Services and support are becoming increasingly important in the custom integration industry, with ongoing system monitoring, software updates and troubleshooting as key pillars of a subscription-based service plan.
That’s exactly what Naveed Kaymanesh, president of Virginia-based custom integration firm Sight and Sound Systems, Inc., is doing with a new monthly subscription service built around the OvrC remote system management platform from Snap One.
According to Kaymanesh, the most important thing in his business is high-performance and reliability in both smart home technologies and service calls.
“We currently manage more than 600 active OvrC systems, and now we can offer every one of those customers enhanced levels of service that provide faster response times, proactive issue resolution and the surety of knowing there’s always someone to answer the call,” Kaymanesh says.
Early Success with OvrC
In the two months since launching the new customer service subscription, Sight and Sound has already signed up more than 30 customers. Traditionally, the company has offered a standard one-year warranty service period for all projects and then switched to incident-based billing for any troubleshooting or house visits. Customers today still have that option, but it appears the assurance and peace of mind in knowing a professional is just a call away has struck a nerve with many of them.
Kaymanesh says his company has used OvrC since the beginning, but with recent improvements of modern wireless infrastructure, the platform is now powerful enough to form one of the foundations of his business and growth plans.
“Everybody knows tech equipment inevitably fails, or at a minimum can require a reset or software update, and these complex integration systems are best handled by experienced professionals,” Kaymanesh says. “We do annual or semi-annual checkups, and if we see that any issues or devices are offline then we have a reason to make a courtesy call and educate existing customers about the service subscription.”
Kaymanesh credits the program’s early success to aggressive pricing that draws in customers, along with the simple fact that OvrC allows them to solve many issues much faster than before without sending anyone to the home.
Customers prioritize simplicity and reliability, which incentives them to use the service. Meanwhile, Sight and Sound Systems can make sure smaller issues are resolved before they create other problems. Now, the company plans to hire additional service staff to support the new service program.
“We’ve seen that as consumers become increasingly reliant on smart home technology, they’re willing to pay for a service that keeps their technology investments fully operational and current with new products and solutions coming to market faster than ever before,” notes Kaymanesh.
Reducing Service Costs Over Revenue
Sight and Sound is currently offering three levels of the service. The higher level can include automated proactive alerts through OvrC that alert the integrators and/or the customer that a device is offline, disconnected or otherwise requires service. Additionally, hundreds of the OvrC customers are mapped in the OvrC software, so a technician can easily see if there are ongoing regional issues like internet or power outages.
According to Kaymanesh, the revenue potential isn’t even the main driver of this subscription-based service program. Instead, the main improvement is reducing costs of service.
“It’s cheaper for us, it’s cheaper for them, and everyone ends up happier. In the end, it’s all about the customer benefits,” Kavmanehs says. “Most of the time we don’t even discuss OvrC or how all of it works, we just tell them that for ‘X’ dollars a month, we will be able to reset your router instantly or fix your TV’s WiFi without scheduling a technician visit, and they get it. They get it right away.”
In addition, the program helps set customer expectations up front and eliminates the confusion about what happens when a warranty expires. In the past, some customers asked Kaymanesh’ company for free services after the first year, which creates tension in the customer relationship.
“We talk about how we want to take care of our customers, that we want their experiences in three years or five years to be as carefree and positive as they are on day one,” he said. “Just like any other part of life, it’s almost always more expensive to fix a major problem than it is to prevent it. When we discuss the potential high future costs and the impact a system outage could have on the users, it becomes clear that the customers’ benefits far outweigh their costs.”
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