Call it a complexity complex. Despite being tapped as one of the up-and-coming categories in the consumer electronics space, smart-home devices and systems may be facing an uphill battle luring new consumers into the market.
According to a survey of more than 3,000 consumers by Support.com, nearly a third (31%) of current smart-home device owners struggle with the set-up and support of their smart-home systems. Their frustration seems to be bleeding over into the rest of the market, with 43% of potential buyers expressing concerns about installation and connection.
“Some of the early experiences of existing home owners is bleeding into the perception of smart-home products,” Alex Poulos, VP of marketing for Support.com, tells Marketing Daily. “There are tremendous products available now [but makers] should think about the overall experience and customer service rather than the technology itself.”
Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds (61%) of smart-home device owners are frustrated when they run into an issue and can’t fix it themselves. At the same time, nearly half (49%) of potential buyers are concerned they won’t be able to fix a problem on their own, should one arise. With so many different devices and manufacturers, consumers are also unsure of where to turn to find solutions. More than half (53%) of potential buyers would like to have one place to turn for all connected-device issues.
“[Providers] should be thinking about the experience across support channels,” Poulos says. ““It’s not about breaking and fixing any more. It’s enabling the consumer to get more out of the product.”