Miguel Perez, director of product management, Control4 Q&A
Control4 has been putting in a lot of work lately to improve its dealer and end-user training to deliver the best results possible to its customers. We reached out to director of product management, Miguel Perez, to get the scoop on the company’s approach to improving dealer efficiency and, ultimately, customer satisfaction.
What has changed recently in the way you train your dealers about new products or services?
As an overview, Control4 is helping reshape how our dealers sell the Control4 experience in a bunch of ways; gone are the days where we are just offering “a product in a box.” We introduced some new initiatives for sales training, during ISE this past February in Amsterdam. It was there that we launched our new OS 2.7 products and software via a live-stream online event. This was a new way to introduce dealers to our new solutions and give them the initial sales training they needed to talk about smart home experiences to customers. The video covered the “101” on the products, how our experience is differentiated from our competitors, and an overview of how simple installation and upgrading is. We actually had 1,400 unique dealers logged in watching live. That is an incredible amount!
What sorts of new marketing resources are you offering dealers to help them sell your products?
First and foremost, we are injecting convenience for our dealer network in every touch-point we have with them. What this translates to are things like the resource center in the Control4 Portal, which houses a plethora of marketing resources like images for use on their website, showroom signs, videos to use, design tools, etc. We have a small team that is solely dedicated to marketing materials for dealers. On this resource center, Control4 gives every dealer its own micro-website, where customers browsing the Control4 main site can be sent. Think of this as each of our dealers (over 3,300) having its own separate Control4 webpage that is viewable by our customer base. This drives a tremendous amount of leads directly to our dealers that are local to our potential customers. All of this is available 24/7/365.
In what ways has Control4 attempted to make its ordering process more intuitive and efficient?
The Control4 Portal also serves as the center for a dealer’s Customer Dashboard, which manages customer systems and provides an overview of its Control4 customers’ equipment, as well as providing end-to-end management for its invoices, payments, tracking, and even RMA management. This is an area where we excel. This ability to have a glance at your Control4 customer base gives you the chance to revisit customers you haven’t seen in a while, tell them about new products they may want to consider, or let them know about new software updates and features Control4 came out with to improve their experience.
Control4’s portal home page (top) and marketing resources portal What is unique about the way Control4 supports its dealers during or after an installation?
We provide technical support when you need it the most; phone and email support is certainly standard. But we also do chat, globally. We do multiple chat clients for various regions of the world. This accelerates the technical inquiry process for dealers who are efficient when using these methods.
Most dealers are accustomed to area sales managers. But how about technical field managers? Control4 has an entire team of TFMs dedicated to helping you through your first handful of installs, and problem solving on the fly. Best part about it, they are region-specific. If you have a complex installation or something that isn’t quite working the way you want it to, a Control4 TFM can be onsite to address the situation.
This of course, is in addition to our Knowledgebase online sub-section of the Control4 Portal, which contains literally thousands of troubleshooting and best-practices guides. An incredibly powerful search function yields results for not only common questions or occurrences, but rare and oneoff inquiries as well.
Last thing to note, is we attack it from the front end too, reducing technical complexities by listening to our dealers technicians. They wanted a simpler tool that could be used to install, customize, and troubleshoot from a mobile device; we listened, and created Composer Express.
In what ways has the company been able to quantify its return on investment from all of these new resources?
The ROI on investing in new innovations, specifically the Control4 portal, is the knowledge that dealers can do business with us on their own terms. Ordering, support, training, marketing–all of it at their fingertips, when they need it, from anywhere it’s needed. Dealers are more efficient, and that translates to more time doing what they do best: installing home automation and taking care of our customers.