smart home thermostatSelf-configuration doesn’t mean the end of consumers’ need for professional help in installing devices and linking them. Indeed, it signals the beginning of a deeper relationship between people who want to automate their homes and companies that know how to do it. That’s the take away from a survey about interest in support for connected device installation from revenue management and billing company CSG International.

Interest in Support for Connected Device Installation
The firm found that much of the general wisdom that people would like to avoid dealing with their communications service provider is wrong. “[O]ver the next 3 years, consumers will want human help more than ever before to build connections between the machines in their homes,” according to the report’s Executive Summary.

The views of 2,000 cable, satellite or paid television users in five countries were included in the survey. Respondents said that the knitting together of devices to form a connected home “will require human intervention from skilled and reputable resources,” according to the executive summary.

The survey dealt deeply with customer expectations. Almost half said that during the next three years home security and monitoring systems and home automation will be the most commonly installed connected devices. Forty percent said consumers will seek online help, even for simple installations and 89% said consumers will use the help of cable or satellite companies if such services are offered by those companies. Troubleshooting and repair services would be used by 87%.

Some other interesting points from the study:

  • It won’t take much to call for help. According to 84% of respondents, skilled help will be needed if only two to five devices are being connected.
  • People like to know their status: 74% want a phone call or text from the technician stating that the technician is on the way, with 26% desiring an automated option such as a push notification, robocall or email.
  • Sixty-five percent want a technical resource to help them with installation of multiple devices, with self-guided online help desired by only 29%.
  • Almost all — 96% — will want an app to access all their connected devices.

Finally, 58% of respondents said that dealing with a reputable company for their online help is the highest priority. This was more important than on-demand access to help or the lowest cost option.