CE Pro Announces 2016 Quest for Quality Winners
Our 6th annual Quest for Quality Awards puts vendors and distributors in the industry spotlight, thanks to nearly 7,200 readership votes in recognition of their outstanding services.
CE Pro Editors · April 1, 2016
How do you define quality service and support? Is it the assurance that when you’re in a bind missing some key product on a jobsite that your trusted vendor or distributor will get it to you ASAP? Is it the peace of mind that however challenging an A/V or automation problem your installation may call for, you know there’s a tech support member ready to stay on the phone for as long as it takes to troubleshoot the issue, whenever it may pop up?
Is it the shiny marketing collateral and online video courses available to help you press forward into adding an unfamiliar and potentially scary product category to your portfolio? How about just the overall touching base and feeling that your custom integration firm is important to your suppliers?
Indeed, the answers to these questions and more help shape and distinguish the relationships that members of the manufacturing and wholesale distribution community forge with the custom integrators. It is the integrators’ quest to meet the needs of their end-user customers, but they would not be able to do so without the continuing aid of their suppliers — something CE Pro continues to recognize as a critical endeavor and valuable differentiator in presenting the 6th annual Quest for Quality Awards.
What makes these accolades special is that they are truly taken from the dealers’ mouth — nearly 7,200 votes’ worth. The CE Pro readership nominates companies to be recipients and offers commentary on what separates a particular company from the pack. Integrators vote in categories covering manufacturers and distributors for providing the best: Customer Service/ General Communication, Technical Support, Shipping Policies, Website, Training Programs, Dealer Program/Incentives, Trade Show Presence and Social Media Presence; and for vendors only, Lead Generation, Sales/Marketing Assistance, Consumer-Facing Website, Warranty Policies and Dealer Protection Policies.
We asked the winners to tell us why they think custom integrators honored them. Follow along to hear from your favorite suppliers about their ongoing quest for superior service and support, and discover new ones that pique your interest.
Customer Service/General Communication
“We’re prouder of no other award we win than this one, and for six years we still win it for the same reasons. When you call us, you get a real person. And we always treat you like we’d want to be treated, because many of us have been integrators — and some still are. We know time is money and we’re always going to go above and beyond to help out our dealers.” —Dawn Boland, Vice President, Customer Care
“NuVo/Legrand the other day specifically helped me. I had a failed unit 2.5 years post installation and they replaced the unit at their expense. GREAT customer service.” —CE Pro Reader
“Providing the highest level of customer satisfaction is priority No. 1. In support of this, we’ve created a dedicated Customer Satisfaction hotline, where end users (homeowners, corporate customers, etc.) can call or email us to either ask questions about how to use their system, or describe problems or issues they’re having. With more than 90 offices around the world, fully staffed with certified technicians, Crestron provides expert local support wherever our customers are. Our True Blue Support Team is always on-call to quickly respond to any issue. We can also dispatch our Advanced Technical Support Group to your jobsite at moment’s notice, free.” —Crestron
PLATINUM: Metra Home Theater Group
“Metra Home Theater Group believes that educating our customers is the best form of technical support. Metra Home focuses on supporting dealers in their business with after-hour technical support as well as providing education tools. Examples of our commitment to education include our annual Lunch N’ Learn events at CEDIA Expo, webinars on hot new technology products as relevant issues arise, and most recently through the Metra Home Theater blog where actual industry issues are discussed. Educated customers that understand the technology behind new products are happier customers and more successful in their business. We are partners with our customers in every sense.” —Stephanie Casimiro, Marketing Director
“Our dealers’ lifeblood is making sure their products work in the field. And we know there is nothing more frustrating than not getting someone on the phone to help. As with our customer service team, our technical support specialists know our products and many others, inside and out. And more importantly, we staff our call center to be able to answer calls, not send them to voicemail. You’ll get a live person to help you when you need it.” —Adam Levy, President
SILVER: Core Brands
“The Elan Tech Support team is honored to be acknowledged with this award. We realize that quick and accurate response to technical questions is essential — particularly when a dealer is on the jobsite — and we are investing even more in service and support this year for Elan and all our brands.” —Bill Hensley, Director, Marketing
“We are thrilled to learn that our dealers value the efforts we put into generating
qualified leads for them. This year we have added a team to help better qualify and prepare leads before we match them up with the right dealer and we’ve seen the positive impact that group has been having. As consumer interest in smart home technology grows, we look forward to generating and providing more qualified leads to our valued dealers.” —Tyler Reed, Director, Direct Marketing
“To ‘experience’ is to truly understand, which is crucial when explaining how light, shade, and temperature control can impact a space. Lutron’s Residential Experience Centers afford builders, influencers and homeowners the opportunity to experience the power of Pleasance, and how Lutron’s products and solutions will positively impact their lives.” —David Weinstein, Vice President, Residential
“Savant understands that consumers can learn about home automation in many ways, and leverages those touch points to drive leads to all their dealers. On its website, Savant focuses on the customer experience, and gives them multiple opportunities to find a dealer in their area. Additionally, Savant does outreach to builders, architects, and interior designers to teach them about the benefits of home automation, and why Savant is the best choice for their clients. Lastly, the Savant brand is highly regarded for its quality — and that reputation means customers often ask for it by name contacting their local dealer.” —Sarah Harrington, Corporate Marketing
“Lutron’s No. 1 company principle is to take care of the customer. We work hard to listen to our customers’ needs, and do our best to respond with innovative products, sales programs, and marketing tools that help them to grow their business and delight their clients.” —David Weinstein, Vice President, Residential
GOLD: MAI (Meridian America Inc.)
“MAI (Meridian America, Inc.), the exclusive distributor for Meridian Audio for nearly three decades, is thrilled to be recognized for Best Sales and Marketing Assistance. We have always placed sales and marketing support as a top priority. The MAI training, marketing and sales programs have been tailored and fine-tuned based on dealer feedback as well as the field experience of our team. We pride ourselves on excellent service through a hands-on approach directly connecting with our dealers. Our strong presence at CEDIA, along with innovative support programs such as the Design and Specification Service and purpose built demo facilities, reinforce our commitment to the CI channel.” —Ken Forsythe, Vice President of MAI (Meridian America Inc.)
SILVER: IC Realtime
“IC Realtime is pushing the envelope bringing high-end camera technology to the forefront for consumers and for integrators. Also, these guys are fun and positive. It’s close to the same feeling I used to get from Sam Runco and his team.” —CE Pro Reader
“Our standard warranty is highly praised by our dealers. The Express 48 repair program provides a 48-hour expedited repair service option to Crestron dealers. For a predetermined fixed rate, Express 48 provides an added layer of support, ensuring rapid turnaround on repairs during projects. Additionally, we offer extended warranties on a host of products, including lighting and shades. Our Certified Design Program will offer extended warranties if ordered as a complete CDP order. The DM-MD64X64 and DM-MD128X128 Extended Services Agreement provides the ultimate level of confidence and care. We offer one- or three-year extended warranties, plus expedited shipping of replacement switchers. This expedited and ‘white glove’ service, plus the peace of mind, is priceless.” —Crestron
“We would never offer a product we didn’t stand behind. Our integrators put their reputations out there every time they use one. It’s our goal to uphold it. We have a quality assurance lab with a dedicated team who does nothing but torture test products to ensure their longevity.” —G. Paul Hess, Chief Product Officer
“We want to ensure that our dealers can feel confident in both the product and overall Control4 experience that they install in their customers’ home. With all of our products we offer a substantial two-year warranty period, and also provide advanced replacement where we replace any piece of equipment during that warranty period. We are also proud to offer an automated online RMA process for our Premier dealers that eliminates the need for a support call and saves time that they could be spending with a customer.” —Control4
“We know our dealers need their products on time, so we do everything we can to ensure that they get them. Most of our orders are received within two days, and we go over and above when needed to make sure someone has what they need, when they need it.” —Adam Levy, President
GOLD: Core Brands
“Earning the Gold award from dealers for our shipping policies is an honor. We continue to look for ways to deliver the best possible experience to all dealers. Shipping policies are an important component, and dealers have responded very positively to the shipping choices available online at the Core Brands Portal.” —Bill Hensley, Director, Marketing
“Pakedge provides me with product support and quick delivery. They are determined to be a genuine partner in product installation.” —CE Pro Reader
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