Americans spent nearly $500 billion on home improvements last year.
And consumers are willing to spend even more money on renovations and property upgrades, but a skilled labour shortage has many in North America turning to DIY alternatives.
A Calgary company believes that its technology can assist these consumers through projects.
IrisCX, which offers a smart video platform for virtual support, recently announced the results of a survey of consumers that found people would double their renovation spend if there was a technology that could assist them through DIY projects.
Consumers welcome the idea of virtual support due to the inconveniences they’ve experienced finding an in-person contractor or service provider, according to a statement from the Alberta firm. The IrisCX survey found that virtually everyone has contacted a home expert in the past year at least once to solve a problem—but nearly two-thirds have been frustrated by long waiting periods for visits and one-third have been inconvenienced (such as having to leave work) to deal with in-person meetups with pros.
“2023 has been a difficult time for a lot of homeowners because it’s taken too long for home improvement projects to be completed,” stated Guillermo Salazar, CEO of IrisCX.
A common response to long waiting times is to tackle the problem oneself—which can be a good solution if the problem is simple.
However, when taking on a more complex project, consumers need professional expertise, IrisCX says.
Brands are thus using smart video to provide expert consultations that walk customers through the steps needed to be successful and troubleshoot any difficulties the consumer encounters.
“Imagine pointing your cell phone camera at a problem you’re having or a project you’re taking on, whether it’s insulation, flooring, countertops, or plumbing, and starting the support process immediately?” asks Salazar. “It’s a simultaneous win for brands, contractors, designers and their customers or clients. There’s finally a customer-centric mechanism that can address everyone’s frustrations simultaneously.”
Visual intelligence combines AI with two-way video so homeowners can get issues resolved faster, says Salazar. AI can make personalized recommendations for colour, finishes, and products based on factors like size of room, natural light exposure, and existing furniture.
Brands sell more using IrisCX technology while customers benefit from the convenience, Salazar posits. Using AI to collect and analyze data, brands learn more about how their products are being used, and make improvements from there.
IrisCX was founded in Calgary in 2018 to disrupt the customer service industry’s status quo using the latest emerging technologies such as video streaming and artificial intelligence.
To pursue this mission, the firm secured USD$4.6 million in seed funding from Arthur Ventures.