Feeling Helpless Sucks. Considering RMR - ResidentialSystems.com

Feeling Helpless Sucks. Considering RMR

My wife and I spent a long weekend in Nashville last month. We had a blast! Great town, great food, great people, and best of all… great music! The only friction I experienced the whole weekend resulted from not being able to find SNL on the TV. I hadn’t experienced the feeling of being helpless with technology in a VERY long time and it made me lose my cool very quickly. In the heat of the moment, I had the presence of mind to realize that 99-percent of our after-hours calls, texts, and emails are the result from this helpless feeling. 
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My wife and I spent a long weekend in Nashville last month. We had a blast! Great town, great food, great people, and best of all… great music! The only friction I experienced the whole weekend resulted from not being able to find SNL on the TV. I hadn’t experienced the feeling of being helpless with technology in a VERY long time and it made me lose my cool very quickly. In the heat of the moment, I had the presence of mind to realize that 99-percent of our after-hours calls, texts, and emails are the result from this helpless feeling.

I was grateful that I had the feeling of helplessness to motivate me into understanding our clients better. By day, they’re nice people, but when the sun goes down, tempers flare, as things don’t always go the way they’re supposed to with technology. My own feelings of rage at being unable to locate the local NBC affiliate in Nashville were the perfect ingredients for a recipe to driving down our after-hours support calls and empowering our clients. We’ve heard the same refrain from many of our clients. For the most part, they understand that technology glitches from time to time, but not knowing what to do or feeling helpless drives them nuts.

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SnapAV OvrC Device Details Over the past few months, remote support platform companies like OvrC and Domotz have launched their own homeowner-facing apps (OvrC Home and Violet) designed to deliver basic rebooting capabilities to frustrated clients. I’ve had a chance to thoroughly test drive both and each has its own strengths and areas for opportunity. Limited choice seems to be the key to success. We’ve rolled out a self-service recurring monthly revenue (RMR) plan around these types of apps, and each and every client is being presented with the option at the time of close.

OvrC Home’s app shows a dashboard with one to six options on the home screen (configured using the OvrC Pro dashboard). Anything from “Reboot Internet” or “Reboot TV” can be configured by the Home Technology Professional (HTP). For the most part, devices connected to IP power supplies and SnapAV’s own products are the mainstay of the OvrC Home app. We set up a demo for our sales team, and they love it. Pressing one of the buttons prompts the client to ask if they’re sure and then enters into a two- to four-minute rebooting period where the client is shown status messages like “Powering On Now…” to keep them in the loop. OvrC Home also features at-a-glance contact information for the HTP on the app and a support request form. Pretty slick.

Domotz’s Violet app focuses more on the overall network by reporting speed, health, and known devices on the home page. It feels more like a threat detection or peace-of-mind app than one designed explicitly to help the homeowner easily troubleshoot a crashed system. That said, a quick tap into the “Home Tech” category reveals a list of devices that can be rebooted or monitored. Domotz and Violet have an extensive library of products that can be rebooted with or without a connected IP power supply. Violet also offers a co-branding capability by showing the HTP logo on its app. Support requests are pre-populated and very easy for the homeowner to submit via email. Overall, Violet feels much busier than OvrC Home for client-facing troubleshooting. I suggested to their support team they might bring forward a few favorite devices to the home page for easy access.

Granted, an app isn’t a silver bullet, and we’ll still continue to get after-hours texts, emails, and calls (hopefully less of them). The owner of Defender Direct told of putting out fires in his business but ensuring that he left behind a fire extinguisher for next time. What do you think of using client-facing apps in your business to drive down support calls and increase RMR?

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