Check out the Latest @AVNationtv podcast as they get ready for #InfoComm13 with an AV first.

REDBAND blogger Joshua Stackhouse checks in with AV Nation this week and drops an annoucement that a may be  a first  for both AV podcasting and for AV Nation. Listen in at the 22 minute mark.

Chris

From the AV Nation site:

Join us as we get ready for InfoComm 2013 in Orlando. We talk about all the new InfoComm Pavillions, a couple of products to look out for, and some suggestions for new areas. We cover customer service in AV, and signal transports. Plus, an AV Week first (it may even be a Podcasting first). Very exciting.”  

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Click the image above or the this link to listen in: http://avnation.tv/shows/avweek/avw-094/

REDBAND: Five Tips to Delivering Outstanding Customer Service By Mike Brandes

Whether you’re in the rental/staging markets, home theater, enterprise level integrator or and IT Manager; offering superior customer service is imperative to the success of your organization. Customer Service is more than just responding to negative feedback, following up on customers’ needs and satisfying requests. Consistently excellent customer service is creating experiences for clients that cause them to become cheerleaders and advertisers for your business. There are five easy ways to create excellent customer service experiences, position your company to have repeat high dollar transactions and leave your organization well poised to be recommended by your clients.

1. Do What the Customer Doesn’t Expect

It’s common sense, and simple business etiquette to completely satisfy customers’ requests. Exceeding Customer expectations is what makes the difference. Having worked in higher-ed I’ve worked with multiple integrators and resellers, what stood out for me, are the little things. I hired an integrator to implement an AV design for an 11-classroom building, I created a detailed scope of work with highly specific requirements, I expected it to be filled. This integrator fulfilled each requirement and they also provided me with substantial information I didn’t request such as all pieces of equipment’s serial numbers, warranty date and estimated end of life date in a convenient, easy-to-read spreadsheet, and applied the asset tags I was going to have to add to each piece of equipment. This small, unrequested, task saved me a good number (20+) of hours in recording and inventory management. Though I didn’t specifically ask for this information the provision of it was incredibly valuable to me as a customer.

2. Be Honest with Your Customer, But Respectful

Joshua Stackhouse wrote an article recently with this as the first point; but it bears repeating. Customers and clients often have a vague or broad idea of what they want in their project. Clients may want the latest and greatest, while not knowing exactly how that will impact their environment. While I love to give my clients everything they ask for, especially if they have the budget to afford it; I can’t, in good conscience, recommend they move forward with anything that doesn’t fit in their existing environment. Exceeding customer expectations can mean considering the whole of the existing environment.

It’s also imperative to be honest with your clients when communicating expectations regarding timeframe. A few years ago, I designed a system, sent it out to bid and asked the integrators to provide a detailed timeframe for completion. The vendor I selected timeframe was XX days. Imagine my surprise when two weeks after XX days had passed and we were still going back on forth on systems not functioning as they were described in the scope of work. It is imperative, in order to deliver exceptional customer service, to complete projects on time, and to be honest about timeframes…

Continue reading this article by clicking the link Below:

http://mikebrandesav.com/2013/06/06/five-tips-to-delivering-outstanding-customer-service/

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Mike is an experienced audio video and information technology specialist, with 5 years experience in AV/IT, and previous experience in Pro Audio including full time touring experience. Mike is active in InfoComm, the Audiovisual Industry Association, and serves on the Technology Managers Council. Check out Mike’s website http://mikebrandesav.com/ and Follow him on Twitter.

The Social Media Event of #Infocomm13: The #AVtweeps #AVtweetup hosted by AV Nation

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AV Nation hosts The Social Media Event of  Infocomm 2013!

Click the Banner to register or follow the Link Below:

http://infocomm13tweetup.eventbrite.com/

A Huge Thanks goes out to the Event Sponsors:

Vaddio

www.vaddio.com

Sennheiser

www.sennheiserusa.com

Premier Mounts

www.mounts.com

Listen Technologies

www.listentech.com

AV Helpdesk Inc.

www.avhelpdesk.com

LifeSize

www.lifesize.com

Draper

www.draperinc.com

Marketing Matters

www.marketingmatters.net

Chauvet

www.chauvetlighting.com

Chief

www.chiefmfg.com

The Source Home Theater

www.thesourcehometheater.com

REDBAND Welcomes new Blogger Mike Brandes

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Honored to have Mike Brandes join the “Band”. I’m looking forward to his unique perspective on Business, Leadership and AV Technology. If you don’t know Mike you will soon.

Welcome to REDBAND!

Chris

 

 

REDBAND: Paying It Forward to Other Service Providers by Todd Anthony Puma

Several times in this space I’ve mentioned the Home Theater Rebuild. This is an organization I started a couple of years ago to give back to the industry that gave so much to me. It also has helped develop new service providers in the industry and assisted those who need a little guidance or advice on taking their business to the next level. It’s been a labor of love, and I’ve been rewarded several-fold in with new friendships, business relationships, and just knowing I’m doing the right thing by my AV community.

Just this week, the best thing happened. One of the members of the Rebuild “paid it forward” and took on another service provider to help them out.

Home Theater Advisors (HTA) has been in the Rebuild for about a year, and has grown from a brand-new company operating “nights and weekends” to a full-time business that is set to exceed its annual revenue target in the next two to three months.

Another provider reached out to HTA because they were asked to re-install an unfamiliar remote control brand for a new client that was moving into a new residence. The owner of HTA was more than happy to help out and lend a hand to get a fellow company out of a jam and to delight a client. While HTA did get a little bit of revenue, the owner, Mark, told me that wasn’t why he did it. He said he had gotten so much from the networking opportunities and help from other providers in the Rebuild, that he “owed” it to the community to help out someone else in need….

To continue reading click the link below:

http://www.residentialsystems.com/default.aspx?tabid=90&EntryId=598

ToddRedband

Todd Anthony Puma is the CEO & Founder of The Source Home Theater. Check out his  website at The Source Home Theater and follow him on twitter at  @ToddAnthonyPuma .

 

REDBAND: 3 Things I Learned About A/V from Watching Restaurant Stakeout By Stackhouse

I absolutely love food. It is truly one of my great passions. For a long time when I was younger I wanted to become a chef, which lead to me working as a server, a line cook and a manager before I became a technology professional. A few nights ago I was sitting in my home watching an episode of Restaurant Stakeout. It’s one of my favorite TV shows and even though I have seen the show many times, something in this episode made me sit up and pay attention to the uncanny parallels between our world and the food service industry. The world of A/V professionals is usually considered to be a part of the technology sector but we are actually a part of the hospitality business as well. This may not be obvious so grab a seat and get comfortable. I’ll be your server today and show you with these three tasty appetizers what some of those parallels are.

Flank Steak
Good training is absolutely critical to executing at 110% with every client. Imagine you’re out to dinner with your friends at the hottest new restaurant in town. Though you haven’t had it before you’ve heard that this place has amazing flank steak. The waiter asks you how you would like that cooked and you say “well done” while the waiter just says “OK” and puts your order in with the kitchen. The only problem is that flank steak is a different kind of steak that is best served medium well at most or it’s going to taste leathery and overly chewy. This experience is going leave a bad taste in the customers mouth and could have been prevented if the waiter had educated their guest. The problem here is that the waiter didn’t know, which is the restaurant managers fault.

Customers are three times more likely to talk about a bad experience than a good one and in this situation the waiter should have helped their guest to find the memorable dining experience they were seeking. Our roles as A/V professionals aren’t any different. Our clients trust us to be experts and know all of the subtleties of our trade. For A/V business owners execution is key to success and this means understanding that your front line people have to be sharp. Remember, the best staff are well trained staff and your company is only as good as the least educated and trained member of it’s team, so make sure you invest time, energy and money into keeping your installers, technicians and customer assistance people well trained and well informed….

Tonight’s Our Anniversary
Imagine that you’re out on the town on a Friday night looking for a special way to celebrate your love for your partner. You go to a restaurant that is supposed to have great food and amazing drink specials. When you arrive it’s particularly busy and once you get a table (after waiting 25 minutes) things start to go downhill. Your waiter isn’t around when you need him, he put your order in wrong completely ignoring your request for the chicken parmigiana to be unbreaded, and he didn’t even offer you a complimentary drink for your anniversary or comp your check for messing up your order. You feel like your special night was ruined and you won’t be coming back again or recommending this place to your friends and family.

If you approach A/V with an understanding that we are really hospitality driven, since our product is a luxury in many instances, you quickly see how this restaurant experience isn’t really any different from what we do on a daily basis. Whether you’re a commercial or residential company your clients are really looking for someone to make them feel special just as a good restaurant would. They want to feel as if you really care about them. Successful restaurateurs understand and help their people to understand that they are serving love on a plate. Why should a luxury product like A/V be any different? Remember that simple things make a big difference for your clients. Accommodate special requests, focus on the guest experience. Blow your customers away and you’ll not only make them feel obligated to come back to your company again and again, but you’ll also make them want to refer people to you.

Who’s In Charge?
Restaurant owners often mistakenly think that their staff performs up to their expectations when they aren’t around . Often this isn’t true but it’s not because people don’t want to work hard. In fact it’s usually the opposite and has more to do with absentee owners and managers who don’t practice solid leadership skills.

Imagine that you’re the manager of a busy restaurant but your often hiding away back in the office. It’s likely that without constant communication and feedback from you that your people wouldn’t meet your expectations of them. Worse yet you won’t understand what they need from you to succeed.

The world of A/V isn’t any different. Project managers need to be present and remember to lead their people. Remember they not only need to be directed they WANT you to do so, and when you do you help your bottom line and your people to stay happy.

 

 

Check out Joshua Stackhouse’s profile on LinkedIn and follow him on his Blog: Massive Stack . Oh yeah he’s on  Twitter too: @StackhouseAV

REDBAND: #AVTweeps Cutting Loose on YouTube by Chris Neto

I recently worked on two posts that involved YouTube videos. Both Big Nate and Mark Coxon’s videos were both excellent examples of AV professionals showing their skills online. So last nite I began to search YouTube in search of more AV related videos. I came across many posts. Here are some great examples of  AV Pros at Play on YouTube.

Enjoy!

Chris

 







Check out my latest Article: Game Changers at #Infocomm13

As June approaches so does the buzz about this year’s InfoComm Show. Every year A/V Professionals flock to the InfoComm event in search of the latest and greatest in A/V Technology products. Not ones to disappoint, many of today’s top manufacturers will debut some great new products at the show that will surely please many A/V professionals. As an attendee the anticipation of what products will debut is intoxicating. In the weeks prior to the show many of us daydream of that “perfect” product that will come and save the day. It’s the A/V version of Christmas sugar plums dancing in our heads, but in reality many professionals are just hoping for improvements and new features to many of the products we currently use.

Many of us deal in A/V reality on a daily basis, but after the designs are done and the systems are approved many of us love to talk “shop.” One topic that comes into conversation quite often is the “what’s next” topic. Maybe it’s in our “BIOS” to wonder what may be coming down the digital highway. Is there a new technology out there that can “make some noise” in our industry? So let’s speculate. What’s out there? What’s next? Will it buzz at InfoComm this year?  Or will we have to wait?

One product that I feel confident about making an impact in our industry is the Microsoft Lync Room System. This product is available today with working demos being scheduled as I write. The Lync Room System (LRS) is Microsoft’s answer to a Lync-based videoconferencing experience that goes beyond laptops and mobile devices. Currently many companies use Microsoft Lync as a means of collaboration. This is done today using Lync software on laptops and mobile devices. The Lync room system now takes the Lync client and integrates it into conference room setting. In other words its prime objective is to be used by a group of people instead of a single user sitting at a PC….

To Continue reading Click the link below:

CorporateTD

http://www.corporatetechdecisions.com/article/game_changers_at_infocomm_2013

Check out this Video on YouTube: Start A Career In AV Integration by @BigNate84

This past weekend I received a tweet from BigNate84, a fellow AV Industry professional and #AVtweeps, to check out his latest Video on YouTube.

In the video Nate answers a viewer question on “How to Start a Career in AV Integration”.  There is some great info for those looking to start in the AV industry. In his response he mentions Phil “HiPhi” Cordell, InfoComm, AV Nation and AVShout.com as good resources for AV info on the internet. I was both surprised and honored to be mentioned alongside the other AV professionals.

Check out the video and stop by Nate’s website: bignate84.blogspot.com and see his work.

Thanks again Nate.

Chris

REDBAND: Install Like It’s For You (The Remix) by Mark Coxon

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Install Like It’s For You- The Remix

I have to tell you that I was rather excited a couple weeks ago when fellow RedBand Blogger John Sciacca (@SciaccaTweets) tweeted about his upcoming article in Residential Systems that would include a Taylor Swift song parody about the install business.

I quickly asked him to alert me when it went live, which he did (Thanks John), and I hurried to check it out.  I wasn’t familiar with the Swifty song before seeing this, so I watched the Vevo link and then read his interpretation, smiling the whole time.  If you missed the original article, click here.

I promptly complimented John, and then made the mistake of saying I was going to lay this down for him, lol.  I quickly attempted to suggest John’s friend Jelly Dee (@AnjelicaDee), with her talent, was much more suited to do this than I, but it was too late!  John didn’t give me an easy exit (Thanks Again John) and now I was stuck.

I then went “all in” by also telling Todd Anthony Puma (@ToddAnthonyPuma), another RedBander, that I was preparing to tackle John’s parody.  Now I was committed, like it or not.

So I took my 1 year of self-taught acoustic guitar lessons, combined those with probably the most Pink-like Taylor Swift song I have ever heard, added in John’s lyrics, and this is what came out the other end.

Obviously I do not record at home.  I don’t have microphones, mixers, garage band software or anything like that.  This was captured with all the glory of an HTC front facing camera and microphone J

I wanted to give John’s lyrics a voice.  I hope you get a kick out of it.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33cWGUcVCCo&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Best and God Bless!

Mark C

REDBAND_Coxon

Mark has been in the IT & AV field for over 12 years. He currently works as an Account manager with  Horizon Display and is a contributor with various AV industry publications. You can follow Mark on Twitter @AVPhenom.  The expressed opinions are his own…You have been warned!