There are smart home devices and then there are the apps that control those devices, and consumers don’t seem satisfied with both.
It turns out that many consumers are quite happy with their smart devices but when it comes to the way those devices are run, not so much.
Based on analyzing about 50,000 smart home device and app reviews over a four-month period, Argus Insights found that consumers are more frustrated by the applications that dictate, manage and schedule each device than with the actual devices themselves.
Established home security companies including ADT, Comcast and AT&T are at the lower end of delighting customers with their apps while newer smart home entrants including Honeywell and Vivint appear to do better, with their more synchronized hardware and software ecosystems, according to Argus.
There also appear to be other gaps between smart devices and how they are operated.
For example, Philips devices receive a higher customer delight score than devices from Honeywell, but Philips apps are the least liked while Honeywell apps are rated higher. The result is a better overall consumer experience across the entire smart home ecosystem with consumers of Philips devices experience a gap between hardware and software satisfaction.
It strikes me that one of the reasons for more satisfaction with the device than the apps is that a device generally has only to be installed one time. For the most part, smart home device hardware, once set up, does what it’s supposed to do.
The much trickier part is creating the experience in how a consumer uses that device day to day.
For example, the study found that there were frequent complaints of slow video streaming, long load times and the video blacking out.
These complaints are more likely to be categorized around apps as opposed to the hardware devices themselves.
The silver lining I see in this is that the actual smart devices appear to be working and customers are quite satisfied with them, which is a good start.
If the smart device itself didn’t work, there wouldn’t even be a question about the apps, since nobody would even get that far.
The Internet of Things comprises a series of baby steps. One step at a time.