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Introducing the Support Experience for the Internet of Things

By R. J. Stangle / Oct 16, 2015

An amazing user experience (UX) is an integral part of any successful tech product.  UX design done right delivers optimal experiences at every touch-point, from marketing to sale, to device setup to use.

However, no matter how beautiful the UX is, the user’s experience will never be seamless unless there is a plan in place for when things go wrong. This is where the support experience (SX) comes in. The SX is necessary when the optimal UX flow is not achieved and technical support is required.

What is the SX and how is it different from the User Experience?

The UX is defined as the overall experience of using a tech product especially in terms of how easy or pleasing it is to use. The SX on the other hand is the often frustrating experience of using technology when it doesn’t work as intended and how difficult it can be to access and receive quality technical support in order to resolve the problem. However, if planned and executed correctly, the SX can be an easy and pleasing experience that blends in seamlessly with the UX.

Why is the SX so important for your business?

The way in which a company deals with complaints and issues can have a huge impact on customer experience, customer satisfaction, and customer behaviour.

  • 4/5 customers agree that the #1 factor that leads to a great customer service experience is having their problems resolved quickly
  • 70% of customers will do business with you again if you resolve their complaints
  • This is compared to the 62% of global consumers who switched service providers due to poor customer service experiences
  • 55% of consumer would pay more for a better customer experience

If you still need convincing, check out: Help Scout’s 75 Customer Service Facts, Quotes and Statistics.

Who’s responsible for thinking about the SX?

Whose job is it to think about the SX and help implement it for your product? Turns out its pretty much everyone’s job. Everyone from the CEO/founder, to the product managers, UX designers, operations and the customer service team should be thinking about the SX from the beginning.

In fact, developers should begin thinking about the SX as they’re designing the UX. The SX should help shape the features and technologies of the product in the same way that the optimal UX does.

Where does the SX fit into the customer’s journey?

For the customer, the SX starts even before the product is purchased.

Chances are your devices will be adopted by tech savvy individuals with an active online presence. According to a recent survey, consumers who had a negative experience were 50% more likely to share it on social media than those who had positive ones. Having less than stellar online customer service and support reviews is not a good thing, especially now since 74% of consumers rely on social networks to guide purchase decisions.

Installation and set-up of the product is where the most problems occur. Although 60% of consumers self-install smart home devices, the majority of device owners would prefer professional assistance.

If set-up is not super quick and easy, the customer will put the product back in the box and send it back to the store. Providing support during installation and set-up often pays for itself by reducing returns, since 68% of returned consumer electronic products are categorized as “No Trouble Found.” No Trouble Found or No Fault Found means that despite the customer perceiving a fault, no failure or defect was detected when manufacturers tested the devices against their specifications.

Ongoing support is needed less frequently than support during installation and set-up. However, support becomes critical when the product is controlling consumers’ home environments, home security, and health. No one wants their connected thermostat to stop working in the middle of the night and not know who to call, or call only to create a ticket which won’t be looked at for another 24-48 hours.

What does the SX look like?

The perfect support experience should be invisible to the end-user. If there is a problem, it should be remotely and automatically repaired before the consumer even notices.

But How?

At AppHelp we have a few tricks up our sleeve:

We use proactive support and automatic problem detection to deliver technical support and prevent problems before they happen.

We gather machine and user data to learn from your most common call drivers so you can feed those learnings back in to your products.

We use remote support tools to leverage the connected nature of the products and allow our technicians to easily manage them.