BrandSource’s standalone service solution from Allstate offers around-the-clock smart-home support for $69 a year.
By Alan Wolf, YSN
Whether we’re talking TVs or cooktops, consumer technology is rushing headlong toward the connected home.
To help BrandSource members tap into this mushrooming market, AVB has developed an exclusive tech support service with leading insurer Allstate and its SquareTrade subsidiary. The partners’ Allstate-branded 24/7 Premium Tech Services program, introduced earlier this year, addresses one of the greatest stumbling blocks to smart-home adoption: support.
Indeed, according to recent research by consumer tech consultancy Parks Associates, 36 percent of U.S. broadband households that returned a smart-home or electronics device within the last 12 months cited difficulty in setup, installation and usage as the reason. Rather than the problem residing with the device, connectivity issues can often involve the Wi-Fi network in the home — a sometimes sticky wicket for dealers that can lead to after-hours calls, service department truck rolls and frustration for customers.
The new Premium Tech Services program from BrandSource and Allstate is a high-margin solution that provides assistance with new product setup and home network connectivity, plus around-the-clock support and troubleshooting for all appliances and smart devices purchased from a BrandSource dealer. The service also includes integration with smart home hubs like Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings and Apple HomePod, a common pain point for connected-home consumers.
The retail price of the program is $69 for a full year of coverage, and the service is being sold as a standalone product, meaning that neither the dealer nor the customer must carry or buy an Allstate or SquareTrade extended service plan to participate. (The service is already included for products protected under Allstate’s extended service plans.) Registration for BrandSource members is free, fast and easy, the partners said, and dealers can begin offering the service in two weeks with no out-of-pocket costs, as all merchandising and sales collateral is paid for by BrandSource and SquareTrade.
SquareTrade said Allstate lends the service operation “incredible scale and stability,” with both companies together covering over 100 million consumers in the U.S., and described its corporate parent as “one of the most trusted and recognized insurance brands in America.” In addition, self-servicing dealers are welcome to participate in the program with the promise of competitive rates, a 15-day payment cycle and the ability to manage the customer experience end-to-end.
Thanks to the Premium Tech Service program BrandSource dealers can now sleep easy knowing their customers have 24/7 support because, as Allstate says, “We can all use a little help.”
BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, mattress, furniture and CE dealers.