2014 CE Pro Quest for Quality Winners
Fourth annual CE Pro Quest for Quality Awards recognize manufacturers and distributors for their championship-caliber services.
Jason Knott · March 28, 2014
Is Starbucks really so popular because of the taste of its overpriced coffee? No.
The consensus among business analysts is the company’s personalized customer service is what keeps people coming back every day. It makes them feel good to have their name written on the side of the cup and to hear it called out when their order is ready versus hearing the obligatory “order number 13” over a static-filled PA system.
Well, integrators are people too. Personal service is what keeps them coming back to the distribution warehouse counter over and over again. Personalization is also what keeps them patient on the phone with tech support or customer service.
For the fourth year in a row, CE Pro attempted to gauge which suppliers provide the best services in various categories. In an open-ended, un-aided survey, dealers were asked to choose their top vendors in 13 manufacturer categories and seven distributor categories. In all, more than 8,500 votes were cast — triple the amount we received last year.
After the votes were tallied, we asked the Platinum-, Gold- and Silver-winning suppliers to tell us why they think they won and earned that integrator support.
“At Crestron, providing the highest level of customer satisfaction is priority No. 1,” says Joyce Essig, public relations manager. “With more than 90 offices around the world, fully staffed with certified technicians, Crestron provides expert local support wherever you are. Our award-winning True Blue Support Team is always on-call to quickly respond to and resolve any issue. When you call, our advanced tracking software ensures every customer gets taken care of promptly, even after hours. We can also dispatch our Advanced Technical Support Group (ATSG) to your job site at moment’s notice — free.”
“We realize products continue to get more complex and integrators’ jobs are never done, so over the last 18 months we’ve extended our support hours and tripled the size of our already large team by hiring great new people — many of whom are former dealers, and all passionate about SnapAV and the products we sell. And it comes across in every support call; our Tech Support room is always buzzing with excitement and enthusiasm that’s contagious,” says Erin Bowman, marketing communications manager.
Pete Baker, RTI vice president of sales and marketing, says: “As our dealers can tell you, blending a variety of third-party products into one seamless integrated system can involve a range of complicated — and often frustrating — technical challenges. Our skilled team is presented with these challenges every day, and they work tirelessly to help our dealers overcome them to deliver the best possible control experience to the end user.”
“‘It’s a great day at SnapAV!’ That’s what you’ll hear when you call us,” says Bowman. “And not from some recording … but from a real live member of our Customer Satisfaction Team. No on-hold music here.”
Cassie Metzger notes, “Our company has a team approach to delivering superior customer service and meeting expectations that starts with our regional Territory Sales Managers, who work closely with our Customer Service Representatives to address any customer questions or concerns. Qmotion CSRs are able to work directly with product design engineers as needed and often implement customer feedback into new product designs.”
“Acoustic- Smart considers itself to be a true synergistic partner to the dealer,” notes president Richard Charschan. “Our team, which we affectionately call the AcousticSmart ‘Theatre Crew,’ understands full well that making the impossible possible is mandatory and our dealers expect us to deliver it on a daily basis. Instead of dwelling on problems or pointing fingers we create solutions at every opportunity.”
“Control4 takes a holistic approach to our lead-generation efforts,” says Tyler Reed, manager, demand generation and customer marketing. “After initial collection of the leads, we use clues to identify where each prospect is at in the buying process and continue to nurture and educate them along the way, until they are ready to speak with a dealer.”
“The modern music lover is the focus in all that we produce. This is both from a product perspective as well as the communication and marketing perspective,” says Eric Nielsen, senior PR manager. “Our industry-high level of customer engagement means we have a distinct advantage when it comes to the very important customer referral.”
“In addition to expanding the market for our customers with new products, we are also focused on creating demand and helping them grow sales,” says Rich Black, director, residential product management and business development at Lutron. “We’re honored that our customers have recognized us for our ongoing activities in developing the design community and creating dealer marketing programs.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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