As integrators look for ways to set their company apart from the competition, one big difference-maker can be the ability to personalize the smart home experience.
Russ Hoffman, director of training and technical support at URC, believes there are three main pillars of smart home personalization: user experience, device integration, and intelligent automation. Properly customized smart home systems should contain all three, and shouldn't entirely rely on a quality user interface.
According to Hoffman, when users are attracted to and want to play with the installed system, that's an excellent sign an integrator has paid attention to a customer's lifestyle and home and has taken the time to learn what fits them best.
“Today's smart home clients are seeking truly personalized automation and control solutions. Integrators can begin the personalization process during the initial client meeting. Ask detailed questions. Understand the subtleties of their daily routine, travel habits and smart home vision,” says Hoffman.
“Even if the initial project scope is limited to home theater and distributed A/V, take time to educate your client on ways to introduce personalized whole-house control — now or in the future.”
He says project proposals offer the perfect opportunity to communicate and accomplish smart home personalization. Integrators should “deliver a professional, experiential proposal—not a bid.”
This proposal is an integrator's way to instill and gain confidence from a client. In order to do so, be sure to avoid a few common pitfalls like not presenting a proposal in person, he advises.
“Resist the urge to email your proposal. Present it in person. Consider creating several custom menus and demonstrating them on actual control devices,” suggests Hoffman.
Products like URC's Total Control 2.0 can help accomplish this goal by giving clients the ability to incorporate photos of their home, family, and interests into onscreen graphics.
“After the system is installed, teach all family members how to really use it. Homeowners who actively engage with their control system are far more likely to value your service and seek upgrades,” he says.
“We believe that personalization should simplify and enhance customers lives, not complicate it,” concludes Hoffman.