Most consumers want smart-home kit installed by humans: survey

home installation
Image credit: ronstik /

It is tempting to believe that installing all those home devices, such as security, lighting and monitoring will be an easy task. Surely in this digital age, an app or some remote bot can open itself, install, test and guide you through the process. Not so! According to a survey of 2,000 consumers across five countries, the opposite is true.

The survey was carried out by business support specialist CSG International among regular cable, satellite and paid TV users. It reveals that the vast majority (89%) of people would much prefer a field technician to connect their devices. Almost as many would like a similar service when it comes to maintenance and troubleshooting issues.

These are surprising findings, and the market is large enough that CSPs should reconsider whether their strategy fits with this requirement amongst customers. Research house Stratecast believes that the home automation market for sensors and networking in the US alone will grow from $5 billion this year to $9 billion by 2021.

Obviously, if an installation is simple, the percentage of consumers who are happy to figure it out themselves is higher. But 67% of consumers surveyed are not at all confident they can perform complex installations on their own.

And perhaps common sense supports this. We are, after all, at different levels of digital comfort and understanding. Some may delight in the challenge, of course, but many will be much more comfortable being shown the ropes by a human (and being able to ask questions is always helpful).

The important point, as highlighted in the CSG survey, is that if the service was available (and there is a feeling that with installations nowadays it very rarely is) then 90% of consumers would almost certainly take up the offer.

This in itself is clearly an opportunity for CSPs, and some are already offering help with installations (and have been for a while).

Another opportunity presents itself after the initial installation. A massive 96% of respondents said that a simple, centralized app that allowed them to control the home, and its devices, is essential. This, in turn, is an opportunity for CSPs to strengthen the trusted relationship with their customers.

The survey is free and available here (short registration required).

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