurements are updated every 16 seconds. Such qualities are crucial for people, for example, with their own epoxy resin businesses where the temperature plays a vital role in allowing the epoxy resin to cure properly. The epoxy resin cures at temperatures slightly warmer than room temperature, and a Smart temperature/humidity sensor can definitely aid in making sure there are no mistakes there.
- Smart devices have slowly penetrated the health industry and allow consumers to live more carefully, keeping certain fatal triggers in check. For example, Propeller Health has developed a digital health tool — a smart inhaler — which attaches to a patients’ existing inhalers. The smart device “delivers insights on medication use, symptoms, triggers and environmental factors to the Propeller app on their smartphones, which patients can then share with their clinicians to help inform their treatment plans.”
“If, according to our forecast, we recognize that the pollen count might be high at an asthma patient’s home, the Propeller Health app will warn this individual so he can take action ahead of the time,” Korber said. “For example, closing the windows before the pollen gets into the house, turning on his air purifier, or even using his personal inhaler.”
- Many Smart devices brands also offer installation services and easy onboarding to help users start utilizing their smart home devices as soon as possible. Speedy technical support and response and completely remote administration let customer care teams handle issues quickly and correctly the first time. Such features are of great help and provide peace of mind to users whenever they face any technical issues or problems or simply when they have any questions. Many smart home devices come along with an intuitive mobile app, allowing subscribers to have the self-help features they need.