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Friday, May 19, 2017

HelloTech: Partnerships can improve overall customer satisfaction

Richard Wolpert, Co-Founder & CEO, HelloTech, provided insight on several key industry trends ahead of Parks Associates’ 21st-annual CONNECTIONS™ Conference, which will be held May 23-25 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport:

What does the industry need to do to speed up the slow growth of overall smart home adoption?

The industry is trying their best to make their products Do It Yourself (DIY). And they are doing an admirable job however they must accept there is a meaningful percentage of their customers who will prefer to pay someone, especially at very fair rates, to do the install for them. This group that is not DIY but what we call DIFM (Do It For Me) and it is made up of two groups the “Don't Know How" (which is often people 50 and older) and the "Don't have time" (which is often the busy family). With professional services like HelloTech which now operates on a national basis installing the current range of products (most for $99 or less) companies should not be so worried about trying to promote their product as only DIY. Doing so will frustrate or alienate the customers who would prefer DIFM especially at the price levels charged by HelloTech. This is why they should explore partnership with companies like Hellotech as it has already shown, through their several partnerships, that offering to the customer, in-home on-demand setup, will lower returns and improve overall customer satisfaction.

What are the best use cases for consumers and the Internet of Things?

It’s a combination of things but most have to do with either elements of security and also knowledge/convenience/home control. 25 years ago if you wanted an alarm system you had to go with a 50 year old company that had to hard wire everything into your walls and door frames and windows and it was quite cumbersome and expensive. Now with companies like Alarm.com, Vivint, SimpliSafe, and others a consumer can get a very sophisticated security system for very little up front, in some cases nothing up front, and a monthly fee. And these systems are wireless allowing for an install for an entire home to happen in hours not days. Then on the fringe of security is the huge increase we are seeing in cameras in the home everything from video doorbells like Ring to whole home Camera Systems that are battery operated such as Blink and Arlo. Finally by bringing Voice and Speech recognition into the home consumers can now control all of these devices easier than ever simply with the sound of their voice. In addition they can access relevant and timely information throughout their home using their voice such as current traffic for your morning commute, updates on your stocks, making sure your garage door is closed and a generally good answer to thousands of every day questions.

What do you think is the biggest driver for the adoption of connected products for consumers?

A combination of new very cool and functional smart home and IoT products at very affordable rates. 5 years ago if you wanted a smart home you needed to spend at least thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars and hire a very expensive customer installer to get it working, and even then it was often too complicated. Circa 2017 and beyond the price for the average SmartHome Product is just $100-$200 and there are more and more coming out every month. This fuels on itself as the more that come out and get adopted the more new companies in the space get funded and can innovate to the next level. A basic Smart Home can now be set up with equipment totaling less than $1,000 and the customer can add on only if and when they see fit as new cool products come out.


What are the greatest obstacles to the adoption of connected products and services in the home?

It’s a combination of the companies offering the products being hung up that ALL of their customers should be DIY and not recognizing the reality that a good percent of their customers are DIFM and consumers realizing and learning about companies like HelloTech who have a nationwide network of home support and installation professionals that can install that product they bought last month that is still sitting on a shelf.

During the pre-show research workshops, Wolpert will speak on the session “Winning Support Strategies for IoT” on Tuesday, May 23 at 10:15 a.m. Joining Wolpert on the panel are speakers from Trusource Labs and PlumChoice.

For more information on CONNECTIONS™, visit www.connectionsus.com or register by clicking here.

Next: Parks Associates shares presentations from CONNECTIONS™ Summit at CES: Smart Home Business Models and Strategies
Previous: Voice-first devices are eliminating friction: Insights from Voicebox Technologies


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