smart home
Photo source:, makers of cloud-based Nexus® software for Support Interaction Optimization (SIO) and a leading provider of tech support and turnkey support center services, unveiled survey findings showing that the cost and inherent complexity of Smart Home systems and devices is threatening consumer adoption and brand loyalty.

The new report, entitled, “The Smart Home Customer Experience: Repairing the Broken Promise,” surveyed more than 3,000 U.S. consumers, and examined the drivers and barriers of Intelligent Home usage and behavior for both Smart Home owners and potential buyers. The report uncovers key considerations across the entire customer journey – buying, installing, using and troubleshooting Smart Home systems – and reveals consumers’ needs for self-service or guided support from technology brands, device manufacturers and service providers.

The findings of the survey center around four key issues and offer the following related insights:

  • Complexity: The complexity of installing and configuring Smart Home systems is already frustrating users and causing hesitation in potential buyers
    • 31 percent of Inteligent Home owners struggle with the complexity of configuration and technical support of Smart Home devices and systems
    • 43 percent of potential buyers are concerned about the complexity of installation and the connectivity of Smart Home devices
  • Cost: Despite the ability to deliver enhanced value to a home, the perceived cost of Smart Home systems is a deterrent for many consumers
    • 67 percent of potential buyers say the cost to buy, set-up and maintain a Smart Home system is the number one barrier to purchasing Intelligent Home devices or systems
  • Self-service: Smart Home owners and potential buyers want to be able to install and fix Smart Home devices and systems on their own, but complexity and the lack of adequate support create hurdles
    • 61 percent of Intelligent Home owners want to fix issues on their own and are frustrated if they can’t
    • 49 percent of potential buyers are concerned that they won’t be able to fix issues on own
  • Technical support: Because of the disparate nature of Intelligent Home devices available from multiple manufacturers and service providers, both owners and potential buyers are unsure where to turn for service and support
    • 43 percent of potential buyers are concerned they wouldn’t know which company would be responsible for support
    • 53 percent of potential buyers think the best option is to have a single service provider handle support for all connected devices

“In the wake of new Smart Home technologies unveiled at CES 2016, consumers are left to deal with the not-insignificant task of securely and properly installing and managing these new devices,” said Elizabeth Cholawsky, CEO at “The inherent complexity of this task – and the lack of adequate customer support at the installation stage and beyond – is threatening wider consumer adoption, as well as breaking the implied brand promise of an easier, more automated home.

“At this early stage of Smart Home evolution with standards and ecosystems still emerging, these challenges are not going away anytime soon,” Cholawsky added. “Device manufacturers and service providers need to mitigate this risk to adoption by employing customer support strategies that accompany customers from purchase and install, through use and troubleshooting, all the way to upgrade.”

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