Business

Why Customer Service Is the Last True Smart-Home Differentiator

Changes in the smart-home landscape — like IP-control, open-API’s, drag-and-drop programming and pre-configured UI's — are bringing technological barriers down and making it easier for competitors to enter the market. How, then, will you differentiate yourself?

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2 Comments
Posted by JC on May 17, 2017

Hi Jason,

Very good points in your article. Having been in this industry since 1995, but getting a different perspective on it from my role as a (non contractor) technology consultant over the past 2 years, I agree. It is sad to report that in the eyes of most of the architects, general contractors, and interior designers I know, the typical home technology integrator gets very low marks in customer service. I hear complaints about the state of our trade from these professionals quite a bit.

Some of this will undoubtedly come down to technical competence, but lack of customer service and lack of responsive support is VERY frequently mentioned. You will soon hear about the Home Technology Association (HTA), the first organization that will certify the top-performing home technology integrators in this industry. HTA Certified integrators must meet rigorous standards of technical ability, reputation, and very importantly…customer service and aftercare support. The bar needs to be set, and it must be raised high in order to give homeowners the technology experiences they desire by companies who care about service.

Posted by jasongriffing on May 22, 2017

JC - thanks for commenting. We are excited to see what HTA is able to do on this front as well.

I agree that a level of technical competence is still, and will always be, a differentiator for top-notch firms, especially when you get into high-end project requirements like true, dedicated home theater, panelized lighting, or architectural shade installs. But, for an increasingly large portion of the projects out there, technical barriers are crumbling, meaning that companies who wish to compete will have to differentiate elsewhere - i.e. providing an excellent client service experience.

2 Comments
Posted by jasongriffing on May 22, 2017

JC - thanks for commenting. We are excited to see what HTA is able to do on this front as well.

I agree that a level of technical competence is still, and will always be, a differentiator for top-notch firms, especially when you get into high-end project requirements like true, dedicated home theater, panelized lighting, or architectural shade installs. But, for an increasingly large portion of the projects out there, technical barriers are crumbling, meaning that companies who wish to compete will have to differentiate elsewhere - i.e. providing an excellent client service experience.

Posted by JC on May 17, 2017

Hi Jason,

Very good points in your article. Having been in this industry since 1995, but getting a different perspective on it from my role as a (non contractor) technology consultant over the past 2 years, I agree. It is sad to report that in the eyes of most of the architects, general contractors, and interior designers I know, the typical home technology integrator gets very low marks in customer service. I hear complaints about the state of our trade from these professionals quite a bit.

Some of this will undoubtedly come down to technical competence, but lack of customer service and lack of responsive support is VERY frequently mentioned. You will soon hear about the Home Technology Association (HTA), the first organization that will certify the top-performing home technology integrators in this industry. HTA Certified integrators must meet rigorous standards of technical ability, reputation, and very importantly…customer service and aftercare support. The bar needs to be set, and it must be raised high in order to give homeowners the technology experiences they desire by companies who care about service.