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Intercom, inter-go: The curious life of a Klevio installer

We like to think we’ve got the installation process at Klevio down to a fine art — but it wasn’t always that way. We spoke with Mark Curling, who’s got more than 100 Klevio installations under his tool-laden belt, to hear about the day-to-day quirks and challenges of the job.

“It was like trying to fly a plane while you’re building it,” is the neat analogy Mark offers to describe his first attempts at installing Klevio in people’s homes. Back then, with our product a mere babe in arms and no training manual of which to speak, Mark relied heavily on a borderline obsession with problem solving. Or as he more delicately puts it, “I spend a lot of time taking things apart — I have to know how things work.”

“We’d created something completely new that hadn’t been done before, so there was no-one who could train you on this stuff, or standard practices you could refer to.”

It was a trait that served him well during those early days, when he’d often find himself opening a customer’s existing intercom to be greeted by a mountain of ancient, spaghetti –like wiring.

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“We’d created something completely new that hadn’t been done before, so there was no-one who could train you on this stuff, or standard practices you could refer to. Then there was the physical aspect too. You’re trying to solve difficult electronic problems while at the same time running up and down staircases at full speed.”

As our product evolved, the installation process became increasingly stream-lined and efficient, reaching a point where, with no proverbial spanners in the works, Mark was completing up to five installations in one day.

“To start with I’d do a couple a day and I’d have to really put in the mental energy to try and understand everything I came across. But with each installation you pick up new knowledge, and that helps speed things up for subsequent ones. We’re now going into the beta programme and we’ve got 100 installations done already — and for the next 100 I can already tell you exactly what I’ll need to do, even before I set foot in the property.”

“We used to find out what a customer wants when we arrived, but now we have a much better understanding of what they are going to care about, so we ask those questions in advance.”

Crucial to these slicker, more time-efficient working practices has been the compatibility survey that is now sent out to all prospective Klevio testers, asking some simple questions about their current set up, such as the type of doors and intercom they have. From this information, Mark can judge exactly what’s in store for him before he arrives, even down to the specific tools he’ll need and how long the installation is likely to take (“typically 1–2 hours but can be up to 4”).

The survey also allows customers to decide on aspects of the installation they can have a say over, such as where they want the intercom to be positioned, what kind of locks they’d prefer, and if they want their old intercom removed and taken away. It also means Mark doesn’t have to second-guess what they want if they aren’t home during the installation.

“We used to find out what a customer wants when we arrived, but now we have a much better understanding of what they are going to care about, so we ask those questions in advance.”

As for the installation itself, it requires Mark to wear several different hats, each representing a specific skill-set.

“It’s part carpentry, part electrics and part decoration.”

“It’s part carpentry, part electrics and part decoration. If we have to install an electric strike we need to take the old strike off the door frame and chisel a bit off the frame to make it fit well. It takes a bit of practice as you have to get it precisely right. Then there’s installing Klevio itself, which is more of a decorating job. You’ve got to mount the unit on the wall and then run cabling in a way that’s discreet so you haven’t got unsightly wires running straight across walls.”

“Once you’ve got the device up and running you then have to connect it to the intercom and connect the wires to the WiFi — so you have to know a bit about networking too.”

Another benefit has been the device’s growing ability to perform its own problem-solving tasks.

“At the beginning, each time a device stopped working I’d have to take it apart to work out what had gone wrong. But as the product has become more sophisticated, it has begun to do a lot of these things by itself.”

Klevio device on wall

One of the things people tend to love about Klevio is its discreetness (being only visible from inside a home), but the installation itself does attract the occasional curtain-twitcher— sometimes with unexpectedly happy consequences.

“I’ve taken quite a few electric meter readings, I’ve fixed other door locks, and I tried to help one guy who had a water leak from his bathroom. I’m pretty sure I’ve also fixed a kettle.”

“I was doing an installation for a flat in an old Victorian house which had three flats in total. When I’d finished, one of the neighbours asked what I was doing and when I explained, they liked it so much that they asked me do an installation for them as well. I ended up putting in Klevio at all three flats.”

It’s fair to say, however, that the more common requests are normally rather more mundane in nature, with Mark’s demonstrable DIY talents attracting a variety of domestic appeals.

“I’ve taken quite a few electric meter readings, I’ve fixed other door locks, and I tried to help one guy who had a water leak from his bathroom. I’m pretty sure I’ve also fixed a kettle.”

It’s all part and parcel of the curious life of a Klevio installer.

 

Are you getting Klevio installed soon?

If you’ve got an installation pencilled in and would like to ask any questions about it ahead of the big day, please do email them to sales@klevio.com and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. And if you want Mark to fix your kettle, we’ll give him a heads-up too.

 

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