If you spend enough time in the custom installation channel, you’ll notice some themes start to emerge. One of these old chestnuts is the “I want to get out of the field” refrain. Usually, the person uttering the phrase knows one thing: they don’t want to spend the rest of their lives shimmying around crawlspaces and attics. They’re not sure what lies on the other side of this desire to leave the field (what Thomas Friedman calls “freedom from” in his book Thank You For Being Late). In other words, there isn’t always a “freedom to” necessarily — just a desire involving a hazy vision of not having to strain their bodies every day into old age.
Also by Henry Clifford: Zoomification and BYOM
For years this “freedom from” the field desire only offered a few paths out. One could transition over to the sales team or become a project manager or maybe even a system engineer if the company’s size could support the role. Those who weren’t cut out for any of those three didn’t have many other opportunities. Nothing changed for years until the world of remote support began developing over the last decade aided by solutions like ihiji, Domotz, and OvrC. Thankfully, today’s transition from the field into the “pasture” has never been easier thanks to remote work opportunities available from a ton of companies inside the CI channel (maybe even inside your own business).
Here are a few examples of remote work opportunities available in the CI channel right now. [Full disclosure — I’m a co-founder of Parasol.]
Does your company offer remote support to its clients? If not, why not? Have you considered creating a position in your company for a remote support technician who will fight tooth and nail to keep you from rolling a truck? At my integration business, Livewire, we have an amazing remote support technician named Dustin Roskam. He follows up on anything Parasol needs to escalate back to Livewire (Parasol solves 70 percent of issues during the first interaction). That means out of 100 calls, Parasol escalates 30 back to Livewire. Of those 30 escalations, Dustin solves 27 of them (a solve rate of 90 percent), which means, where we used to roll a truck 30 times, Dustin has whittled that down to three. Do you still think you can’t afford your own remote support technician in-house? How can you afford not to? To help get things started, check out Livewire’s job description for the role. Please feel free to use it as you see fit.
Thanks to innovation, Covid-19, and surging demand, there’s never been a better time to get out of the field and into the pasture. What are you waiting for?
Stay frosty, and see you in the field.
Henry Clifford is president of Livewire, an integration firm in Richmond, VA. He also serves on the CEDIA Business Working Group and writes a bi-monthly blog for Residential Systems.