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33% of consumers have trouble setting up smart home devices: Survey

33% of consumers have trouble setting up smart home devices: Survey
What is it like to install a DIY smart home device? According to a recent survey conducted by management service provider iQor, more than one in three adults in the U.S. have experienced issues setting up or operating a connected device.

While IoT devices are supposed to make life easier, users are actually struggling with setup and installation issues. Consumers are spending on average 1.5 hours to resolve the issues and one hour working with customer service, according to the survey.

About 22% of the respondents couldn’t resolve their problems after trying all possible means or simply gave up, and returned the product for a refund. However, iQor’s research shows that 15% to 30% of the returned products actually have no problems. The percentage reaches as high as 65% for some product categories.

Consumers who purchase DIY connected devices include early adopters and millennials. They tend to spend more time trying to solve technical issues because they are more confident in their technology knowledge. It means that most customers first rely on themselves before calling customer service for help.

When there is a setup or installation issue, what do people do first? 59% of the respondents would read the instructions or manual provided, and 14% would ask a friend or family member for help. On average, it takes consumers eight steps to resolve an issue.

The typical journey goes like this: read instructions, visit manufacturer’s website, search on Google, explore other websites, call manufacturer’s customer service hotline, and return for repair or replacement. In the process, consumers deal with an average of 2.1 companies, over 2.7 sessions and 3.1 different people.

Even the issue goes to the customer service, the uncompleted consumer support actually creates more unsatisfied customers. About one in three of the respondents said their information was always retained between customer service steps. For those whose information wasn’t retained, 81% said this delayed the resolution and 85% found this extremely annoying.

Both high return percentage and frustrated consumers are expected to increase costs for manufacturers.

One thing to be noted is the power of video clips. According to the survey, 47% of the respondents have used YouTube as an interim step in the resolution process. How manufacturers create better support is critical, and they might want to consider media assistance due to the popularity of YouTube.

“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,” said Autumn Braswell, COO of LinQ Integrated Solutions at iQor.

The study polled 1,004 U.S. adults 18 and up who are living in a “smart household” environment.

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