New Survey Shows Early Smart Home Customer Experiences Present Challenges
Early adopters and potential buyers cite complexity, cost, and service as key concerns
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — Support.com Inc. has unveiled survey findings indicating that the cost and complexity of smart home systems and devices is threatening consumer adoption and brand loyalty.
The new report, entitled “The Smart Home Customer Experience: Repairing the Broken Promise,” surveyed more than 3,000 U.S. consumers, and examined the drivers and barriers of smart home usage and behavior for both smart home owners and potential buyers. The report examines key considerations regarding buying, installing, using, and troubleshooting smart home systems, and reveals consumers’ needs for self-service or guided support from device manufacturers and service providers.
The findings of the survey center around four key issues and offer the following related insights:
• Complexity: The complexity of installing and configuring smart home systems is frustrating some users and causing hesitation in potential buyers.
— 31 percent of smart home owners struggle with the complexity of configuration and technical support of smart home devices and systems.
— 43 percent of potential buyers are concerned about the complexity of installation and the connectivity of smart home devices.
• Cost: Despite the ability to deliver enhanced value to a home, the perceived cost of smart home systems is a deterrent for many consumers.
— 67 percent of potential buyers say the cost to buy, set up, and maintain a smart home system is the number one barrier to purchasing smart home devices or systems.
• Self-service: Many smart home owners and potential buyers want to be able to install and fix smart home devices and systems on their own, but complexity and the lack of adequate support create hurdles.
— 61 percent of smart home owners want to fix issues on their own and are frustrated if they can’t.
— 49 percent of potential buyers are concerned that they won’t be able to fix issues on their own.
• Technical support: Because of the disparate nature of smart home devices available from multiple manufacturers and service providers, both owners and potential buyers are unsure where to turn for service and support.
— 43 percent of potential buyers are concerned they wouldn’t know which company would be responsible for support.
— 53 percent of potential buyers think the best option is to have a single service provider handle support for all connected devices.
“At this early stage of smart home evolution with standards and ecosystems still emerging, these challenges are not going away anytime soon,” said Elizabeth Cholawsky, CEO at Support.com. “Device manufacturers and service providers need to mitigate this risk to adoption by employing customer support strategies that accompany customers from purchase and install, through use and troubleshooting, all the way to upgrade.”
To see the entire set of survey findings, download the report at http://pages.support.com/smart-home-full-report.html.
Publication date: 3/22/2016