For a truly successful digital experience, remember the human touch

Written by on October 24, 2017 in Opinion with 0 Comments

By maxuser / Shutterstock.com

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, 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 will grow from $5 billion this year to $9 billion by 2021, in the US alone.

Obviously, if an installation is simple, the percentage of consumers who are happy to figure it out themselves is higher, but it still remains that 67% of consumers 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. Many will be much more comfortable being shown the ropes by a human (and being able to ask questions is always helpful). Others, of course, delight in the challenge.

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 (and have been for a while) offering help with installations.

The other 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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Alex Leslie

About the Author

About the Author: Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet. He is publisher of DisruptiveViews and previously BillingViews. .

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