Where'd That Customer Go?

4/7/2015 3:42:00 PM
By Travis Merchant
We’ve all been frustrated at work. We’ve all had days where every plate we’re spinning has come crashing down around us and we ask ourselves, “Am I cut out for it?” We’ve also been a frustrated consumer, feeling like we can’t get the help we need. In most occurrences, I’ve deduced that access to information is crucial and without it, people feel like they are floundering.

System contractors experience this every day across North America. The commercial audiovisual industry, as a whole, has struggled to share quality information about itself, its projects, and its products, though we are one of the most important avenues through which a creative thought can be transmitted. Kind of ironic, isn’t it? I see integrators clawing through files trying to access up-to-date spec information across hundreds of manufacturer sites: Thousands of man hours spent every year for an end goal of ultimate frustration.
 
I’ve seen and heard horror stories of projects being underbid by hundreds of thousands of dollars, ultimately costing a bond and shutting down a business. Why does this continue to happen? A lack of access to information.

I was working with a system contractor just this week that had a problem keeping prospects on its site and eventually losing deals. We realized that its staff was sending prospects to manufacturer sites in order to review product information. While this has been a common practice in our industry, it benefits the manufacturer and takes control out of the system contractor’s hands. That “Find A Reseller” button on a manufacturer site has cost all of us a deal. How did we fix it?

AV-iQ has a great solution that created a custom product catalog with all of the system contractor’s commercial AV products, and created access for customers as well as staff to reach quality information that is up to date, and most importantly, keeps both parties at the door of the integrator, its website. Very quickly, they realized how many prospects had been leaving their site, assuming there wasn’t access to certain brands. Now with the catalog, they are reaching end users and specifiers that had previously moved on to other sites. This equates to more opportunities and ultimately more sales.

My favorite thing about working across this industry is helping people make sense of what is frustrating them with their business. Usually, with a little access to the right information, problems can be a vision of the past, and the future begins to open up to great things. I am proud of what AV-iQ does for our partners and look forward to connecting with others that just need some guidance when it comes to reaching customers.

Follow Travis Merchant on Twitter and LinkedIn, or email him at tmerchant@av-iq.com.
 
 

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