The New Normal and it’s Effects on Smart Home Service

by | Nov 30, 2020

The Smart Home phenomenon started a few years ago and is gaining momentum, in part due to the pandemic. With more people staying home, there is less travel and therefore more disposable income.  And Smart Home spending reflects this; the number of “smart homes” in North America is forecast to grow to more than 300 million homes by 2023.

There have always been challenges in the Smart Home; lack of standardization, privacy and security are still at the top. 

According to this article, and others whom we’ve talked to in the business, another growing concern is how service providers will adapt to the increase in customers and demand.  Right now, there are few digital solutions that can serve customers who have smart home technology.  When there are issues, whether it’s a cable box or a camera or a thermostat, you call someone and if they can’t resolve it over the phone, then they are sending someone to your house. Or you’re sending the device back.  Not a desirable outcome, especially during these times. 

The article goes on to say that any digital service solutions must “teach as they solve”.

The Smart Home boom has had other effects on service: 

  • More in-home service calls are unsuccessful and require the return and replacement of an item (and a second service visit)
  • Consumers will often try to fix an item themselves. When they aren’t successful, they contact support, and valuable time is spent trying to undo what the consumer did
  • Call center volume is way up, and issue resolution rates are proportionately down
  • High Call center turnover is eroding expertise (we discussed this in an earlier post last year)

 

What if there was a digital tool that could increase the number of successful service visits?  What if consumers could learn from this tool and fix more issues before having to contact support?  What if newer technicians could use this tool and therefore rely less on their own support network?

We took publicly available online resources and put together a demo of our Navigator tool, showing how it can help someone fix a thermostat.  Check it out here. It took us minutes.  If you are a service organization, what if you could have this tool learn how to repair all of the devices you are responsible for? Complete with all the manuals and documentation that with one button could pop up right at the page you needed?  Let us know if you want to learn more.

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