It’s no secret that a positive support experience promotes brand success, especially when it comes to consumer adoption of the “things” that make up the Internet of Things, like smart home systems and devices. Although the smart home promise of a better, easier life is appealing, the explosive growth of interconnected devices is threatening to stall as people find the new technology too complex and frustrating to install and use.
Unlike traditional computers, smart phones and tablets, smart home devices often don’t have enough obvious value to justify the frustration of getting them to work. This results in a disconnect between the brand promise and actual customer experience, creating a serious threat to consumer adoption of smart home devices.
The direct correlation between customer effort and brand loyalty means that connected service providers and technology brands must incorporate intelligent support solutions to improve the customer experience, build trust, increase loyalty and drive revenue. Brands that develop proactive, contextual support for the connected home that reduces customer effort will improve the entire smart home experience.
Proactive Onboarding and Installation
According to a recent survey, nearly 90 percent of consumers will return a technology product within one week if it is too difficult to set up and use regularly. But, only 52 percent are willing to spend time and effort troubleshooting with tech support.
This leaves a very small window of opportunity to live up to the brand promise and a much larger chance for consumers to abandon the technology entirely. There is a therefore a huge opportunity for IoT and smart home companies to bridge the gap between the promise and the reality to improve the post-purchase user experience and drive consumer adoption.
The complexity of IoT products and systems requires proactive support and intelligent guidance to alleviate frustration, reduce returns and boost overall customer satisfaction. By anticipating obstacles and guiding implementation, technology brands have the opportunity to build trust and provide real value for consumer tech products and systems.
Personalized Omnichannel Customer Experience
The preferred method and approach for interacting with technology brands varies greatly among consumers. Data reveal that, while a quarter of consumers still use the phone for tech support, 19 percent think phone support is frustrating and ineffective for troubleshooting and resolving issues.
One in three connected consumers prefers the flexibility of self-service support with the option of access to a live representative. Different consumer needs and expectations mean technology brands and IoT service providers must offer multiple channels for personalized support to improve the customer experience.
Guided Contextual Support
A holistic approach to tech support is necessary in the era of IoT because interconnectedness in the home will continue to increase. The growth of new technology offerings means that consumers will run into more and more problems as they try to get all their “things” to talk to each other.
More intelligent, intuitive and efficient support solutions are required to reduce customer effort and create a better brand experience. Contextual guidance for troubleshooting with tech support is key to enhancing a seamless customer experience and providing data-informed support solutions.
The future of IoT and consumer smart home adoption depends on how well technology companies and service providers minimize customer effort to improve brand experiences throughout the entire customer journey.
About the Author: Lee Gruenfeld is Vice President, Strategic Initiatives for Support.com, responsible for overseeing the development of the company’s leadership in defining and shaping how the Internet of Things should be supported.
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