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Smart home users prefer professional install over DIY: survey

A new study has found that smart home customers prefer professionally installed solutions to DIY, but solution providers should do more to educate users on the possibilities of their systems. In a survey conducted by icontrol Networks across seven branded smart-home solutions customers, those with professionally installed solutions said they feel the costs are worth it. About 96 percent respondents said they are very satisfied or satisfied with their systems. An equal number of people said they would purchase their systems again while 98 percent said they would still prefer a professional installation. The research surveyed 552 respondents, which admittedly is a relatively small sample. But the unprecedented positive results indicate a high level of satisfaction among smart home users in general. Factors such as security and peace of mind were found to be the main reasons behind this decision. More Education Needed Most customers found the systems easy to learn and use, but most were still using them for single-device control instead of taking full advantage of the connected home system. “Although all providers mentioned in the survey offer systems with scheduling or automation features, only 29 and 35 percent of respective users thought their solutions offered these features, pointing to a lack of awareness around the offering,” icontrol said in a release. “When asked about difficulty of usage, most customers reported setting alerts, schedules and automation rules as the most difficult features of the system to use.” Similarly, less than a quarter of the respondents were found to have installed third-party devices. Those that did it were most likely to install smart thermostats, smart garage doors, and Amazon Echo. Given that most platforms offer several flexible opportunities to improvise on the solutions, professional installers would need to educate their customers better. The survey found that customers are relying on materials given by the service providers to learn the system, indicating the significance of such education material. The data also showed that once the customers had the systems for a while, they would turn to customer support to troubleshoot. This suggests that a robust customer support system is inevitable for solution providers.

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