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iQor's Braswell Autumn: More than a third of American adults find it difficult to connect to connected devices

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iQor, a global provider of customer interaction solutions and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), has released the results of its "Customer and Product Experience 360" survey on early connected device users such as as smart refrigerators, thermostats and speakers.

Autumn Braswell, Chief Operating Officer of iQor, shares some of the key findings of the survey and explains how rising expectations regarding the use of connected devices are forcing companies to improve their game and improve their experiences and travels. about the potential of these devices.

Here is a transcript of our conversation. To see the entire interview, click on the video below or on the built-in SoundCloud player.

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Small Business Trends: Let's talk about The results of this very interesting survey, you've done it: "Customer and Product Experience 360." And it's a survey that you put on the results, a few -some really interesting results that came out of it, especially with regard to the whole smart home, and the connected devices, and the kind of the first adopter of these people, and get into some of the interesting pieces of it.

Small Business Trends: Tell us more about iQor.

Autumn Braswell : iQor is a really interesting company that no one has ever heard of. We are the name behind a lot of brands. Concretely, what we do for our customers [original equipment manufacturers, carriers, media companies, financial services] is every point of customer contact; customer acquisition, they do retention and retention services, technical support or even back office. But then we also manage the product path. Whenever there is something wrong with your device, most of the time we are the ones who retrieve and repair it, we return it, or have one for you. he makes a little progress exchange.

There are many companies that do the customers' side or products. But, we combine both, which is why this survey was so interesting for us.

Small Business Trends: Tell us a little more about the survey, and especially why did you decide to do it now?

Autumn Braswell : Because we have the privilege of covering many different vertical markets, and also many different actors in these verticals, we actually have an interesting view of the ecosystem; and Connected Home is becoming a very complex ecosystem. And so, we have seen a lot of inefficiencies, and the frustration of customers having to deal with several companies, if something was wrong with a device. And also, this lack of data following the client, so a lot of repetition. And then, what we also see in our depot, depending on the product, we will see up to 60% of devices with actually nothing wrong with them.

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We knew that there was a lot of frustration and leaks in the system, and so we wanted to hear the consumer's point of view, their frustration, their background and their preference. method of maintenance.

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Small Business Trends: Give us the main points to remember, and perhaps even some of the surprising discoveries that came out of it.

Autumn Braswell : We knew in a way that they had to deal with several parties if they had a problem to solve, and this was validated, that they had to deal with two or three companies on three different sessions, and three different people, they were talking. So, we have to validate this point.

They usually went through eight different items on this service route, so eight different locations starting with self-help, then entering customer service at some point. It was very interesting, they spent an hour and a half of their time doing self-help. And then an extra hour with service and support.

But one of the most interesting elements is that we gave them a list of 20 different things that they could do, read everything from the manual, ask a friend, until the end to call the customer service number. And we asked them to evaluate this from two lenses – one is the convenience, and the other being the efficiency. And the most effective and practical way was YouTube. The fourth most practical and effective was expert crowd forums. I think these two things speak both of the digital ways in which people like to engage in video content, but also of how we have to start thinking about the element of outsourcing open and help our customers.

Small Business Trends: The people who participated in this survey are people who are early adopters. Maybe you could give us a bit of a profile of what these people are.

Autumn Braswell : Maybe that should not have been so surprising to us. More than 6,000 people participated in the survey and, to participate in the survey, they had to use a mobile phone and not a smart phone like a smart phone. They had to have a computer or a laptop, and then they had to have at least two connected devices in their house. And it could be anything, a connected thermostat, connected bulbs or a Wink system. They had to have at least two. And finally, we were looking for people who had a problem in the last few years, a support event.

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When we looked at the demographics of these people, our demographics ended up representing 59% of early adopters. Where, in the normal population curve, we would see about 17% of the population And so, I think, thinking of the people we were doing this investigation, are the ones who are technology experts. Who are interested in technology, which usually do not have a problem. So see how many of them have a problem in the last two years, and especially around the installation and configuration, really shows that if connected access providers want to see this adoption of mass we all want, and speeding that up, we really need to make it a lot easier out of the box, all of a sudden. And second, let 's think a bit about the ecosystem in which these things live, and how do we create the content in a way that helps them put it in place very quickly.

Small Business Trends: I consider myself an early adept. I have a lot of things connected in my house. One thing that jumps out at me, and I imagine that I fall in the same case, is that I actually looked at the manual because I could not make it work. I've actually looked at the manual. But, how do expectations and behaviors change when it comes to using these home technologies, these connected devices. How does this change the expectations of customers? It seems like you had a lot of early adopters, so how does this change the expectations of early users for the use of this type of devices?

Autumn Braswell : Yes, and I can not believe you were also reading the manual … We were surprised to see that 59% of our respondents, it was the first place where they went. I did not even know that they existed anymore. [laughter]. But, expectations with consumers are at a record high. There was a case, a moment, even with the initial smartphones, where I think people were a lot more patient trying to figure out, "What's going to do for me?" But consumers have this expectation going to work together seamlessly, it will create a very personalized experience for them.

When I ask Alexa to turn on my Hue bulbs and turn down my thermostat, it all works perfectly. Expectations are therefore extremely high, but the ecosystem has not yet achieved this goal. Companies still have to work through multiple protocols between devices, and also think about that, less about the point solution, like connecting my thermostat. And more about how the thermostat lives throughout the house.

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Small Business Trends: All right, so I mean that there are a lot of things going on, and there are a lot of moving parts. But it's not necessarily a pleasure to have, it's almost a need to engage your customers and prospects through some of these devices and ecosystems. So, how do businesses that have not started yet but know that they have to go, how do they do so to create the kind of experiences and travels that customers expect today? 39; hui?

Autumn Braswell : I would say that you begin to understand that consumers expect this device, not just as a single device, but how it expects to interact with the rest of the House. I'm thinking of mapping the customer journey, you know? This is not a new tactic, but the interaction with the customer or the points of contact with the brand are no longer just single points, or a single stream. But, in many different places, and understand what it means, and meet the customer where they want to be met, you know? We talked about different media and consume things the way they want. You need to think about it a lot more globally, so when you create service content, you have to deliver it on video, distribute it in a FAQ, and arm it with that information.

And so, I think it's just thinking of the service in a more holistic way, and from your point of view, really understanding the expectation of this device by the customer, and making it relatively transparent right out of the box.

Small Business Trends: And apparently, you also have to do a very good manual that people can actually use, and take advantage of.

Autumn Braswell : A very good manual.

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This is part of the series of face-to-face interviews with opinion leaders. The transcript has been edited for publication. If it's an audio or video interview, click on the built-in player above, or subscribe via iTunes or via Stitcher.