In today’s perceived slow economy, we hear that individual technicians and owners of installation companies are seeing increased downtime across the board. This issue has technicians looking for new opportunities to increase business and get their days back to fully efficient.

New Options for Technicians

Chris Mauzy | Zip Express Installation

October 2008

New Options for Technicians in a Down Economy

Author: Chris Mauzy, President and CEO, Zip Express Installation

In today’s perceived slow economy, we hear that individual technicians and owners of installation companies are seeing increased downtime across the board. This issue has technicians looking for new opportunities to increase business and get their days back to fully efficient.

Zip Express Installation is a new option in home electronics installation that provides nationwide, next-day installation service for consumers using the abundance of excess technician capacity across the country. As a third-party installation infrastructure for electronics retailers, consumers can get immediately connected with a technician in their area either at checkout in-store or online at

As a previous Director of Business Development for Best Buy for Business, I saw the need for a third-party installation service like Zip after working with the company to help integrate Geek Squad business services. For the retailer that can affordably manage the overhead associated with an in-house installation service, providing customers with installation is a great way to add revenue. What I saw, however, was that customers were often frustrated with the wait-times associated with the install and were not able to immediately enjoy their new purchase. Zip Express was born after we figured out a way to fill this immediate customer need by offering the first next-day installation option as well as a way to manage this model for retailers.

For partner retailers, Zip Express provides and manages an in-house service and installation infrastructure. Offering quick installation for customers allows for decreased return rates, as inability to properly set up a new piece of equipment is a frequent reason for returns. As prices for major electronic products continue to go down, Zip Express also provides attractive margins for retailers by offering additional sales revenue on top of the product at checkout.

Additionally, customers can take advantage of Zip Express in three ways: in-store at participating retailers, online through participating e-tailers, like, and directly at At retail, customers simply choose an installation package they want – with the option of next-day or five-day installation appointments – and the service is rung up with the product purchase at checkout. Rather than wait for a third party installer to call and schedule an appointment, the customer can call the toll free number or visit immediately after purchase to schedule a specific day and hour that is most convenient for installation.

Convenience isn’t only a benefit for consumers, technicians in the network benefit from a simple process work order process as well. With a current network of about 16,000, Zip’s CE-certified technicians have the chance to take on installation projects in their area based on their schedule and convenience – hours that would otherwise remain open. There is no cost for installers to join, and the process of taking on work through Zip Express is simple.

When a customer purchases an installation package, a work order is sent out to all Zip installers within a 60 mile radius of the customer’s home. Projects are awarded on a first-come, first-served method – whoever accepts the scope of the project and its associated payment first gets the job.  Upon completion of the job, the installer goes online and enters work number as complete and payment is received within seven minutes via EFT – eliminating all billing.

Zip’s network of installers opt-in to specific services that match their areas of expertise, including tabletop TV setup, wall and over-the-fireplace TV mounting, home theater setup, computer and digital camera networking, furniture assembly and even electronics recycling. As with any business, customer service is key, so Zip technicians take away all trash from packaging when they leave and give each customer a brief training session on their new equipment.  

As the consumer electronics industry continues to change and expand, Zip is looking to change how retailers provide installation services and how installers work within, and benefit from, those changes. The economy will continue to ebb and flow, so having innovative ways to keep business strong is vital.

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