Tips From an IP Radio
Master Help Put the C in CI
Who would have thought that an internet
radio service could change the CI
business in America? But in many ways
Pandora has done just that. The concept
of a personalized radio service that plays
music selections tailored to individual
listener preferences is compelling to
virtually everyone that experiences it.
Yet it surprises me at how many CI
professionals fail to show their clients
all the customizable benefits this robust
service provides and in turn fail to earn
glowing referrals from them in the process.
So to help you deliver awesome
experiences for your customers I asked a
Pandora master to share his secrets with
us. Ric is a principal at Jamieson’s Audio Video in Toledo, a dear friend,
and an expert in customer service. Here are a few simple tricks of the trade
that Ric uses to amaze his clients:
1) Always sell a distributed
entertainment system that
includes Pandora radio
content capabilities. If you
don’t know of any, I’m glad to
provide a recommendation.
2) Set up a Pandora account for
your client before you go to
the job. This way when they
use the system for the first
time, there are lots of choices
to enjoy. Ric suggests setting
up 15–20 stations spanning a
variety of artists and musical
genres. He relayed a story
regarding one client whose
wife was from India and was so impressed with the Bollywood stations
he preprogrammed, that she sent other clients his way.
The concept of a personalized radio service that plays music
selections tailored to individual listener preferences is
compelling to virtually everyone that experiences it.
Best practice note: Use a form to record the Pandora account settings,
and give it to your client. If your client already has a Pandora account,
get the information up front to use when you set up the new stations.
3) Ask your client in advance to jot down the names of 10 artists that they
love. Create stations for these names plus a few others that everyone
knows. Ric suggests having stations for Jack Johnson, The Eagles, and
either Michael Buble for younger clients or Frank Sinatra for older ones.
4) Now that you’ve got 10 or 15 stations programmed under artists’ names,
make about 10 more that are genre specific. This ensures your client will
always be able to choose something that suits their mood without having
to pick a specific artist. Many CI professionals forget that the Pandora
website allows easy genre selections and station naming. Certainly
classic rock, light jazz, and classical will be in the mix. But don’t forget
to add a comedy station and as a special surprise, you may want to leave
a holiday station behind. You can do this by adding a plus sign and the
word holiday behind an artist’s name. So for instance, a station called
Diana Krall + Holiday will play jazzy holiday music.
5) During the system demonstration, choose one of the artists your client
jotted down to play, and ask your client about other songs or artists
they like. Use the “add” feature to include that artist or song into the
station that is playing. Do this a few times and save the selection as a
new station under the client’s first name using a quote mark in front of
the name and an apostrophe “S.” You’ve just created a station specific
to your customer’s tastes that will appear first in the list of stations. So
my station would come up “SPARKY’S and it would be the first thing
I would see.
You’ve probably heard the old sales training adage that
people don’t buy drills; they buy holes. And it’s true. Just
think if you had stick-on holes to use in place of drills and
flex bits. You’d never get a face full of sheetrock again, and
you would love the experience of making holes.
In that same vein,
clients don’t buy
and control. So why
not use a few of Ric’s
tricks to make your
jobs stand out from
the norm? Give it a
try, and I’m certain you’ll see that
when you fine tune your clients’
content, as well as their system
functionality, delivering a little more
than you promised in the bid, your
clients will notice, and your job
referrals will grow. Now that’s a
truly custom installation.