One of the many dichotomies discussed at this years’ Connected Home Summit in London ran something along the lines of ‘why must consumers undergo a negative experience before they can experience a positive one?’
Indeed, all too often, consumers have to go through the pain of setting up a complex pieceof new kit before they can begin to enjoy many of the life-enhancing qualities. When they spend a sizeable chunk of their salary on a HD, super-size flat screen TV, they have a right to expect that all they need to do is plug it in and switch it on when they get it home.
Competition in this industry may be fierce, but consideration must be given to the consumer who needs to master the new product before they can begin to enjoy it. The manufacturer with the most consumer-friendly out-of-the-box user experience will gain the most.
By the same token, service providers have to ensure the set-up user experience is simple and problem free for the subscriber, a task that is becoming more complex as TV goes beyond the set top to other devices connected over a home network. The device that can be used with their service will be linked to their brand regardless of whether they have supplied them or not. Remote device management tools and customer self-help tools such as Motorola EDGE are a great help in improving the customer experience and reduce support costs. And there are cost savings too – for instance, user-friendly set top boxes that can be self-installed by the customer, represents massive savings in deployment costs for the service provider.
Until the industry as a whole takes this issue on board, companies that pass on that complexity are delaying gratification not only for the consumer, but for themselves,too.