Symbio Signs On for Personalized Service from OneVision Resources

Symbio Lighting + Control predicts it could save at least $15,000 annually right away from signing on with OneVision for its service department.


Wynne Walker, vice president at Symbio Lighting + Control in Houston, is among the first integrators to enlist with OneVision Resources for its service department.

Symbio has been in business for seven years and has 10 employees. The referral-driven company does about 20 to 30 projects per year with an average job size of $150,000. But with that large client base also comes the need for service. Walker says the company has about 1.5 service incidents per day or 45 tickets per month.

“Service is like a virus or cancer; it can eat you from inside out if you don’t figure it out. The industry is becoming service-oriented whether we like it or not. While service can be a profit center, the expectation that support be provided instantly to our customers is difficult (and expensive). Outsourcing this component of our service team made sense.”

As part of its OneVision adoption, OneVision is helping optimize Symbio’s existing Zendesk ticketing system. “Zendesk showed us that Symbio employees ‘touch’ each ticket 10-15 times,” says Walker. Each “touch” represents talking to customer, checking the file, logging it into the system, action by the programmer, etc.

“You are touching these tickets a lot more than you ever imagined. It is amazing how much time we spend dealing with a service call even when we did not roll a truck,” he says.

About five years ago, Symbio saw the writing on the wall with diminishing margins. Two years later, the company rolled out its own three-tiered service program.

“RMR is a very scary proposition. The barriers to entry are high. Most dealers feel like they are walking into a black hole to start a service plan,” Walker confides.

Can You Earn $150/Month per Account for Services? OneVision Says Yes

Symbio’s Client Care Plan is a good/better/best offering for fixed fees ranging from $125 per month to $12,000 annually. It is not based on size of job. The plans include a certain number of hours of labor, discounts on equipment, and even acting as the “go-to person” with phone and cable service providers like AT&T and Comcast. Since the rollout, Walker estimates about 95 percent of their clientele purchase a Client Care Plan.

“But we realized that we needed to be proactive to encourage them to use our service over the long term. That is what makes it ‘sticky’ and gets them to renew,” he concluded.

So, Symbio signed on to use OneVision with Ihiji as a base component.

“Instant triage is the most attractive element,” says Walker. “They [OneVision] offer 30-minute guaranteed response times (which Symbio already offered for certain levels of its Client Care Plans), but using OneVision will be less stressful on us. If it only saves us 15 minutes per ticket, that adds up to 150 hours of total time. At $100 per hour, that $15,000 annually right away.”

Other benefits Symbio hopes to reap include more personalized service, a higher level of consistency, and better management of Ihiji.

“Ihiji communicates a lot of valuable information. But to make the most of it and generate recurring revenue you need to process that information and act accordingly,” admits Walker.

About the Author

Jason Knott
Jason Knott:

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald's Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California.


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