A Self-Install Kit is a great option for individuals that prefer to handle the installation themselves. The house must qualify for a kit by having the proper infrastructure to turn on service without a service technician. If a home qualifies, the self-installation kit is sent to the customer, and they can usually get their cable service started the same day. Online resources, including cable installation help videos and Cable FAQs are available for assistance.
Self-Install Kit Benefits
No Technician Needed
Typically, cable company employees won’t be needed for installation. This is beneficial for the cable company because:
- Technicians can work on more complex tasks.
- Truck rolls cost $90-$200 for the company.
- Scheduling is no longer an issue.
- The customer can usually get their service started the same day without waiting for a technician.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, this had a different meaning, but it still holds true today. At the time, nobody wanted strangers in their homes, so self-install kits were vital to making cable installations possible. There is still risk today, fewer home visits mean less risk for the technicians, cable subscribers, and property.
Self-Install Kits keep customer-employee interaction minimal if the processes are correctly integrated. Cable companies can expect to see increased efficiency with:
- Warehouse Picking
- Shipping and System Updates
- Installation Procedures
Learn more about how WDS solves other logistics challenges.
Key Components to Efficient Self-Install Kit Deployment
Self-Install Kits require clear messaging from the moment a kit is purchased. The cable customer needs to know they are responsible for installation. The benefits to the customer should be clear and upfront in the purchase process. Self-Install Kit delivery updates should be automated and sent to the cable subscriber, so they know when a kit will arrive. Installation instructions should be simple and easy to follow, with easy access to self-help options. The activation process must be quick and easy. Reducing customer interaction with a straightforward and concise self-install kit program will save you and the customer time and money.
Make sure you have a plan for packaging and inserts. Orders typically need to have more information included with them than a typical tech installation. A cable installation technician can read and relay MAC addresses, serial numbers, etc., but a subscriber should have this inventory information included when they receive their self-installation kit.
Packing kits can be different than standard order picking. Be prepared to have a good team handling self-install orders so all outgoing self-install kits are of the highest quality. Mistakes during order fulfillment will negatively impact the cable subscriber’s experience.
Consider a 3PL that has experience with complex packing processes and order fulfillment.
Integration, Integration, Integration
One primary key to success is ensuring all your order fulfillment systems integrate. In an ideal world, your order system will communicate with your billing system to see if the subscriber is eligible for self-install kits. Then it will communicate with your WMS to validate what is in stock. The order will be submitted to the WMS, which should communicate to the billing system what serial numbers and MACs are associated with an order, so the status of that customer can be updated.
It should also integrate with a shipper (UPS, FedEx, etc.) to automate shipping and convey the tracking information to your CRM. Finally, your billing system should be updated once the kit is delivered to start the billing process.
How do we (WDS) fit into this?
We have experience implementing various integrations between the systems to help automate the SIK process. We also sell our own warehouse management software (WMS) which is specific to the cable/telecom industry that integrates with the SIK APIs. Self-Install Kits are a fantastic option for deploying customer premise equipment, but they come with a lot of complexities.