How to improve tado? Hint - it's not product development.
I've been a tado user since its UK launch, running a v1 product that over the last decade, has been pretty stable. My own tado experience? Meh, it's a central heating thermostat, and it almost always does what it's supposed to do, and pretty well too.
So why have I still not installed the replacement v3+ I bought over a week ago?
It's not fear of the installation process, or whether the product offers the functionality I need. It's the knowledge that if it something goes wrong at some point, tado is unlikely to be of much help, potentially leaving us with a cold house and no hot water. First World problems, but fundamentally, it's why we buy the product.
Now don't get me wrong, it doesn't take much research to ascertain that tado isn't alone. This particular industry is rife with appalling customer service. And therein lies tado's silver bullet.
There are so many great product development suggestions on here, based on real world use experience. But the thing that really stands out here, on retailer reviews, and on AppStore ratings? Terrible support.
Most people don't know (or care) a great deal about central heating systems. Self-installation may appear straightforward to a bunch of engineers, but for the average user attracted to some smart tech that promises to reduce their eye-watering energy bills? I'd say there's a likelihood of some problems there. And with any product that's cloud, data and code heavy, you're inevitably going to experience some ongoing issues.
So tado, my suggestion, idea and improvement is really simple, and the good news is the development road map is really short. You'll need to hire a few people, but the return on that investment will be exponential.
Focus on what matters - the customer experience.
Create an actual customer contact team that can handle queries in real time. Actual chat. Telephone contact. Focus on resolution and customer satisfaction. Customers aren't stupid, they just don't necessarily know what they're doing, and most really want to like the product.
Yet we don't need the tado product to be the very best. We'd like it to work, but most people get that nothing in life is perfect.
But we absolutely do expect that when we're experiencing issues, you'll help us fix it as quickly and easily as possible.
I'd imagine you're already aware that companies are judged by the way they treat their customers?
Throw more investment into your customer experience and I guarantee you'll blow the socks off your competition.
(FWIW, I've spent 30 years in tech sector professional services CX and have first hand experience of the biggest global corporations getting very quickly outflanked by the start ups that get this. As I understand you want to IPO, you have have such an easy opportunity here, to significantly increase your valuation. Just saying.)
Community, let's keep this out of rant territory, as that's not helpful to us, or to @jurian and the rest of the tado team, but what's really more important, having the ability to tinker a bit more with the programme schedule, to be able to get tado to switch on the kettle when we get home, or to know tado has our backs when it's sub-zero and the heating falls over?