Enhancing the In-Home Service Experience Through AI and Automation: 5 High-Impact Use Cases

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Delivering exceptional customer experiences is at the heart of what sellers, marketers, and customer service agents do. From building brand loyalty and generating leads to addressing customer issues and closing deals, these roles all rely on understanding the customer in the context of their journey with the brand. 

Making an emotional connection with customers is critical to building loyalty and increasing retention, and in-home service and sales teams are primely positioned to establish that connection. Turning your in-home sales and service personnel into brand ambassadors is a goal that requires the right tools and technology from incoming calls, to in-home quotes and orders, and through to installation and service maintenance.

Here’s where AI can be used not only to solve traditional challenges, but to unlock new avenues for innovation and growth, allowing companies to establish lasting customer relationships and strong brand identity.

This article explores five critical use cases where AI can transform the in-home sales and service process, and details the innovations and business outcomes that lead to success. Regardless of company size or portfolio, the insights shared here can guide you to creating more efficient and effective sales and service business units.

Personalized Shopping Experience

Success depends on your organization’s ability to attract new customers and keep existing customers happy. Once customers make the decision to engage with a brand and schedule an appointment, they expect the sales representatives to know their intentions, and will tune out one-size-fits-all interactions that make them feel like “just another number.” Business applications, propelled by AI insights, can make all the difference.

How Brands & Retailers are Using AI to Innovate

It would be perfect if a rep could go to a sales or service appointment with a clear picture of the customer’s recent activities, needs, expectations, and the next best steps to take. AI-enabled platforms can provide this segment-of-one, real-time approach, by providing reps with summaries of the latest interactions, news, and relevant information specific to a given customer without the rep having to search multiple sources. And it can all be served up in mobile, easy-to-use applications on the sales rep’s device.

Consulting and research firms call this moments-based marketing and describe it as being quick, timely, and helpful in the precise instance of customer interaction. Many studies have shown that this real-time personalization resonates with customers, and creates a sense of relevance and urgency that can increase customer engagement and conversion rates.

80 percent of consumers say they are more likely to make a purchase when offered a personalized experience.

Taken one step further, brands are using AI to provide customers with virtual previews of products as they would look in their homes, giving homeowners more purchasing confidence. That couldn’t be any more important when you are face-to-face and the real-time impression that you make will drive the sale or send you away.

Business Outcomes

When customers are presented with personalized recommendations, companies increase the chances of purchase and the potential for upsell which, in turn, translates into a higher average order value and increased revenue. Personalization can also generate empathy and good will—when consumers think a brand understands and accurately caters to their needs, they are more likely to have a positive perception of the brand and remain loyal to its products.

Lead Generation and Scoring

Sales reps need leads like plants need water. Without leads, they spend precious time searching for leads instead of closing deals. Yet, getting an accurate ‘real-time list’ can be challenging. Vital details are often scattered across various applications and documents, making it a time-consuming task to compile a concise and up-to-date opportunity snapshot. If you can’t identify, engage and nurture your leads at the right time, they fall through the cracks.

How Brands & Retailers are Using AI to Innovate

AI can be a perfect support system for sales and marketing to lessen the tiresome lead generation and lead nurturing processes. After all, time is money, and you don’t want to burn dollars or hours chasing the wrong prospects.

AI takes advantage of machine learning techniques like classification, clustering, and regression to qualify and score leads. Then, algorithms predict which factors are the most important to lead conversion so reps can get laser-focused on which leads are most likely to convert. It can also predict the time needed to close deals.

Microsoft Sales Copilot is a new AI tool for both Dynamics 365 Sales and Salesforce users. Read more about how sales teams are using it to drive sales efficiency during the discovery phase.

Generative AI can also assist sales representatives by synthesizing relevant product sales information and customer profiles, and creating discussion scripts to facilitate customer conversation including up- and cross-selling talking points. So, when the rep actually meets with the customer in their home, they are set up for success.

It’s a great blend of creativity and science: while data provides insights, the human remains in the loop providing human expertise and creativity.

Business Outcomes

Time is money and generating leads and prospects can consume a huge percentage of sales reps’ time. The time saved by sales representatives due to generative AI’s capabilities could be invested in higher-quality customer interactions, resulting in increasing the likelihood of purchase and ongoing sales success.

Smart Quoting and Ordering

Configuring and pricing in-home products (windows, doors, siding, roofing, etc.) can be complicated. Slow, inaccurate and overly complex quoting systems can deter potential customers and cause operational bottlenecks. Sales reps and customers can become easily confused, slowing down deals and introducing errors— all things companies don’t want to see.

How Brands & Retailers are Using AI to Innovate

Sales reps who are reliant on in-person meetings are now building trust through a browser window with both on-the-go and AI data-driven tools to do their jobs. Data collection from an array of sources is streamlined, providing reps with access to inventory availability, lead times for special orders, and visibility into upcoming demand. This information, especially when products are highly configurable or made-to-order, is critical to have while onsite.

Because intelligent quoting and ordering systems are anchored in AI and machine learning, the more the system ‘learns’ about quotes, historical data, current orders, potential availability, pricing schemas, etc., the better the system becomes at providing accurate, data-driven proposals.

For example, a recent Hitachi Solutions customer used intelligent quoting to streamline the creation of quotes and proposals with automated retrieval of current customer terms and conditions, relevant pricing and delivery details, and suggestions based on past successful proposals. The customer appreciated the improved accuracy of the AI-based system, and how the sales process was accelerated.

Business Outcomes

A compelling quote forms the root of business growth: if the quote gains the interest of the buyer and converts it into a sale, the business will thrive. Customers have a better overall experience because quotes are more accurate, sales move much more quickly, and the entire process has been personalized based on AI recommendations. With increased automation provided by AI, sellers can focus more time on customers, closing deals, and building relationships as trusted consultants.

Intelligent Scheduling and Routing

Lack of communication and unpredictable installation timing can erode the trust and goodwill built during the sales process. To be successful and achieve today’s new level of continuity, companies can’t afford to waste time due to poor scheduling and inefficient routing. It not only costs companies money, but it can lead to dissatisfied customers.

How Brands & Retailers are Using AI to Innovate

Often referred to as intelligent scheduling and delivery, AI-powered dispatch software makes the entire scheduling and delivery process streamlined and transparent. AI algorithms can analyze a range of factors such as traffic patterns, weather conditions, and driver availability, and make real-time suggestions and alerts resulting in reduced travel time, fuel consumption, and vehicle wear and tear.

This technology is already being used widely in the field service industry, where mobile service apps empowers technicians to better manage appointment schedules and access turn-by-turn routes to the customer site. These same systems can update customers and handle real-time inquiries, making the experience more interactive and transparent. Customers can be kept in the loop as technicians or sales reps are enroute  with estimated arrival time, and visibility into current location. The customer can see details about who is coming to their home, including their name and picture.

Gone are the days when service companies give a four-hour window for service and no intermediate updates. Gone are the days when customers are uneasy about an unidentified stranger coming to their home.

Furthermore, dispatch systems that AI powers have the capability to make real-time adjustments in response to changing conditions. If is a delay caused by a traffic accident, the system can swiftly recalculate the route to bypass the affected area and reduce the impact on the scheduled appointment time.

Business Outcomes

AI-based scheduling and routing has many benefits and the resulting outcomes are only positive. When delays and disruptions to the rhythm of business are avoided, efficiency is optimized, productivity improves and costs are reduced. Customer experience also is vastly improved— predictable, on-time and transparent arrival times bode well to establishing a trusted customer relationship that could spur additional sales in the future.

Self-Service Portals & Customer Service

Today’s customers want multiple ways to connect, and many companies have started using customer portals and other Internet-based points of self-service entry. These portals allow customers to perform some of the service-related tasks that service agents previously managed. The Microsoft customer experience homepages are a one-stop destination for customer interaction throughout the lifecycle of their relationship with a company. Without ever picking up the phone, customers can use portals to book appointments, manage existing appointments and order status, access account history, submit payments, and provide feedback.

The days of relying on customers to continually explain the context of their situation to the next point of contact are over.

Portals can also be extended for in the field employees, making them ambassadors for your company. According to Microsoft, AI and automation tools make 89 percent of employees feel more fulfilled because they can spend more time on work that truly matters.

How Brands & Retailers are Using AI to Innovate

AI is being infused throughout customer and employee portals with humanlike chatbots that can deliver immediate, personalized responses to complex inquiries, and act as 24-7 virtual assistants for sales reps. Chatbots have been around for a long time, but with generative AI, they are becoming much more powerful at getting to the heart of an issue or question and offering more personalized feedback.

AI is also being used to super-charge portal search tools. By leveraging user profiles, context, and history to better determine a user’s query and/or question, AI can deliver results that incorporate content from websites, documents, etc.— not simply a list of links. More and more businesses will be capitalizing on this trend in their customer and employee portals as technology continues to evolve.

Business Outcomes

The use of AI in company websites is a quick win for many companies. When bots and search can start to answer specific questions, human agents can devote more time to handling complicated customer issues, resulting in higher engagement and conversion rates, an all-around more engaging customer experience and strengthened brand affinity.


If your in-home sales and services company is struggling, consider AI as the catalyst that can kickstart your journey to increased profitability and better decision-making. AI and generative AI are super-powering the home service industry, all in ways that vastly improve the customer experience.

At the end of the day, organizations that quickly adapt to AI’s new tools and processes will be the most successful. Whether you’re a homeowner-focused professional services provider or a major retailer, the time is now to harness the power of AI and automation for your brand.

Start your Connected Home Service transformation and contact us today.