Audio Advice has been a trusted name for more than just audio advice in North Carolina for 40 years. The A/V and home-automation company has locations in the state capital of Raleigh as well as the Charlotte metropolitan area, and its services run the home technology gamut from whole-house A/V and home theater to automation, lighting, security and more.
Now when prospective customers visit Audio Advice’s showrooms, they can see even before walking into the stores that they’re about to experience what a “certified” integrator can deliver. That’s because Audio Advice recently joined the ranks of Control4 Certified Showrooms — it says so right on the front window. It's one of 140 showrooms worldwide that now has the distinction, about half of which held open houses on May 31 as part of a #C4Yourself Day event welcoming customers to learn more about the world of smart home.
Already a Premier Home Automation Provider
“We sell a lot of home automation from our stores,” says CEO Scott Newnam. “We’re probably top 1 percent in terms of scale in the country and being a Certified Showroom I think makes a statement to the end customer when they’re looking for somewhere to say, ‘I know this place has everything I need to see, I can touch it, I can experience it.'”
CE Pro had a chance to visit Audio Advice’s Raleigh store, located along the stretch of Glenwood Avenue that’s well known for its abundant furniture outlets and auto dealerships that lure plenty of consumer traffic.
Operating for roughly two decades, the 7,500-square-foot showroom is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, plus Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and has hosted end-user events such as Music Matters over the years. Audio Advice also has a major presence online with a robust e-commerce business to help build a wider customer base.
But the showroom, in particular the experience center vignettes and home theater rooms, is where Audio Advice still gets to make the biggest impact on prospects.
“The biggest thing Control4 wanted was to make sure the showroom was up to standards and specifications so that when someone comes into the showroom they know the experience is going to be really good, and that they’re going to see, touch all the things they want to experience,” says Newnam.
He explains that Audio Advice already had the “biggest and best” space in the state, but the company added a few flourishes to earn the “certified” seal, like Control4 branding and products from sister brands including Pakedge networking and Triad speakers.
In certain areas, there were already Control4 touchpanels on the walls, remote controls and other interfaces to enable Audio Advice salespeople to demonstrate home automation and prospects to become familiar with the easy operation.
“We have a host of different rooms in each of the showrooms, but the primary area where people experience Control4 and automation is in our experience centers which are like mini homes,” says Newnam. “We have full kitchens, we have full living rooms, we can drop down projection screens, we do full lighting control, we do music throughout, we do doorbells — so literally everything, and we have a script.”
Newnam says customer interest in the smart home has been picking up momentum with the advent of Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant technologies, but the certified installer has the opportunity to better deliver on expectations.
“Clearly in the Certified [Showroom] program, Control4 is trying to make sure the experience that people get when they try these things is to a really high level,” he says. “Traditionally the problem has been … they might go buy it from someone who doesn’t have a showroom and once they get it it’s not what they expected, so I think the whole concept of this is really to touch and feel what you’re going to get in the end.”
Through a marketing partnership with Control4, CE Pro is highlighting integrators participating in the Control4 Certified Showroom program, with an emphasis on dealers' strategic business initiatives. Content is at the sole discretion of CE Pro editors.