Pilot Case Study

Smarter Home Solution

Concept to Improve Product Adoption


HSN is known by it’s Customers for having a very personal touch to everything they do. They are very personal on their LIVE television presentations, their language, the hosts interactions with on-air guests and especially our Call Center Team Members. So how do what would a Chatbot look like to still have that type of personal touch?


Smart Home UX Experience


Retail, eCommerce, Video Commerce

My Role

UX/UI, Prototyping, Competitive Analysis


Customer Insights (CI), Research


There was a request to develop concepts to help solve both customer facing and internal pain point issues. We were experiencing higher than unusual return rates on Smart Home devices that needed some type of installation assistance. Reasons varied from purchasing devices that were not compatible with their home devices to being uncomfortable with installing devices that needed wiring (doorbells). Customer were calling the Customer Service department to ask questions about installation but the Call Center was not trained to handle these types of calls at a level that would be efficient.

The Problem

Based on the research our Customer Insights Team conducted HSN customers were struggling with adopting Smart Home devices into their homes and lives. They wanted a way to solve their issues they were experiencing, find the product information they needed to solve those issues OR an easy way to contact someone for help. The inability to install these products resulted into a high level of returns or they found that the products were not compatible with their current Smart Home ecosystem.

The Concept

We started by creating a Smart Home Journey Map to help highlight the areas in our site experience that need improvement. We could then focus our attention where in the Customer’s decision process we need to provide help and the type of aid that would best suit the situation. Helping them find information on installation and product specification as well as supplying after purchase support to ensure a smooth adoption procress.

Customer Journey Map for Smart Home Adoption
Enhanced Shopping Funnel

We started by making a recommendation to enhance the customer shopping journey with the creation of a Smart Home Hub. The page would have features to help our Customers navigate the Smart Home products we offered based on Device Type, Room of Use, Solutions and Category. This would also provide our Customer Support Team a single location to send customers looking for more information.

The Smart Hub page would provide easy access to Customer Favorites and informative videos to answer common questions our Call Center was receiving. Since the HSN Customer Community is so active and helpful we would create and promote a new HSN Community Group around Smart Home. This would provide our more advance customers a way to help others with questions and find answers. And to round off the experience we would introduce a new HSN Smart Home Assistant feature that for easy contact to Chat based Customer Support.

Smart Home Hub

Smart Home Landing Page Concepts

We also recommended adding additional features to the Product Display Page of all Smart Home devices. We added a call out to the Smart Home Hub. This would be a section that promoted products that worked well with the current product and would conclude with a link to the Smart Home Community.

Smart Home PDP Additions

Smart Home Product Page Example
Smart Home Assistant Concept

To help solve both the learning curve for our Customer Service Call Center Reps and provide a speedy option for our Customer’s get the answers to their Smart Home questions we presented a Smart Home Assistant chat concept. However, our our Customer Insights Team found that our Customers who had previously interacted with Chatbots felt they were cold and inhuman in their responses to questions and left them feeling even more frustrated.

With those challenges in mind we came up with the idea to augment our already existing Customer Service enabled Chat platform with AI that we would train to answer common Category specific questions. Training an AI on all possible questions is a daunting task to say the least, so to start we would be using the Smart Home Category of Electronics as the proving ground for this new addition.

The concept would blend both human and computer Q&A seamlessly for our Customers. The customer side would look like a regular chat with some tailored question paths to escort the customer to the right answers while also taking as much of the knowledge burden off the Customer Service Team’s shoulders.

In the example below the Customer is asking about the savings that a Smart Thermostat could provide for their home. AI led questions around Square Footage and Type of Energy used would facilitate the conversation and move the Customer to the correct information. Normal Chatbot stuff.

Customer View of Chat

Smart Home Chat Bot Concept showing Customer View

On the Customer Service Side our Chat Reps would be monitoring and responding to multiple conversations at once. In this example a recommendation for a Smart Thermostat brand, the Rep would be presented with the options available and would be able to inject their personal preference. At any time the Customer Service Chat Rep could hop into the conversation to aide the customer if the AI was struggling to provide specific answers to questions.

Customer Service Team Dashboard

Smart Home Chat Bot - Customer Service View Recommendation
Smart Home Chat Bot Concept showing Customer Service View

The Result

Customers were shown the concept and responded favorably to the idea of the Smart Home Hub and Chat Functionality. The Business loved the concept to augment the chat functionality and it has been added to the Backlog of concepts to explore implementing in the near future.