How Customers' Home Environments Shape Quality Perception of Your IoT Products

Published by Samantha Wheatley September 19, 2020

We’ve all been there: excited about our new smart home product, we go to get it set up and run into problems. Or after a few days something stops working. Maybe it disconnects from the network. Maybe it is unresponsive now and again. Maybe it just doesn’t work the way we want.  

In most cases the engineers that worked on these products are proud of the products they’ve produced -- they passed all of their tests and made it through beta to a successful launch. 

So the engineers think the product works great, but customers run into problems.  What gives? 

 

The Complexity of the Customer Environment

The reality is that products that work in the lab don’t necessarily work in the real world. Customer environments are incredibly varied -- we’ve found that if you deploy 1000 devices you’ll likely have them connected to more than 250 different kinds of routers.   And the RF environment varies too.  Quiet environments with great signal strength, to crowded apartment buildings with dozens or hundreds of networks nearby.  A customer’s experience of the product isn’t determined in the sterile lab environment -- it’s determined by how the product performs in the messy, real world. 

 

 

On average 40 percent of smart home device owners reported experiencing problems with various smart home devices. On average, consumers report spending 2.5 hours between self-help and customer support and speak with 3 different people to resolve an issue; 22 percent give up and return the product for a refund

As a product engineer, your job is to not just make a product that works well in the lab, but one that works well for customers in their own environments. 

How Do I Do That? 

Having tools that allow you to quickly and easily understand the typical challenges your customers face within their homes is absolutely critical. Additionally being able to effectively and efficiently diagnose and troubleshoot your customers’ problems at scale, without investing new or existing engineering resources is a key concern for most IoT companies.

At Cirrent, we spent years helping IoT customers diagnose and troubleshoot connectivity and device issues at scale for millions of users. Cirrent’s state-of-the-art platform provides a single pane of glass view and allows IoT companies in under 60 seconds to understand device performance at scale including success rates, failure rates, root cause for failures and more to address your customers’ concerns.

Cirrent IoT Networking Intelligence (INI) help companies identify and fix interoperability issues, improve products in market, troubleshoot more effectively, gain deeper understanding of customers’ environments and create a more delightful customer experience. 

Furthermore, Cirrent’s Mobile App Intelligence solution (MAI) helps IoT companies understand the Wi-Fi onboarding experience of their users as well as the problems that app users are facing in the field.  Specifically, Mobile App Intelligence helps you to quickly understand app performance, length of successful onboarding process, onboarding success rates and issues and help your team address issues via an over-the-air (OTA) update.

With these tools, you can see what your customer sees, experience what your customer experiences, with all of the messiness of the real world.  Seeing this will help you find problems that can never be found in the lab environment so you can improve customer reviews, reduce returns, and reduce support costs.  And then you and your team can be even more proud of your products. 

If you're interested in getting started with INI or MAI to monitor application and network performance of your products, let us know or get started by creating a Cirrent account

 

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