Centriq, the startup that is reinventing product support, today announced that it has launched Zolve, the latest addition to its flagship product support platform. This new and free app instantly delivers relevant support information for more than 450,000 consumer products, including appliances, electronics, power tools, outdoor equipment, and personal devices. Zolve is a customer support tool with a Shazam-like experience that enables users to take a photo of a product label and receive all of the information they need to operate, maintain and fix any product. The app offers manuals, quick-start guides, how-to videos, warranty and manufacturer contact information, and information on replacement parts, accessories and consumables.
There is no question that the technological advances of consumer products have greatly improved society’s quality of life; however, the more people depend on electronic products, the more disruptive it is when they stop working or don’t operate the way they were expected. That frustration quickly escalates when people must resort to online searches or wading through YouTube to find information on how to troubleshoot the problem. Zolve alleviates this problem by instantly delivering important support information for virtually every electronic product the moment a user needs it.
Key Zolve features include:
- Simple One-Snap Interface: Consumers take a picture of an electronic device’s name plate or label and are given instant access to the world’s largest curated product support database. The database includes important information from leading manufacturers and retailers on how to operate, fix, and maintain their products including manuals, how-to guides, tutorial videos, and more. Common parts are linked directly to users’ favorite retailers and select appliances even have hundreds of parts available that would otherwise only be sold to professionals.
- Product Safety Notifications: In addition to product support information, Zolve also lets users know if a product has an outstanding safety recall with the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). The app continuously monitors the CPSC’s database for future recalls and sends alerts when a product listed in a user’s account is flagged so they can take action quickly.
- Easy Customization: Manufacturers, retailers, OEMs, warranty companies and others can easily offer their customers a Zolve-like post-sale support experience by integrating the open-source Zolve components into their app and connecting to the Centriq platform.
Findings from the independent survey, The Consumer Product Blind Spot, support the need for manufacturers and retailers to take a more active role in helping deliver long-term value to customers throughout a product’s lifecycle. The survey analyzed responses from more than 1,000 North American homeowners between the ages of 30 – 65 to learn more about their attitudes on the efficacy of manufacturer and retailer product support, specifically focusing on warranty programs, extended product support, and product recalls.
Top findings from the report include:
- Homeowners Want Extended Product Support: The survey found 70% of homeowners don’t believe retailers or manufacturers care about their experience with their product after they buy it. In addition, 58% of survey respondents feel that home product companies don’t offer adequate support after the purchase has been made.
- Warranty Programs Offer Homeowners a Mixed Bag: Warranty programs have taken a hit in the court of public opinion. The perception is that extended warranties have created a $40 billion industry that many believe is overly complex or doesn’t deliver enough value for consumers. Half of homeowners report that they had an issue with a product under warranty but couldn’t process a claim because they lost the warranty or didn’t want to go through the hassle of fulfilling it. In addition, less than half (49%) of survey respondents could find their extended product warranty documentation when they experienced an issue.
- Homeowners Prefer Home Maintenance DIY: The survey found that 69% of respondents try to fix or troubleshoot home products themselves when they break. 55% of homeowners said they wanted information directly from manufacturers when they need to solve a product issue so they wouldn’t have to look for information online that is rife with outdated and outright false information
- Product Recalls Go Unnoticed: At its core, the product recall system is broken. The CPSC has recalled more than 110 million household products and 150 million children’s products in the past five years, ranging from chainsaws to teddy bears, but has made it incredibly difficult to find and take action on that information. Product recalls are buried on a clunky website, don’t receive wide distribution, and often aren’t even shared on the CPSC’s social media platforms. This is a major reason why the survey found only 40% of homeowners have ever sent a product back to the manufacturer based on a product recall. This lack of awareness is the reason why the majority of households have at least one recalled product in them.
“We’re seeing an influx of retailers and direct consumer companies taking large chunks of market share through innovative customer services practices,” said Centriq CEO James Sheppard. “Brands and retailers whose interest in their customer lasts only to the cash register are in for a rude awakening as consumers demand more value from their purchases. Offering improved post-purchase product support is a way to differentiate themselves while dramatically improving customer loyalty, repeat sales, and positive online reviews.”
Centriq offers a breakthrough home product experience platform that serves as a single starting point for fixing, using and maintaining more than 400,000 electronic products. The company is reinventing product support for the digital age by creating a direct connection between consumers and their favorite manufacturers and retailers in a unique and easy-to-use app. For more information, please go to www.mycentriq.com and zolve.ai for their consumer apps, or centriq.ai to learn more about their platform.