Gone are the days of confusing diagrams and ripped paper: the BILT app, winner of this year’s Best of IBS, provides interactive, step-by-step product assembly instructions that installers can follow in the palm of their hands.
“Instead of a YouTube video or a piece of paper that you are left only with what you see, these instructions, first off, guide you through the process of installation, assembly, or setup,” CEO Nate Henderson says in a company video. “But more importantly, they allow you to fully interact with it: to pinch, to zoom, to spin around, touch things, get more information about what you're doing.”
Courtesy of BILT
BILT directly connects manufacturers to both professional installers and consumers by providing 3D, step-by-step assembly instructions. The app includes voice-guided cues to accompany the diagrams. Using a touch screen, users can rotate the screen 360 degrees, pinch to zoom in and out, and tap for more information. To streamline the manufacturer-consumer experience through the lifetime of the product, users can also save their receipt, register the product for warranty, and submit ratings and reviews. The app works for appliances, furniture, security systems, and more. Unlike paper instructions that cannot be changed once printed, instructions on BILT can be changed and updated in real-time.
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Geoff Daniel, the vice president of national account sales for Backyard Discovery, says that the BILT app has impacted the company’s customer service department. Due to the large nature of the pergolas and outdoor playsets sold, Daniel says the installation instructions for the company’s products can be very complex. His team has seen a reduction on call time, less frustration with customers, reduced warranty claims, and better reviews. One BILT feature that helps Backyard Discovery in particular is that customers can click on parts to identify them in the app.
Courtsey of BILT
“Some of our business hurdles when speaking with a customer is gaining alignment on which step they may be stuck on, or exactly which repair part they are in need of,” Daniel says. “With the BILT App, our customer service team can quickly use the app and get to the same place in the instructions as the customer.”
While BILT charges a subscription fee to manufacturers, the app is free to users—even professionals such as installers and repair specialists—so that anyone who downloads the app on a compatible smart device will be able to find and use the instructions on its database. The instructions include a part list as well as the number of people needed for installation. By using BILT, installers and builders can shorten installation time by half, and BILT’s database contains 3,000 SKUs to products.
There are three steps the company gives for using its app:
- Search for a product, select, and get instructions.
- Review the details: See how many people, how much time, and how many steps are required.
- Follow simple 3D interactive audio, visual & written instructions.
One of the biggest selling points for manufacturers is BILT’s support for the companies who list products on the app.
“BILT has provided a great portal and communication avenue to allow our engineering and marketing team to provide feedback and updates throughout the setup process. I find a very important aspect of this is that BILT assigns a “team” to our account that is dedicated to our product line,” Daniel says. “This reduces the learning curve as their team has become familiar with our products, designs, and instructions.”
The company claims that manufacturers who use the app decrease assembly related returns and calls to customer service by up to 30 percent. Additionally, the company says the app increases the number of reviews for a product by up to 75 percent. With over 12 languages and dialects available, the app is suited for use in countries beyond English-speaking regions. To date, the company says the app has been downloaded in at least 174 countries and used by nearly 400,000 users for an average of 22 minutes per session.
“The more consumers purchase products online, the greater the need for set-up at home. At the same time, products are becoming more complex,” the company says. “When a consumer’s first experience with a product is exasperating, the initial impulse is to return it, which may also be a complex process, for consumers, retailers, and brands.”
Compatible with both Android and Apple products, the app is available on the Google Playstore and the Apple App Store. On the Apple App store, it holds a 4.8 rating with over 3,400 reviews, while on the Google PlayStore it has a 4.6 rating out of just under 2,000 reviews.