We have been looking into the problems facing the connected home industry in APAC. We have been looking into the challenges facing APAC’s connected home industry. In our first article, we discovered that there are two main barriers to creating truly connected homes. The second article focused on the role of content creators.
We will be focusing on the ways service providers, such as telecoms, can provide consumers with a more connected home experience.
Although there are many companies involved in the connected home ecosystem, including content and services, few of them are bringing these disparate technologies together to provide true value for consumers. Yet, 80% of consumers desire a single provider to meet all their digital needs.
This is where service providers step in. They are well-positioned to work across the ecosystem and provide devices, partner with content producers, as well as offering consumers useful services.
Helping consumers set up a connected house
Accenture’s research revealed that consumers are uncertain about which devices they should adopt, how to use them, how to integrate them and have concerns about security and privacy.
Let’s see how service providers can provide the best products or services. This fictional family is made up of two partners and two children aged 7 and 10.
The Madani family is considering setting up a connected house for a while. This will help them make their lives easier, protect their home, and keep their children safe. They want an automated system that opens all curtains and makes their coffee when they wake up. They want to be able to activate the security system when they leave the house and be notified of their children’s return from school. They want the house to be at a set temperature and the carpet vacuumed. The evening routine of closing the curtains and listening to soothing music will also need to happen automatically.
This is how service providers can assist this family in setting up their connected home.
1. Assist people in understanding the benefits of a connected home.
Consumers are confused about connected home technology today. They see many devices that use the keywords “smart”, “connected”, and others, but they don’t know what they do. They aren’t sure which devices they should choose in order to build a system that suits their needs. Service providers can help them to understand the technology and get the best value from the available options.
In emerging markets, home automation is still very much in its infancy. We must educate consumers about how and why they should integrate this system into their lives. Home automation will evolve with consumer lifestyles. This means that there is a growing need to partner every step of the process with our customers.
Bring the experience to life. To help people see the value of a connected home, adopt a more immersive experience that highlights the interplay of devices and services. Focus on presenting audiences with ready solutions of devices and services, making sure to address well-articulated needs. To reach the Madani family, create an online experience zone on your website where they can see and experience products that help parents save time, how a connected home setup can reduce appliance usage, and options to compare different levels of security based on their house size.
Help potential customers to understand how connected homes can enhance their lives.
Provide personalized consultations online and in-person. Although the Madani family is concerned about their children’s safety and security, they are unable to figure out how to create a package that meets their needs. They could discuss their needs with a representative and create a package of devices and services that fits their budget. This would allow the provider to show the full features and assist the family in making their final decision.
Tip: Remember the whole family. Show your family how multiple members can use the same device. One device can be used to add parental controls, offer music suggestions, and provide entertainment for children.
It is difficult to decide which devices to purchase, set up and use. They begin to read product reviews and look at company websites. They are overwhelmed by the number of devices available. They don’t know what brands to choose, how they work together, how to set it up, or how to use them.
Make bundles to appeal to different audiences. Bundle add-on services such as insurance, maintenance, and home installation into one package.
Provide installation and setup support: The service provider will schedule an appointment to visit the Madani’s house and install everything. They felt so confident that their service provider would support them six months later when they purchased new smart lighting that interacted with their existing connected home devices.
Customers should not rely on DIY culture. Instead, offer easy-to-use setup options.
Pro-tip – Tap into customers’ lives moments. People often experience new lifestyle changes such as moving to a different house or starting a family. These changes can often be met by connected devices. Let people know the importance of connected homes in your new life. The Madani parents now work from home and decide to contact their service provider to find out which connected home devices could help them create an office at their home. The consultant suggests an entertainment system for the children, smart lights to reduce their energy bills, and a camera that allows them to check their door from their desk when it rings.
“People will work from home more often than ever before COVID-19.” This means technology applications will have to address a new set ‘needs’ related to productivity and wellness.
3. After purchase: Teach buyers to get the most out of their connected homes over time
Devices are expensive and require constant upkeep. The family tried it out a few times, but couldn’t find any time-savings. They also didn’t get information about new updates or integrations. They stopped using the speaker over time and began to worry about how their data was being used. They stopped using the speaker. They now feel that they have paid a high price for a paperweight.
Communicate with customers immediately after they make a purchase.
It is important to keep consumers informed about new features, services, and other things they can do with their devices. Inform your family about the simple problems they might face and show them all of the amazing things connected devices can do.
Show APAC customers how to optimize, plan and manage their connected home.
Offer insurance and automated maintenance. Connected homes offer convenience and ease. Customers need quick and easy solutions for any problems that may arise. Sharing the responsibility for maintaining multiple devices with customers by offering insurance for device failures or automated maintenance services, particularly for advanced home solutions. Customers will trust additional services such as insurance claims that are automatically activated in the event of security breaches.
Give customers more control of their data. The Madani Family wants to know the details and has the right to revoke their access. These controls should be made easily accessible within applications. You can, for example, give settings options that make the device safer for children or options in applications to disable storage of sensitive information like bank details.
Pro-tip Maintain active forums and communities that connect home champions to discuss new use cases and keep fresh ideas flowing.
“Having a home system that protects your data and allows interoperability between devices is a great way to experience the benefits of the connected home experience.
Put the “connected” in connected homes
APAC consumers are using smart devices to save time, manage their tasks, protect their homes, and keep them entertained. The ecosystem is fragmented, and requires a unifying force. The unique position of service providers is to bring together this fragmented ecosystem, which includes devices, content, and services. They can bring everything together to make it easier for customers and help the industry grow.
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