Smart home consumer problems increase with rising DIY installs

Addison, Tx

Image courtesy of Parks Associates

Recent research from Parks Associates’ Shifting Support Needs: Opportunities for Remote Solutions reveals 34% of smart home device owners report having technical problems within the last 12 months.

A loss of wireless connectivity is the most common problem experience, followed by having an unresponsive device. Shifting Support Needs: Opportunities for Remote Solutions tracks consumer experience with connected devices and highlights specific pain points with leading product categories throughout the consumer journey, from purchase to ongoing use.

“Just under 20% of smart home device owners report having a smart home device professionally installed by the company that sold them the product, and 16% report hiring a contractor to set up a device,” said Patrice Samuels, Senior Analyst, Parks Associates. “As smart home device manufacturers attempt to drive market growth, keeping product prices low is essential. Therefore, many have embraced DIY setup strategies that minimize overall consumer product costs.”

The consumer study reveals 65% of consumers who self-installed their smart home devices would prefer to self-install devices in the future. This finding is consistent with the percentage of consumers reporting preference to set up their devices themselves in the future in 2018 and 2019. Consumer preference to set up devices on their own validates the increasing use of DIY setup strategies among device manufacturers and helps these manufacturers save on support costs.

The research also finds the percentage of consumers experiencing technical problems has more than doubled since 2018, with 34% of smart home device owners experiencing at least one technical problem within the last 12 months. Given the high costs associated with providing in-home support, smart home device manufacturers must embrace sophisticated remote tools that reduce the need for in-home support. Additionally, 45% of consumers are now more hesitant to allow technicians in their home.

“Remote technical support channels are increasingly important, given the social distancing guidelines brought on by the Covid-19 crisis. While the type of remote support available to consumers will vary based on the problem they experience, it remains important to understand consumers’ preferences,” Samuels said.


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