Technology in the 880 series from Sundance Spas improves usability for customers and communication for retailers
By Kristan Hart
Technology is the centerpiece of Sundance Spas’ new 880 series. The company has updated its control panel to a touch control system and created an app that allows users to remotely control their hot tub to drive ease of ownership, convenience, and a better experience for hot tub users.
SUNTOUCH: MAKING HOT TUBS EASIER TO USE
The SunTouch system allows users to control the hot tub using a full-color screen, meaning it’s as easy to operate as a smartphone. “We see people becoming more familiar with touch controls, so we wanted to be part of their lives as other products are already part of their lives,” says Larry Ovall, director of product marketing and hot tubs at Sundance Spas. “It’s part keeping in line with consumer usability trends, but also making our products easier to use at home.”
The layout of the SunTouch system is intuitive, making it easy for spa owners to access the temperature display, turn on the jets, turn on the lights, and even operate the optional integrated sound system. “There’s also more intuitive programming for some of the nonessential features,” Ovall says. Programming energy efficiency and filtering is much easier for the customer. “Instead of having to rely on key combinations to access certain parts of our menu, we really made the flow so it’s easy to get to when you want to get there, but still the core features are some of the most accessible ones,” Ovall says.
SUNSMART: REMOTE HOT TUB CONTROLS
The SunTouch system is compatible with the exclusive app control for the 880 series: SunSmart. This technology allows users to monitor and control their hot tub through the Internet, even when they’re away from home. Users can set their spa temperature when they’re at work, which means the hot tub will be ready for them to use as soon as they get home.
SunSmart makes hot tub maintenance simple. The app sends an email to the customer, the dealer and the Sundance Spas customer service team if the hot tub requires maintenance or if there’s a problem.
“Something could be going on with the system that you might not know about because you’re not next to the tub,” Ovall says. “This will actually make it known a lot faster that it should be checked on. It all comes back to peace of mind and ease of ownership, and that really just keeps people using their tub. We know one of the drawbacks of hot tub ownership is ease of maintenance, and this really hits that consumer pain point in a positive way.”
DRIVING BUSINESS BACK TO THE DEALERS
The 880 series from Sundance Spas is created with the customer in mind with features that translate to a higher price tag. “It’s much easier for consumers to see why they should go up in price,” Ovall says, “and with that jump, the dealer has the opportunity to increase their average selling price and profit margins.”
The maintenance reminders and service notifications also provide dealers an opportunity to reach out to customers and provide them with personalized service long after the sale is final. “The benefit to the dealer is now they get these notifications and really have an opportunity to boost aftermarket sales,” Ovall says. “They know when it’s time for a customer to change their filter or change their water, so they can sell filters, chemicals, minerals and things like this. It provides insight on how the consumer is really using it, and the dealer can create an outreach program.”