Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), connected device adoption is exploding.
Device by device, homeowners are turning their homes into voice-activated, mesh-networked-, remotely-monitored havens. From smart thermostats, lights, fridges, TVs, ovens and more, Gartner reports that IoT-enabled devices will reach 20.4 billion globally by 2020, almost doubling from an estimated 11.1 billion in 2018.
Sure, the first time you adjust the thermostat from underneath your mountain of blankets while tuning to your favorite show all with the sound of your voice feels like magic, but that feeling can quickly wane thanks to one faulty connection. And in a home where everything is connected, one problem can quickly lead to a domino effect of issues, taking a cozy night in, to a total meltdown. To keep customers happy, companies will need to be ready to solve the onslaught of these new product challenges, but how?
To prepare for those challenges, iQor created a Smart Home Simulation Room. Based out of our Integrated Service Delivery Hub in Memphis, Tennessee, the Smart Home Simulation Room is an advanced IoT-enabled laboratory designed to replicate the issues consumers face when using any number of connected devices – especially those that depend on entire ecosystems of technology to operate correctly.
Got to Test Them All
The Smart Home Simulation Room looks at the systemic issues and the long list of possible frustrations we create within the room or surveyed by our own customers. This includes setup, WiFi connectivity, Internet bandwidth, signal strength, and interoperability, or the inability for specific devices to interact and exchange information.
That’s where iQor’s Smart Home Simulation Room really comes in handy. Using the room as our special ‘model home’, we seek to understand the challenges of all devices involved by conducting co-existence testing, which measures how well (or poor) a device can perform in the presence of other devices and a mixed-signal environment.
All connected devices and products using wireless or Bluetooth connections – routers, gaming consoles, speakers, digital assistants, light bulbs, security systems, thermostats and much more – are tested in an environment which simulates the modern-day consumer home. The endless array of devices gives us the opportunity to continuously test different smart home scenarios where we can identify potential issues that could arise within a user’s unique routine. We’ve found that even the most advanced technology can create the most complex of technical problems that need better than average support.
Smart Homes Need Smart Support
We use insights derived from the data to develop new solutions and trouble-shooting scenarios, which are then shared back to contact centers to help customer service agents coach consumers through the product resolution journey. This means less “did you try turning it off and back on again” and more advice that delights customers by solving their most frustrating problems.
In a recent demonstration, iQor’s lab showed how the physical layout and vertical positioning of Wi-Fi and other IoT components could increase the signal strength to a smart-TV in another room by as much as 30 percent—eliminating poor 4K streaming performance. This use case exemplifies how it can sometimes be the operating environment, rather than the various hardware devices themselves, that are hindering optimal connectivity. Even the most tech-savvy customer will benefit from little tricks like this.
Build It So They Come; Troubleshoot So They Stay
iQor found through our CPX360 Survey that many users end up frustrated with setup issues and end up returning devices even when nothing is wrong with them. So learning more about a connected home’s operating environment could also mean less return labels and more loyal, satisfied customers sticking around as agents and online resources can more accurately walk consumers through trouble-shooting techniques.
To make waves as a leading product, smart devices need smart solutions. Understanding the hyper-connected consumer is key, and companies will need to understand how their latest smart product fits within the entire home ecosystem to provide the best service. Unlock those insights, and you may save your customers from a total technical meltdown.