Business

What Magnolia’s ‘Mag Care’ Remote Support Says about the Future of Service

There are two big lessons home technology integrators can take away from the news that Best Buy’s Magnolia will offer remote network support, called Mag Care.


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Best Buy’s Magnolia made news recently with the addition of some premium support options to its Magnolia Care program. Magnolia Care is an aftercare plan that the company includes at no charge for a year on every custom project that goes through the its Budget Builder process.

According to its website, Magnolia Care offers clients “post-installation follow up, preventative maintenance and troubleshooting, done in a proactive and timely manner.”

The company’s recent announcement revolves around the unveiling of remote management and support features provided through a partnership with Domotz. In addition to an on-site monitoring appliance, Magnolia’s new offering comes with a custom-branded, client-facing app the company is calling Mag Care. The app will allow clients to monitor the health of its own system as well as perform reboots.

Although exact pricing is not publicly available, these new features are part of a premium support package that clients will have to opt-in to and pay for.

Magnolia’s entrance into the market for premium support and service is a significant move by a company with a national footprint. So what should integrators off all sizes take away from the Mag Care initiative?

1. Peace of Mind Is the Product

A first key takeaway from Magnolia’s new offering comes from the way it is being marketed on its site.

Reading through the support page, you’ll find no mention of hardware or apps. In fact, the messaging is short and sweet, getting right to what the client ultimately cares about — the experience.

According to Magnolia’s site, Mag Care will provide “an even greater level of support” which, when combined with the Magnolia Care, is designed to “cover your system like never before, for enhanced peace of mind.”

In short, peace of mind is not something that comes with the product, it is the product. And it’s being marketed and sold in a way that will surely resonate with the high-end buyers that our industry has done such a good job of capturing.

Integrators of all sizes should not shy away from packaging and selling premium support offerings using a similar approach.

At OneVision we encourage our partners to leverage this emotional angle not only in the sale of standalone service offerings, but also in the presentation and pricing of their overall projects. By centering their marketing message and sales approach around the peace of mind that comes with 24//7 Instant Remote Support, something or their competitors can match, our partners are able to easily able to command a premium on the overall price of the projects.

Taking this approach will allow you to easily engage in a conversation about the importance of service, highlighting in concrete terms from the beginning of the client relationship how you differentiate by providing an exceptional experience.

2. Proactive Service Will Soon Become Table Stakes

A second key lesson from Magnolia’s approach is the fact that a proactive approach to service will increasingly become the norm in our business. Far beyond the decades-old approach of reactive, break-fix service, Mag Care represents a new paradigm that we see taking root all over the country.

Forward-thinking integrators are increasingly recognizing that client service is becoming the last true differentiator in the smart home business, and are packaging and presenting their approach to service accordingly. 

The national rollout of Mag Care will serve to increase the consumer’s awareness of and demand for this approach to service, putting service-oriented integrators in a great position to thrive.

Much like countless electricians, HVAC contractors and plumbers who for years have touted maintenance plans and after-hours service lines prominently in their advertising, consumers will soon begin to expect the same from their integrators.

Those who get in position to meet this demand will find themselves winning new project opportunities over their less service-focused competitors.

Welcome News

The announcement of a Mag Care should be a welcome one as it raises consumer awareness across the country that service is an important consideration when shopping for home technology.

Service is quickly becoming the last true differentiator, solidifying your relationship with clients and protecting your business from the competition. Mag Care will help raise awareness of this important consideration in the eyes of consumers, validating the concept and driving service-oriented integrators to the fore in our increasingly competitive market. 


Learn More: Best Buy’s Magnolia Launches Mag Care Remote Network Support, Powered by Domotz


For more information about service and using it to create RMR, visit www.onevisionresources.com/blog.



  About the Author

Joseph Kolchinsky is the founder of OneVision Resources and investor of companies in the personal and home technology industry. He is also a frequent speaker on the evolving nature of supporting the connected home and related IoT. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Joseph at [email protected]

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View Joseph Kolchinsky's complete profile.



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Comments

Posted by jasongriffing on June 30, 2017

Adroit1 - “...we are selling a life experience to the homeowner. Sure, there are great components that make great sound, and some awesome video screens out there as well. But all that goes out the window when it doesn’t work.”

Well said. I’ve often made this argument. Too many of us define our client experience (CX) in terms of flashy features and sophisticated automation. Sure, these are important. But where we really drive value (or fail to) is in the RELATIONSHIP our clients have with these systems.

As an industry, we’ve been guilty for too long of brushing service under the rug. That is, until the job is done and tech failures start to rear their ugly head.

By then, it’s far too late to tell your client how seriously you take service. Trust is gone. And you’ve entered the realm of perpetual damage-control.

Posted by Adroit1 on June 16, 2017

For the purposes of this discussion, how long you get free care is immaterial. The point is we are in the service business, and this points it out to all of us in bold letters. Here is a big box store selling service. It shows just how important the service end of our business is. we need to either remember, or learn, that we are selling a life experience to the homeowner. Sure, there are great components that make great sound, and some awesome video screens out there as well. But all that goes out the window when it doesn’t work. What I tell my customers is the reason I sell them the best equipment possible that they have never heard of is not just for their enjoyment, but, being selfish, I don’t want to get THAT call on a Saturday night when their Netflix won’t work. Even with the BEST equipment available, you are still going to get that call at some point in your career. The ability to be able to remotely troubleshoot and, possibly, repair it on line will make your customer much happier, and, at the same time, reduce your stress. Ihiji, Domotz, and OVRC Pro are now competing to give you the tools to keep a network up, and the same tools to repair it when it is down. Now there are some proprietary matrix switchers, and HDMI extenders, like Zigen, that give you the tools to let you see how the audio and video on your installation are fairing and the diagnostic tools to make changes and, even, repairs without leaving your office. All these are designed to make us look smarter and, most importantly, give the homeowner the shortest amount of downtime.  We need to understand it is the experience of the homeowner using the equipment we sold him, or her, and we can put a price on a better experience for the homeowner. That price being a service contract that is either up front in the bid, or buried in the final quote as some equipment costs, which is exactly what Magnolia is doing wit their “free” service.

Posted by TheDarkKnight on June 15, 2017

Remote Support is not the entirety of MagCare. The part that is “powered by Domotz” is 90 days. MagCare is 1 year.

Posted by Julie Jacobson on June 14, 2017

That’s the intel I have, Joey. Curious if The DarkKnight has other info. thx

Posted by Joseph Kolchinsky on June 14, 2017

Also, @TheDarkKnight, the first paragraph describing Magnolia Care on this page (https://www.magnoliaav.com/support/) says:

“As part of every custom installation project that goes through our Budget Builder process, you will receive, at no additional cost, one year of Magnolia Care.”

Posted by Joseph Kolchinsky on June 14, 2017

Hm @TheDarkKnight - where do you see that?

In their Magnolia Care Terms of Service (https://img-ssl.bbystatic.com/BestBuy_US/store/usweb/magnolia/support/Mag-Care-Terms.pdf), I see this written in Section 2:

Your Magnolia In-Home Support begins on the date (a) your Covered System installation is complete as determined by Magnolia, or (b) you purchase Magnolia In-Home Support on a standalone basis (including any renewal or term extension), and continues in effect until the one year anniversary following the date of such installation or purchase (the “Service Period”), unless otherwise extended, cancelled or suspended, as provided in Section 9, below.

Let me know what you see - we’ll issue a correction to the article if this is true.

thanks,
Joey

Posted by TheDarkKnight on June 14, 2017

It’s actually no charge for 90 days…not a full year.

Posted by TheDarkKnight on June 14, 2017

It’s actually no charge for 90 days…not a full year.

Posted by Joseph Kolchinsky on June 14, 2017

Hm @TheDarkKnight - where do you see that?

In their Magnolia Care Terms of Service (https://img-ssl.bbystatic.com/BestBuy_US/store/usweb/magnolia/support/Mag-Care-Terms.pdf), I see this written in Section 2:

Your Magnolia In-Home Support begins on the date (a) your Covered System installation is complete as determined by Magnolia, or (b) you purchase Magnolia In-Home Support on a standalone basis (including any renewal or term extension), and continues in effect until the one year anniversary following the date of such installation or purchase (the “Service Period”), unless otherwise extended, cancelled or suspended, as provided in Section 9, below.

Let me know what you see - we’ll issue a correction to the article if this is true.

thanks,
Joey

Posted by Joseph Kolchinsky on June 14, 2017

Also, @TheDarkKnight, the first paragraph describing Magnolia Care on this page (https://www.magnoliaav.com/support/) says:

“As part of every custom installation project that goes through our Budget Builder process, you will receive, at no additional cost, one year of Magnolia Care.”

Posted by Julie Jacobson on June 14, 2017

That’s the intel I have, Joey. Curious if The DarkKnight has other info. thx

Posted by TheDarkKnight on June 15, 2017

Remote Support is not the entirety of MagCare. The part that is “powered by Domotz” is 90 days. MagCare is 1 year.

Posted by Adroit1 on June 16, 2017

For the purposes of this discussion, how long you get free care is immaterial. The point is we are in the service business, and this points it out to all of us in bold letters. Here is a big box store selling service. It shows just how important the service end of our business is. we need to either remember, or learn, that we are selling a life experience to the homeowner. Sure, there are great components that make great sound, and some awesome video screens out there as well. But all that goes out the window when it doesn’t work. What I tell my customers is the reason I sell them the best equipment possible that they have never heard of is not just for their enjoyment, but, being selfish, I don’t want to get THAT call on a Saturday night when their Netflix won’t work. Even with the BEST equipment available, you are still going to get that call at some point in your career. The ability to be able to remotely troubleshoot and, possibly, repair it on line will make your customer much happier, and, at the same time, reduce your stress. Ihiji, Domotz, and OVRC Pro are now competing to give you the tools to keep a network up, and the same tools to repair it when it is down. Now there are some proprietary matrix switchers, and HDMI extenders, like Zigen, that give you the tools to let you see how the audio and video on your installation are fairing and the diagnostic tools to make changes and, even, repairs without leaving your office. All these are designed to make us look smarter and, most importantly, give the homeowner the shortest amount of downtime.  We need to understand it is the experience of the homeowner using the equipment we sold him, or her, and we can put a price on a better experience for the homeowner. That price being a service contract that is either up front in the bid, or buried in the final quote as some equipment costs, which is exactly what Magnolia is doing wit their “free” service.

Posted by jasongriffing on June 30, 2017

Adroit1 - “...we are selling a life experience to the homeowner. Sure, there are great components that make great sound, and some awesome video screens out there as well. But all that goes out the window when it doesn’t work.”

Well said. I’ve often made this argument. Too many of us define our client experience (CX) in terms of flashy features and sophisticated automation. Sure, these are important. But where we really drive value (or fail to) is in the RELATIONSHIP our clients have with these systems.

As an industry, we’ve been guilty for too long of brushing service under the rug. That is, until the job is done and tech failures start to rear their ugly head.

By then, it’s far too late to tell your client how seriously you take service. Trust is gone. And you’ve entered the realm of perpetual damage-control.