How a global leader in HVAC has embraced digital tools to improve customer experience when designing complex solutions.
Daikin - the world’s #1 HVAC company
In addition to making great products, Daikin cares about the dealers and contractors that sell, install, and service their products. For that reason, Daikin always wants to create and improve tools that make dealers’ and contractors’ jobs easier. The existing Split and Multi Split HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system design and quoting process equipment was clunky, inefficient, and complex. The quoting complexity came from the many variables involved, such as pipe length, refrigerant volume, and indoor and outdoor unit compatibility. These complexities and variables could lead to inaccurate quotes and unhappy customers, thereby negatively impacting sales and revenue.
Daikin looked to Softway to help improve the dealers’ and contractors’ experience when working with homeowners and business owners, to positively impact their residential and commercial sales and revenue. In order to do this, we needed to create a web and mobile selection tool. This digital tool would provide dealers and contractors with a complete product selection that streamlined the design and quoting process for Split and Multi Split HVAC systems.
We couldn’t increase sales without improving the design and selection process—this was achieved by provisioning a digital tool for contractors that guided them to make sales with customers face-to-face. This tool allowed contractors to build a complex, complete system design in one meeting with the end-customer, as well as a complete, thorough product report.
We needed to make sure that the tool was user-designed and user-built by speaking to what dealers and contractors needed. Keeping that in mind, we made sure the application and website could accomplish the following:
—Capture homeowner or business’s needs and preferences through a guided flow that navigates the contractor through the questions they need to ask and the information they need to gather to build a complete system.
—Provide a compatible list of products using Daikin’s entire product database.
—Configure systems for each unique case.
—Generate reports for customers with a full quote including rebates and warranties.
We first identified the business processes that dealers and contractors use in order to design the tool. Our approach was to talk to all people involved—management, operations, dealers, and contractors—to gather information and take the right steps.
Our existing relationship with Daikin meant we were familiar with the core users, their processes when visiting customers, as well as HVAC systems and product lines.
With that, we had what we needed to start with wireframes. Then we moved to copy, design, and development, integrating with many internal systems including iOS SDK, Swift, Android SDK, Java, .Net, C#, SQL Server and Angular. The website and application reside on AWS cloud, allowing for agility and cost savings.
With Daikin, we were able to then validate the features in the tool with user testing, and feedback gathered was incorporated to better the product and its experience.
Daikin has rolled out a beta version to its clients, with overwhelmingly positive feedback. Initial test customers believe the application will truly set a new benchmark in the HVAC industry and become a valuable tool to design, create, and quote HVAC systems.
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