TechSee, a company providing the first cognitive visual support solution powered by augmented reality and artificial intelligence, has released the findings of its latest survey on smart home support.
According to the findings, almost 40% of the participants have at least one smart device in their homes. Light users, or participants with just one or two devices, find it almost twice as difficult to operate or install smart home products, in comparison to “heavy users” who own four or more products.
A staggering 74% said they were “very likely” or “certain” to take the product back if they felt it was too difficult to operate or install. The products rated most difficult were security systems and smart thermostats. There was a vast difference, however, between light and heavy users when it came to thermostats and the participants opinion on their ability to operate it. Only 4% of heavy users found it difficult to use smart thermostats, with a much higher 11% of light users experiencing problems.
As Eitan Cohen, CEO of TechSee explains, “We see that as consumers become more familiar with smart home devices, they find them easier to set-up and install, This paves the way for additional purchases that generate more revenue and better margins for smart home brands. But the data also highlights an ongoing problem – entry point friction. Users often find product setup difficult and, in many cases, return products as a result.”
The tasks participants cited as the most challenging were troubleshooting (22%), syncing with other devices (15%) and syncing devices with their corresponding apps (11%). Yet 78% of customers prefer opting for self-service when experiencing installation issues, with “how-to videos” the number one choice for guidance. 55% of consumers are willing to use virtual assistants such as Google Home, Siri, and Alexa, to assist with setup and 16% still opt for contacting call centers for guidance.
The smart home device market is showing rapid growth and is forecast to reach $151.38 billion by 2024. Taking this into account Cohen goes on to say, “We see that setup and activation need to be effortless for the consumer, and that the preference is for DIY. Virtual assistants are going to be key for this reason, especially if the smart home industry is to continue growing as expected.”