Will Consumer Frustration with Connected Devices Torpedo the Smart Home Dream?


The smart home is creating frustrated consumers. More than 1 in 3 US adults experience issues setting up or operating a connected device. 

The hype surrounding the smart home has enticed many consumers into entering the vast, complex world of the Internet of Things (IoT). In fact, Zion Market Research shows that within the next four years, the global smart home market will increase from $24.10 billion in revenue in 2016 to $53.45 billion in 2022.


Trends in Consumer Electronics

Consumers are drawn to the sophistication of smart gadgets and the unrivaled convenience they afford; the smart home battle intensified at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), with brands fighting for the title of most innovative smart assistant, such as bathroom mirrors that control the shower and Alexa able to control upward of 4,000 devices. Additionally, various appliances are integrating clever voice assistants into the kitchen and living room, among other areas in the home. However, amidst the smart home boom, technical frustrations and inadequate customer and product support have become more apparent, and these barriers are holding consumers back from experiencing the full potential of the smart home.


Customer and Product Experience Survey

At iQor, we investigated the customer and product experience gap within the smart home market. The Customer and Product Experience 360 (CPX 360) survey, commissioned by iQor and conducted online by SSI, polled more than 1,000 U.S. adults 18 and up living in a “smart household” environment to gauge customer experience and customer service expectations of buyers of consumer technology in today’s digital age, with insights broken down into a three-part series.


CPX 360 Survey Findings

With connected device adoption still in its infancy, the findings indicate that tech-savvy early adopters are easily frustrated during the resolution process of a technical problem or issue, taking on average close to 1.5 hours of their own time resolving these issues and one hour with customer service or technical support. Nearly one in four consumers (22 percent) couldn’t resolve the issue or simply gave up, and returned the product for a refund.


As adoption becomes mainstream, existing consumer frustrations will likely escalate unless companies proactively improve their support and resolution process to create a much more streamlined and integrated set up process for consumers.


iQor's Solutions to Consumer Headaches

Ultimately, the shift toward the smart home is a global phenomenon but, as devices become more complex and adoption expands to non-technical consumers, brands will need to rethink the consumer and product journey to ensure the user experience is frictionless and less frustrating. If brands fail to address the challenges associated with IoT adoption, device return rates will continue to increase, and the smart home market will suffer.


The survey findings highlight the need for brands to improve the support process to not only reduce the number of steps, but also in creating more effective self-help options, enabling all consumers to unlock the intended value of the full connected home.


Learn more about the CPX 360 survey here.