A few years ago, we installed all the AV in a new building for a client. The building housed a high-end conference room (with a hidden screen and projector—the projector actually dropped down from the ceiling panel), a large training room, and a small training room. A Crestron touchscreen or keypad controlled each room.
Last week, my tech went back for a check up.
And it all still worked.
There were some small glitches, and some changes the client desired (like control from his iPad that just didn’t exist when we did the install). We made the changes, went back a week later, and we’re good to go.
This is not always the case with a job you did years ago. Yet, when you use the right components and put the system together the right way, we really do get to provide, “years of trouble free enjoyment.” This is something a seasoned installer can provide a client because they know what works, and they know where it best works.
Here are 3 other reasons a seasoned tech company is a good choice:
They stand behind their product. We still have a retail showroom (there are days I wonder why), but alas, it is there. We have about 20 flat-panels on display. Some clients have only purchased TVs from us over our 30-year history. What we have noticed over the expanse of time is that some manufactures stay solid (hi Sony) and some do not (whatsup RCA?). We have brought in and dropped many manufactures over the years, and only a few we have carried for the duration (Sony, Integra, Paradigm, to name drop a few). These facts are great sales tools. The client knows that if they pay a bit more for a Paradigm speaker, it is going to last, and if for some reason it doesn’t, we are easily found and can get the issue resolved.
Been there done that. A great tech company is sure to have a MacGyver in their mist. Let’s be honest, there are times that the system doesn’t work perfectly. We try the usual fixes, and it still does not work. If the company has been around the block, there is a good chance they’ve seen it before. If it’s a new issue, which many these days are—what with the explosion of networked devices and the wonders of HDMI issues [Just check out my blog “When Failure is Not an Option”], they need to be the type of company that can figure it out, and this is not always an easy task. A seasoned company will have a MacGyver who will be there until the issue is resolved. They’ll call their contacts and the companies, post on forums, and fight until it’s finished.
This creates the long-term relationship. If the company has been around, there is a good chance they’ll be around tomorrow, and next year, and in five years. Once you’ve sold the right products, and fixed the glitches, you’re left with a long-term relationship with your client.
We want our clients to be life-long clients, so you will not find ‘no-name’ brands at our store. We’ve fallen for that trap and been burned, but eventually learned the lesson. There was a holiday season we brought in Go Video TVs. I think each and every one went bad. Do you think the clients wanted to hear, “call the manufacturer”? That is a surefire way to make them very upset. They purchase a flat-panel, a customized remote, an automation system, all because they know that when they call our number, a human being answers the phone. And because of this, we become their life long AV consultants. This has often fostered more business.
Am I saying that a new tech on the block is bad? No, but there are some grand advantages to the ones who have been playing the field for a while. Don’t get me wrong, there are those companies out there still installing old-school volume controls that have not kept up with ‘ever changing technology’ that may not provide the advantages. However, an impassioned seasoned tech company can be the best decision the client ever makes.
Heather L. Sidorowicz is project manager/designer for Southtown Audio Video in Hamburg, NY.