As a manufacturer, it's an everyday challenge to create new marketing approaches and engage potential-clients. As a remote supervision manufacturer, the challenge is a little more laborious than usual. First, we must help Custom Installers become Home Technologists. They must upgrade their business model to better monetize service and set a maintenance plan to get RMR. Only after this crusade, after the promising larvae finally turns into a butterfly, they'll be ready to sell remote supervision.
At Krika we have our own definition: You are a Home Technologist only when you provide to all your clients, even the smallest, a service plan, a maintenance plan (which is different), and remote supervision.
The last marketing approach we found is to compare remote supervision to a type of insurance. After all, a remote supervision device is something you pay for, you spend 5 minutes to set up, you probably won't use for months (maybe years), until the day it'll save your butt. It's something that will protect your margin and your professional credibility against the inevitable failures of the modern, connected, barely-alive, and, of course, malicious gears you install all day long.
Remote supervision is your armor, your carapace against the casualty of today's technology. If anything happens—you have logs you can rely on, you can trace the behavior of certain devices, you can demonstrate to your clients that they are wrong, you can confirm that your Wi-Fi system is working and the ISP is not. You will also be made aware when a problem occurs, before them. In fact, you should make Service, Maintenance, and remote supervision mandatory in your Terms of Sales for all your clients without exception. You just can't work without any safety net!
The first time we proudly tried to explain this new “insurance” concept to a Custom Installer, his response left us stunned: “OK, I got it. We will put a remote supervision devices to help us when we have a problematic job.” How could they miss the point so badly?, we thought. Our reply was: “You don't get insurance after the car accident, buddy! In your AV job, it's too late and your client is already pissed off!”
That day we understood that if there is no law in place to make things mandatory, no Custom Installer will ever do it. An organization like CEDIA for example, could get the ball rolling. All members should sign a binding contract where creating a "service package" which includes a Service Plan, a Maintenance Plan, as well as a Remote Supervision system, for each individual client is required. Otherwise, you don't deserve to be member of the great, high-end, fancy organization of so-called Home Technologists. It takes balls to set this up, but It's worth the try. We could claim to end-users that they have an obligation of means and we an obligation of results. (To make is clearer: it means more money for us).
Another way to see it is to make service and maintenance mandatory for security reasons. After all, it's mandatory to have a car, a house, or a professional insurance. It does not prevent the accident, but helps you afterwards. They made car and home-owners insurance mandatory only because if it was not, 99% of people probably wouldn't subscribe to one. (Yeah, we all feel invincible). You are required to subscribe to ensure your own security, your life, and the lives of those involved.
It's the same for all the gear we install in our client's properties. All can be hacked and used as malicious devices and ransomware. The only way to prevent it is to set a maintenance plan that allows us to come back 2-3 times a year to update all gears, and perhaps change some devices that are too old to be secure. Like for a plane: once a year they totally disassemble it to check everything. Sometimes they find nothing wrong, then they rebuild it and send it back to service. It's called “maintenance” and people feel secure when they travel because they know this plane has been maintained to function as required.
What will it take in our industry for an organization, an insurance company, or a governor to make this mandatory? What kind of industrial accident or catastrophic devastation will our clients have to face before we realize too late that we had a (preventative) solution right in front of us, and we voluntarily ignored it? Maybe one day, your home-owners insurance will ask you to hire only a professional that gives you a service plan and a maintenance plan… For your security…
What do you think?