Clever Energy saves £145K per year with remote visual assistance

Clever Energy Boilers reaps digitalisation rewards with Remote Visual Assistance

Clever Energy Boilers (CEB) has been trading for around 9 years and has in-depth experience in the supply and fitting of efficient, energy reducing boilers from leading manufacturers. It has successfully installed over 15,000 boilers across Yorkshire, Lancashire, Humberside, Cumbria, North East, Cheshire, Midlands and Southern Regions and is in a strong position to capitalise on the accelerating demand for solar energy and heat pump systems. It has Green Deal and Gas Safe accreditations with stamps of approval from recognised governing bodies and standards. It is a very early adopter of remote visual assistance technology, having first used it four years ago to solve several process issues it had. CEB switched to Hostcomm in 2022 to improve their service and remote visual assistance is now critical to their continued success in this rapidly expanding sector.

Challenges faced

Remote visual assistance is the commonly-used name for video sessions that use augmented reality and a variety of overlaid visual assistance tools. CEB uses remote visual assistance for several stages in its lead-to-cash process including the initial consultation, pre-install visit and customer follow up sessions. Its previous supplier was not fully meeting the high standards set by CEB and so they decided to trial Hostcomm's RVX service for a few weeks. There were a few service issues with the previous supplier that CEB were trying to rectify and the trial would confirm whether Hostcomm had a better solution. The issues were as follows:

1. CEB requires a high quality audio/video recording of the customer sessions for install preparation, compliance monitoring and as an over-reaching record of the CEB/customer relationship from start to finish. Due to technical and geographic reasons their existing service was not fully meeting expectations.

2. There are several challenges when communicating with a client in a remote visual assistance session such as moving from indoors to outdoors and hence from Wi-Fi to 3G/4G, accidentally ended sessions and visual quality deterioration due to network conditions.

3. The process of organising session media (images, text capture, notes etc) into a document for the installation engineer and customer to view was manual and very time consuming.

4. Because CEB uses remote visual assistance as a strategic business process it is critical to its business and needs to be highly reliable.

Hostcomm's Remote Visual Experience (RVX) solution

RVX connects a host and remote party with a PC and smartphone respectively via video. It then provides a range of session tools which both parties can use to resolve technical issues, perform inspections and generally undertake tasks which would not be possible or frustrating on a telephone call or standard video chat call. RVX works on any smartphone and does not require an app to be installed. Once connected, the host can remotely control the smartphone features such as HD image capture, torch on/off, zoom and video recording. There are also communication tools such as annotations, live pointer and chat. CEB was pleased with the range of features and during the trial Hostcomm was able to demonstrate that it could resolve all of the issues highlighted above, as follows:

- RVX uses the HD camera on the smartphone to capture live video and then automatically adapts to the changing network conditions. The video stream is only compressed when it needs to be, which results in a consistent high quality feed and video recording. Static images are as good as the smartphone camera can deliver and again compression is minimal. The quality of static images allows RVX to use AI to scan for object and text very accurately.

- Any remote visual assistance session can be ended prematurely by either party pressing the wrong button, a battery going flat or an Amazon delivery! RVX makes it easy to resume with one button press which means the session can be resumed without having to restart the session.

- Media files are viewable in the RVX console and they can be inserted into a customisable PDF session report automatically. This PDF can then be emailed to all project parties. This automation considerably reduces wasted time and allows the host to quickly move onto the next session.

- Reliability is achieved through a combination of robust Amazon AWS infrastructure, well-written software and a comprehensive development and test bed process which enables Hostcomm to develop with speed and consistency. Furthermore the service uses webrtc functionality which is tried and tested code already present on all web browsers.

CEB has expanded over the last few years, a recent acquisition has taken their direct and indirect headcount to 75 and their annual turnover is £7M. Remote visual assistance technology has helped to enable this growth which will now continue as new innovations are provided by Hostcomm.

About Hostcomm

Hostcomm helps organisations transform their customer service, outbound sales campaigns, data security, internal employee interaction and more. Our solutions include cloud-based diallers, remote visual assistance, live chat, AI virtual assistance, chatbots, PCI-DSS certified payments and CRM functionality.

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