Asurion | Ethnographic research and strategy
Exploring the in-home tech experience
Asurion hired Gauge to conduct a 12-week research sprint to investigate any pain points and needs for consumers and their usage of technology within the home. This was partially an exploration for a new service that Asurion had planned around support and protection for in home devices, and more broadly an opportunity to better understand consumer technology habits.
Using a mixed method approach investigating nearly 900 participants, this research provided the foundation for four, data-backed persona segmentations. The process concluding with eight in-home visitations, with two visitations of each persona.
The research goals of this project were:
1. Better understanding of customer pain points with technology
2. Deeper knowledge of in-home experience for protection and support
3. Continued evangelism of research-based product and market positioning
The Gauge team delivered insights, both qualitative and quantitative, and a series of recommendations, including further areas for more focused research and exploration.
The research included both both quantitative and qualitative methods and took place over the course of a 12-weeks exploratory cycle. Following a kickoff meeting, recruitment and selection began, and two groups of approximately 20 participants were selected to make video diaries and answer prompts, completing 10 total tasks. Eight additional participants took part in recorded in-home interviews.
The data collected through our screening surveys, video diaries, and in-home visits has been compiled and analyzed using MaxQDA, a software package qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods analysis. MaxQDA has the capacity to import a variety of media types, including text, photos, videos and social media.
The imported transcripts and notes from the video diaries and in-home visits were organized and coded, allowing for analysis, reference and visualization.
In order to share insights in a more holistic way, we arranged our insights by steps in the customer technology journey. The customer technology journey includes: Choose (find new products), Get it Going (installation), Discover (exploring features), Get Help (troubleshooting), Unbreak (tech support) and Refresh (upgrade).
Attitudes toward technology brands varied, based off of personal experiences, and were one of the major influences when making purchase decisions.
Get it Going
Installation was a common pain point across all segments. Whether participants chose to go it alone or ask for assistance, the initial set up of both hardware and software can be frustrating, discouraging, and tedious.
Many participants expressed that they felt as if they could or should be using more features of some of their hardware and software, but they didn't know how, were afraid they would “mess things up,” or just didn’t have the time to properly explore all the features.
Across all levels of tech-savviness, participants had stories of relatively minor software issues that had a large impact — such as an installation issue rendering a product unusable or the amount of time troubleshooting a forgotten password leading to lost data and lost productivity
Many participants seemed to lack the motivation to address their technology issues, either because it felt like too much of a hassle — with reasons like it takes too much time to get the help they need or that the support agents aren’t helping them in a meaningful way.
When deciding to upgrade a technology item, participants had a variety of factors they took into account, such as whether the current item was good enough or could still be used in some capacity, the features and functionalities of the new product, and of course cost.
Opportunities for exploration
Knowledge about warranties and protection plans: Create a pricing study around expected warranty terms and conditions, including support services that contain tiered ‘level two’ access and telepresence options. Customers may be more likely to purchase protection plans that offer a graded pricing model than those that offer a flat fee.
Opinions about warranties and protection plans: Design a pricing study around expected warranty terms and conditions, including support services that contain tiered ‘level two’ access and telepresence options. Customers may be more likely to purchase protection plans that offer a graded pricing model than those that offer a flat fee.
Behaviors around warranties and protection plans: Create a Quasi-experiment that manipulates the amount of information you give to respondents on a warranty plan and assess how this influences their opinion of the plan. Asurion can affect consumer behavior by improving both their knowledge and their opinion of devices, support and protection plans.
Things that surprised us:
1. Individual reasons behind warranty perceptions.
2. Data integrity and security as an unmet need.
3. The levels of apprehension around support.
Things that we would have done differently:
1. Specified the research goals earlier.
2. Adjusted expectations around deliverables.
3. Segmented the personas before, rather than during the process.
Things we would do next:
1. Conduct Conjoint Analysis for product positioning.
2. Refine and evangelize our segmented personas.
3. Audit and improve the support experience.