The pandemic challenged the service industry, including HVAC.
One family-owned HVAC company, GEM Plumbing & Heating, adapted by making Remote Assist by HomeX available for their customers.
What is it?
Through Remote Assist by HomeX, homeowners can get answers to common heating/cooling, plumbing and electrical problems. Not only that, the homeowners may be able to solve those problems.
Plus, the homeowners can get it done in the safety of their own homes over the phone or through video chat, and at a fraction of the cost of an in-person visit.
HVAC Company Creates Remote Assistant
Here’s how GEM uses its remote assistant technology to help its customers:
The homeowner schedules a remote session with a Remote Assist expert, using the HomeX mobile app. In addition to addressing repairs and maintenance, the HomeX mobile app can be used for virtual consultations and price estimates from industry experts at GEM.
GEM estimates that 50% of home services can be addressed remotely. Customers can save as much as 75% on the cost of a service visit.
So far, customers have most commonly used the HomeX App for:
- Identifying frozen pipes
- Water heater issues
- Thermostat issues
- Power outages in areas of the home
- Generator not starting
- Changing filters, UV bulbs, humidifier pads, and similar work.
- Questions about system products and pricing
Joseph Andrade, Vice President of Home & Commercial Services at GEM Plumbing & Heating, said that those cost savings ensure that the app’s value will outlive the pandemic.
But doesn’t this actually mean less revenue for GEM?
“Our priority at GEM Plumbing & Heating is always to be a trusted resource for our customers by providing a world-class, delightful experience, whether they need heating, cooling, plumbing, or electrical expertise. Partnering with HomeX has allowed us to offer a convenient, end-to-end solution that better serves them through the HomeX app. HomeX’s Remote Assist service, available through the HomeX mobile app — and online through HomeX.com — allows homeowners to directly connect with live expert technicians for help diagnosing and even repairing common household issues virtually,” Andrade tells Small Business Trends.
He says HomeX Remote Assist maintains a personal level of care and trust.
“Through Remote Assist, our customers receive a personalized experience through phone or video chat, with a trained technician who can diagnose their issue and even provide a step-by-step walkthrough to help our customers safely resolve the issue on their own,” Andrade says. “With guidance from a Remote Assist technician, homeowners can easily fix things like a leak, unclog a garbage disposal or solve a short circuit, saving time and money.”
Even though, on the surface, it seems like GEM is cutting into its profits by limiting the number of in-house visits its technicians make, the company is developing a loyal customer base.
Its GEM Home Advocate members get tele-visits for free. Non-members pay $50. And the company shows it cares about customer safety by limiting in-person contact for now.
“Especially during the pandemic, providing a completely contactless and virtual experience through Remote Assist has been critical for the safety of our community,” Andrade says. “This offering has provided quite a bit of savings (both time and money) and peace of mind for our customers.”
Customer get added benefit because the HomeX app stores their service history, which saves GEM time in responding to future calls. And that, in turn, saves customers more money.
And while this app has been a clever solution for a health pandemic, there will be a time after the pandemic and GEM believes the HomeX app will be there in the future, pandemic or not.
“By using HomeX Remote Assist, GEM customers will reduce how often a tech needs to physically come into their home, and in turn limit the time and money spent,” Andrade says. “Through consistent use, the HomeX mobile app will become a profile of one’s home, storing all past visits and technician info, and providing homeowners with seasonal and annual maintenance reminders.”