I think before anyone says integrators are making mistakes we should take a moment to recognize the very real challenges this industry faces. Consider this:
When I speak in front of groups of integrators I always ask: “How many of you would interrupt your work or personal life (sleep, meetings, dinner, etc) to take a call for a client in need of service?”
Everyone raises their hands.
I then ask “how many of you are willing to guarantee a response to your clients whenever they reach out?”. All the hands come down.
The industry’s stuck between a rock and a hard place. The problem is we’re all breaking our backs trying to take care of our clients but we’re unable to guarantee the service so it’s not worth paying for. Would anyone pay for AAA if they offered a “we’ll try our best to get you a tow truck” kind of response?
The demand for this response continues to grow as tech becomes a bigger part of family life, but integrators continue to lack the scale to provide 24/7 support.
I don’t believe it’s fair to expect any integrator comprehensively and properly address Mistakes 1,2, and 3 listed above without first enabling them to solve the broader service challenge tied to scale. That’s why I founded OneVision. When you combine the efficiency, reliability, and capability of our scale with the local relationships, quality, and skills of local integrators you create a service experience that’s hard to beat.
We’re not growing fast, we’re not trying to take over the world. We’re focused on changing the smart home one experience at a time with a group of committed integrators who care. Join the platform at www.onevisionresources.com.
I think the consumer industry in general does not help Custom Installers and does not create a room for maintenance. It’s rare to find any tech/electronic consumer magazine (online or paper) that will finish an article by “Super product, but might require a professional to install, service and maintain”. Same for manufacturers, I never saw the mention on the box of a product to say “This product might require yearly maintenance by a professional”. This “culture” of using a professional to install & maintain is not created by the consumer industry, so everything is supposed to work like that, out of the box, for ever and of course, no need for service and maintain. And if ever you asked a pro to install because you are too lazy to do it, as the manufacturer and consumer press said it is supposed to work like magic or never talk about maintenance, why the hell would it need maintenance. I can really feel the pain and why custom installer can feel uncomfortable to talk about service and maintenance. Now the reasons for that are clear: sell more stuff first, then let people sort out the problem.
Hi Walt - I think you are spot on! Establishing a real value for the safety and security of a monthly service agreement is the responsibility of the installation expert that designed and installed the system in the first place.
But it is no small task: they have to define their tiered pricing, train their staff on how best to explain and sell these services, weave it into their operation - materials, letters of agreement for new and old customers, integrating the value of service agreements into their website, etc., etc.
And - as per your highlighting Best Buy getting deeper into the process, integration specialists need to realize how important it is for them to do it better than the big box guys. So - is it worth the time and money to get coached on how to set up RMR, train your staff, make sure your marketing materials, docs and website are all top notch and in tune with your RMR program? You bet it is…