Amazon made headlines a few weeks ago when it officially announced its Amazon Smart Home Services program, which has been called “an army of in-house gadget experts” that “compete with the likes of Best Buy’s Geek Squad.”
Amazon’s previous Home Services marketplace offered shoppers a wide array of services ranging from house and carpet cleaning, to painting and landscaping — all from third parties. In contrast, the Smart Home Services category will be provided by Amazon employees. It consists of free in-home consultations as well as DIY product installation for consumers.
Yes, Amazon has already rolled out these services in seven markets (and editor Julie Jacobson, editor of our sister publication CEPro set up an appointment to see what all the fuss is about). Also, Lennar, the No. 2 homebuilder in the U.S., plans to mostly eliminate built-in technologies and traditional home-technology integrators, and rely on Amazon Smart Home Services to deliver, install, configure and service smart-home systems nationwide.
Amazon’s move is clearly aimed at addressing a gap they perceive in the marketplace. While smart home technology has advanced by leaps and bounds in recent years, it is still a relative unknown to the mass market, and often too complicated for the average consumer to install and service themselves.
Amazon’s free in-home consultations are intended to address the challenge of market-education. But if this were just about education, they would have stopped there. The fact that their offering is growing to include installation services (provided by in-house employees no less), makes a significant statement — the challenge is not simply one of education, but also one of execution.
While Amazon will happily continue to sell smart home products to DIYers, they clearly see the market of DIFM consumers (Do It For Me) as a fundamentally important component of their long-term connected home strategy.
Upping the Ante … with Smart-Home Service
A large headline promoting “Your Personal Tech Hero” greets you, urging you to think of these Amazon’s experts as you would “like your technology-savvy best friend.” Below this is the “Guaranteed Service” section, explaining “If anything goes wrong with the service, let us know and we’ll make it right or give you your money back.” Making the service even more attractive is this:
This demonstrates a clear understanding on the part of Amazon that providing a great smart home experience isn’t something that can be done between 8-5 Monday through Friday. Instead, they’ve set the bar at 12 hours a day, seven days a week.
Amazon’s service message is clear. They are delivering the promise of a smart home that is approachable, convenient and worry free. While we may not be seeing Amazon experts inside of a 10,000 square-foot luxury new build any time soon, it is a clear sign that Amazon has intentions on every part of the smart home value chain, including the delivery of exceptional service. And if the largest retailer in the world doesn’t believe they can succeed long-term in the smart home without a sharp focus on service, why would anyone?
Amazon’s commitment to smart home services clearly illustrates, no matter how far the technology evolves, delivering an excellent experience will always require human touch.
Want your shades lowered? Do it in seconds from a smartphone. Not sure if you locked the door when you left the house or left the garage door open? Again, it’s as easy as pressing a button on your smartphone.
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