|Lets face it,|
For professional installers, integrating Voice Control can be a bit of a pain. Alexa is without question the best platform with literally thousands of compatible music systems and smart home devices available, but how do you actually make any money out of it ? There's practically no margin to be made on the kit and plenty of opportunity to blow engineer time without getting paid !
It may appear tricky but its well worth mastering. The number one Google search regarding Home Automation is “What Home Automation Systems work with Alexa ?" and with Smart Speakers and Cars now having Voice Services built in, as an industry its surely time we should be offering Integrated Voice Control for your Home !
Isn't it ? We think so, and its certainly one way to differentiate you from the competition, but there's also another card to be played which is just as strong and that is Whole House Communication. As an industry our customers tend to have larger than average homes, making communicating with family members a challenge. Amazon's Echo devices offer fantastic room to room communication, allowing you to Drop In on or Call between rooms, make Whole House Announcements and also make Telephone Calls.
So, how do we make money from this opportunity and wow our customers to keep those customer referrals (the life blood of any install business) coming in.
Here's our Top 5 Tips
1.) Sell a Professionally Installed Solution.
Charging several hundred pounds to cover the real time your engineers spend setting up customer supplied devices is a challenge. It helps to be selling something. Consider including a section on your quote such as Integrated Voice Control & Whole House Communication, and price for the supply and installation of the Echo device a professional installation solution, and a fixed number of Commands per room.
This is where we have to confess to a little biased. We designed a POE Powered Wall Dock for the Amazon Echo Dot specifically for Custom Installers. Please check out our Dealer Offer after reading our Top 5 Tips.
2.) Pre Wire for Voice Control
To deliver on the promise of Integrated Voice Control & Whole House Communication, just like with any other system, you'll need to discuss and plan where the devices go. Consider adding Voice Control Points to your drawings with their own VC Ikon, and as you would with a data point, even if not going in on day one, recommend installing the cabling in key locations for future addition. (The wiring and back box for the EchoMount Pro are identical to a Data Point so Data Points and Voice control points are interchangeable).
3.) Keep Control and Keep It Simple
As every experienced installer will know, when it comes to designing the Customer Interface, Keep It Simple is the best moto. This is particularly relevant when it comes to Voice Control. Its a good idea to use standardised commands specified up front, rather than have your super helpful engineers sit with the client for several hours while they dream up lots of commands to add which they'll probably never use.
For systems such as Control 4 which auto generate the commands, you might want to disable many and re-name some of them to make the commands easier to remember, keep things tidy and make more sense to the customer.
4.) Command Card
As you hand over the system, present the customer with a Command Card for each room and suggest they keep it somewhere accessible in the room or stuck to the fridge etc. This will help to make sure they remember and use the commands. Its also the kind of special touch customers remember and show to their guests. We've included two blank Command Cards for you to use with each EchoMount Pro, but you may want to have your own made with your Logo and Tec Support Number etc on the back.
5.) Rinse and Repeat
Done well Voice Control and particularly the Whole House Communication is something special that your customers will rave about. Ask your customers if you can take some Video footage of the system in action and post on your social media, web site and use in your customer presentations. Send us a link to email@example.com and we'll re-post and enter you into our monthly competition for best Install of the Month, the winner will receive a free EchoMount Pro.