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Case Study: Service as a Differentiator

By partnering with OneVision Resources to run its customer service department, Smart Home Systems boosts its service revenue by 15 percent and out-delivers its competition.

When most of your clientele lives part-time in luxury mountain resort residences, service takes on a whole new meaning. “They expect response and resolution immediately,” says Randy Schram of Smart Home Systems in Bozeman, Montana. Factor in the 90 minutes it typically takes for a service technician from Smart Home Systems to drive to most of these homes, plus the four or five new service clients added to the Smart Home roster each month, and you’ve got a customer service conundrum. Schram admits he was at a crossroads: keep scrambling to stay on top of the needs of some very demanding high-net-worth clients or implement a completely new service strategy. “I had evaluated and re-evaluated our situation 100 ways from Sunday, struggling to arrive at a good solution,” he says.

The team at Smart Home Systems in Bozeman, Montana.

A Moment of Clarity

Unwilling to throw in the towel, Schram attended an educational course on service presented by OneVision Resources at a CEDIA Expo “Hearing Joey Kolchinsky speak about the benefits of the OneVison platform is when I recognized the need for scale to solve this problem,” Schram says. Now in its third year of using the OneVision platform, Smart Home Systems has not only driven increased efficiency into their process, but they have also increased their service revenue by 15 percent. Schram attributes much of the revenue boost to utilization. No longer are technicians rolling trucks as non-billable courtesy calls to clients’ homes. “As part of the OneVision platform, 100 percent of our clients sign a terms-of-service that makes it clear that every time we go out, it’s recorded as billable time,” Schram says.

A Seamless Extension of Smart Home’s Business

Of course, not all calls result in a truck roll. The combination of guaranteed 24/7 response, triage, and basic support efforts rounds out a comprehensive offering that has been very well received by Smart Home Systems’ clients. Initially, Schram worried that legacy clients would miss no longer having the cellphone numbers of the Smart Home Systems’ techs on their speed dial to report problems. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. “We have one long-standing, somewhat difficult client who actually called me to say how much she appreciated the new process,” Schram relates. “She said the level of service she received from their new approach to service was world-class and made her feel valued as a Smart Home Systems’ client. OneVision helped turn a difficult client into a happy one.” So pleased was this particular client with her support experience, she hired Schram and his team to update the systems in her home and continues to be a loyal client.

Closing Down the Call Tree

Old habits die hard, and for Smart Home Systems, one of the toughest to break was transitioning clients away from the use of personal cellphones to request support. Thinking that it would make service more responsive, the company had previously given phone numbers of several service techs to clients. If they couldn’t reach one, they could call another, and another, and so on. “Everyone on that call list assumed that someone else was taking care of the issue, when in reality nobody was,” Schram says. After implementing the OneVision platform, clients were given one service number. And for clients who continue to dial team members directly, the entire Smart Home Systems team is able to confidently redirect calls to this dedicated number. Someone always picks up the call, diagnoses the issue, and resolves it if possible. Should the call require further support, the OneVision team ensures that the ticket contains thorough and clear documentation and that the client’s expectations are clearly managed.

Consistency of the Client Experience

Stories of successful service have become the norm for Smart Home Systems, giving the company a distinct edge from its competitors. While other integrators in the area focus on landing projects, Smart Home Systems continues to build its business by providing stellar support to both new and existing clients, many of whom rely on reliable monitoring of their vacation homes while they are gone. “Neither they nor their property managers care if they’re talking to me or Mike from our OneVision support team. They just want a solution. For less than the cost of hiring an additional service tech, I have a solution that my customers love and allows me to generate referrals for large-scale projects. When you take care of clients the way we’ve been able to with the help of OneVision Resources, word gets around.”

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