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Quest for Quality Winners 2013

Third annual Quest for Quality Awards recognize suppliers’ ‘people-related’ support systems, from marketing assistance to customer service.


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There is an old saying that “people do business with people, not with companies.” In many cases, integrators might be swayed to buy a certain product only because they have a solid relationship with a local rep, phone technical support person or even the guy behind the counter at the local distribution warehouse.

So in an industry as built around products and technology as the custom installation business is, the CE Pro Quest for Quality awards are a refreshing break. Integrators have taken the time to recognize and give kudos to their favorite suppliers for their customer service, sales support, tech support, websites, warehouse personnel and other “people-related” services. These companies that won can truly be singled out as “companies that care” about their dealers.

The awards, which are in their third year, are unique because they recognize services, not products. This is an award that manufacturers and distributors “shout from the mountaintops” because it is earned by their internal staff … every tech support, sales support, website creator, customer service rep, warehouse worker, etc., earned the award.

Companies were nominated solely by CE Pro readers in a series of open-ended questionnaires sent to subscribers.  is year we had nearly 2,500 votes. Read what CE pros had to say about their vendors in eight manufacturer categories and six distributor categories. We are recognizing three winners in each category: Platinum, Gold and Silver.

Integrator Testimonials

Click the links below to read the respective dealer testimonials for each award-winning company.

AVAD
Bitwise Controls
Capitol
Crestron
Elan
Lutron
MRI
Proficient
Skywalker
SnapAV
Sony
SpeakerCraft
Windy City Wire

Manufacturers

Custom Service/General Communication
Platinum: SnapAV
Gold: B&W
Silver: Command Fusion

“Here’s SnapAV’S secret to great customer service: Hire a great team, tell them that it’s their job to make our dealers’ lives easier and then give them the tools and freedom to do it. That means extended hours, live people instead of hold music and someone dedicated to doing whatever it takes to help,” says Erin Bowman, marketing communications manager.

“Every company has a story about how they went above and beyond to make a customer happy. But that’s not what wins you this type of award or recognition from your customers. Last summer, we were
forced to evacuate our building one afternoon after a small fire in the electrical room and weren’t allowed to go back in. Instead of calling it a day, our sales and customer service team got a couple of hot spots, forwarded the phones and headed out to the parking lot. For the rest of the day they worked out of their cars on their laptops and cell phones to make sure our dealers didn’t feel the effects of the outage. Service isn’t any good if you can’t provide it,” she adds.

“It’s doing this sort of thing day in and day out consistently so your customers know and depend on situations like this being the norm, not the exception.”


imageSnapAV Integrator Testimonials

“At the heart of great service is the ability to meaningfully listen and gather feedback. At CEDIA Expo, every single member of the SnapAV team carries a notepad, and will write down any and every idea that is presented to them. This one act speaks volumes of their company culture and underscores part of the reason for their extraordinary growth.”

“I can’t say enough about SnapAV. Their products work like a champ, tech support is easy to get a hold of (VERY short wait times) and it seems like everyone there is an expert on whatever you are calling about, even if it’s not their product. And when there are issues, they provide returns quickly, and most times will send an advanced replacement. I use SnapAV and Episode products as often as possible, because I know they will work.”

Technical Support
Platinum: RTI
Gold: Control4
Silver: Bitwise Controls

RTI - Why We Won: “I’ve always believed that we have an exceptionally talented technical support team at RTI, and I’m ecstatic to have that belief validated by our dealers with the Platinum Award for Technical Support,” says Pete Baker, vice president of sales and marketing. “Every day, our team is presented with a broad range of complicated technical challenges that our dealers encounter when trying to blend a variety of third-party products into one seamless integrated system for their customers. These challenges can be frustrating, and our skilled technical support team works tirelessly to help dealers successfully navigate and overcome them.

“On any given day, our technical support team interacts with more dealers than anyone else in the company. And if any of these dealers haven’t yet attended training or met with a regional sales manager, then our technical support becomes the single face of RTI. It is critical that we present a proper image for our dealers, and our team members represent the company exceptionally well day in and day out, even in challenging situations where dealers are under very high pressure to complete a job,” adds Baker.

“The nature of our dealers’ business is technically challenging, from the nature of the products themselves to their integration into one seamless system. So it is vital that they have a very capable and effective technical support team backing them up. Our dealers know that they can count on our team, no matter how complicated the issue.”


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Bitwise Integrator Testimonials

“Bitwise Controls: Unique product and fast support.”

“Bitwise Controls has, on many occasions, shown that working with a small vendor can be beneficial. They have set their lead support rep aside for as long as four hours to sit down with me to cover incredibly advanced programming concepts. They have also provided expedited equipment shipping for free on numerous occasions.”

“BitWise: fast support, easy to order and amazing on-line technical solution.”

imageSales/Marketing Assistance
Platinum: Lutron
Gold: SnapAV
Silver: Skywalker

Lutron - Why We Won: “Lutron’s success is a result of the strong principles and philosophies that guide our growth. Our founder, Joel Spira, developed five principles:

  • Take care of the customer
  • Take care of the company
  • Take care of the people
  • Innovate with high-quality products
  • Deliver value to the customer

  About the Author

Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990. He joined EH Publishing in 2000, and before that served as publisher and editor of Security Sales, a leading magazine for the security industry. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He is currently a member of the CEDIA Education Action Team for Electronic Systems Business. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at [email protected]

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