For as long as I can remember –I’m 26 years old- I have always been surrounded by technology. Of course, this has become even more the case over recent years. Who would have thought that one day you would be sending messages in real time to someone across the continent or the world? Who would have thought that one day you could control your house lights, doorbell and even monitor your baby from your cell phone?
The IoT era is here and I had to try it! But you know, these new devices tend to be expensive and sometimes you have doubts about how they would work or if they will satisfy your expectations.
Last week I found this “Smart Wi-Fi LED BULB” for my home. I had some references of this specific brand and it wasn’t as expensive as some of these other products, so I thought I could give it a try.
When I arrived home, I was anxious to try it, especially because the box says: “Customizable color and white light that can be controlled from anywhere and replace your 75W bulbs for lighting throughout your home, in white or thousands of vibrant colors.”
Also, in the box, it said that it was a “simple set up”, showing 3 steps:
- Download the app
- Screw in
Super easy, right?
As I opened the box, the first thing I found is the start guide to set it up and it came with a real clear message, and I’m quoting:
“Can’t connect? Need help? WE CAN HELP, DO NOT RETURN THIS PRODUCT TO THE STORE”
This message was followed by the support contact information.
This grabbed my attention because the first thing I thought was “so, this is not as simple as it’s claimed?” And the next one was “what if this product tends to fail, and they are getting a lot of returns”.
I tried not to think about it too much and went straight to try it. As I mentioned before, I think of myself as someone that is familiar with tech products and most of the time has no issues trying new stuff.
But, thanks to the previous note I thought it would be better if I followed the instructions as they were written. You know, if you just follow the instructions, you can’t miss, right?
So, I did. I followed the instructions one by one and it didn’t work. I couldn’t connect it.
The box says that it’s supposed to be a 3-step installation. The thing is that when you screw in the bulb, the app asks you if the bulb is blinking quickly -and it was- so you click on the “yes” button and the next step is to type in your Wi-Fi password in order to connect the bulb to the internet. So I did, but the screen would blink, the password would be gone and nothing would happen.
I tried putting in again and again, but nothing would happen. At this point, I just thought, “yep, that’s why that message is there and that’s why they are getting returns”.
Next, I tried looking for their FAQs. Maybe this issue was something they knew about, for which they had already published a solution. I didn’t find anything, at least not in the little start guide that came with the bulb.
Next idea that came to my mind was uninstalling the app and installing it again. I did that and started the process all over again. BINGO! It worked!
I must say, I absolutely love it and I’m thinking of buying more of them. However, I keep thinking about the effect of that first message on the buyer? Since it’s the first thing you see when you open the box, what kind of experience does that provide?
I think my story has a happy ending, but what happens with all the other customers who couldn’t get through it?
How long are customers willing to spend trying to resolve these kinds of issues?
Could this be directly related to how much money they spent on the product?
We’ll discuss these questions and others in future blog posts, but if you’re representing an IoT company and worry about how to tackle your customers’ challenges when they first setup your product, let’s talk. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.