Google Assistant Can Connect Homeowners to Specialists, Possible Lead Gen for Dealers
There was a big discussion at CEDIA after Amazon took the stage to present a pretty clear roadmap to include the budding CI channel somewhere in the mix of the $100 billion empire. We can talk pros and cons all day, but one thing is clear - CEDIA members are on the map everyone wants a piece of the pie.
That makes the newest player in the game one of Amazon's biggest, albeit indirectly, competitor, Google. Their newest hardware release, the Pixel 2, is starting to shape up as purely a vessel for all the downright brilliant software achievements that the search engine behemoth has been cooking up over the past year.
The highlight of those achievements just so happens to be the Google Assistant, a robust digital voice that can search the web, set reminders, and now find local services for homeowners. Currently, an "OK Google" search for something such as "find me a plumber" will do just that, show you plumbers in the nearby area. However, an anticipated patch will guide users through a few prompts to target specific problems - clogged toilet, repair a garbage disposal, install a faucet - and give you the best options based on target reviews. It can even schedule appointments or connect you directly to your choice of specialists.
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If Google, who did attend CEDIA, has the same vision Amazon does, these prompts should begin to solve more problems that only integrators can solve. "Help me hang a TV", "I need help with my home security", or "What speakers work with my receiver" could be the prompts that connect potential clients to your business.
"The integration with the Google Assistant enables the connected homeowner to reach prescreened service professionals across the nation through simple voice commands," said Chris Terrill, CEO of ANGI Homeservices, which owns and operates HomeAdvisor. "Having built the products and technology to seamlessly connect homeowners and service providers on demand, HomeAdvisor is the ideal home services marketplace to partner with voice assistants across the spectrum."
Google is touting this as way more than a glorified Yelp review of integrator services. It's a solution that can target specific needs and even provide prescreened companies from HomeAdvisor and Porch. Additionally, it's a new avenue for integrators to top a new SEO avenue, however Google hasn't released any details on how specialists can take advantage of this new listing services.
For now, only Google is playing in this space but expect Amazon and Apple to have similar offerings as their assistants mature.