Connected Thermostats - Market Update
If you are looking to sharpen your competitive edge in 2018, there’s no better technology to brush up on than connected thermostats. Berg Insight, a market research firm, identified a 64% growth in connected thermostats in 2017, and expects a 50% annual growth through 2021. And while there is rapid, continuous growth in the market for connected technologies, there is also the challenge of functionality and customer support.
Small Business Trends posted an interview about this issue. Autumn Braswell with iQor, a business process and customer support firm, was interviewed about the results of their survey titled “Customer and Product Experience 360.” IQor found that early adopters to technologies like connected thermostats encountered many issues with installation and continual use.
When customers encountered issues with the thermostats, IQor “saw a lot of the inefficiencies, and customer frustration in having to deal with multiple companies.” Braswell identified that some customers have to engage with three companies over multiple sessions to solve their problem, often “spending an hour and a half of their own time doing self-help. And then an additional hour with service and support.”
The investment of time and frustration fixing tools supposed to make their life easier may mean that the connected features and energy saving advantages are not utilized properly. What’s the solution to this issue? Braswell and IQor recommend that manufacturers “map out the customer journey” and “[meet] the customer where they want to be met.” This offers a great opportunity for HVAC contractors to become local market experts in installing and programming connected thermostats. The customer service frustration from bouncing between multiple manufacturers can be drastically lightened if customers only have to make one call to solve their problem. This can help ensure correct usage, energy savings, and your continued business.
With many local utilities offering up to $200 per connected thermostat and distributors gradually lowering the average thermostat price point, now is the best time to invest your time and expertise in connecting thermostats.
For more information on connected thermostats check out installation tips here. Or better yet, attend a workshop to see a hands-on product demonstration. The Air Northwest team will be co-hosting two workshops with NW TAN. Click here to register for the Spokane event on March 20th. Click here to register for the Longview/Kelso event on May 2nd.