5 ways that support can save the IoT

We’ve all heard the numbers: between 35 billion and 220 billion devices hooked up to the Internet of Things (IoT) by 2020; $1.4 trillion USD in annual sales. The pace of progress is dizzying. Competition frenzied. Opportunities unlimited. And bumps in the road are already showing up.
Approximately 30-40 percent of consumers trying to install home automation run into problems, and it’s twice that rate for first-timers. The majority of all consumer electronics returned for refund are in perfect working order – the devices were just too hard to install or use – and, to top it off, the demand for home automation actually dropped in the first six months of 2015.
The good news? A revised approach to support can stop that backlash. To do so, support has to move away from waiting for things to break and then fixing them, and morph into helping consumers realize value from their technology purchases.
We’ve identified five specific “imperatives” to help the metamorphosis:

  1. Provide support throughout the customer’s entire experience of the product
  2. Design the product with support in mind
  3. Make support a natural part of product usage, not a separate experience
  4. Provide contextual guided assistance to both support personnel and customers
  5. Gather data aggressively and optimize continually, on both the service and the product sides

For a full description of each of these, I invite you to download Support.com’s IoT white paper, “New Rules for a New World: Five Support Imperatives That Can Save the Internet of Things.”
Lee Gruenfeld is Vice President, Strategic Initiatives at Support.com, makers of Nexus® cloud software that optimizes support for professionals and self-service users. He is responsible for long-range technology and service strategies, including the company’s IoT positioning.
Copyright © 2015 Support.com, Inc. Support.com, the Support.com logo and Nexus are trademarks or registered trademarks of Support.com, Inc. in the United States and other countries.