Customer Service Needs to Be a Top Priority

October 20, 2023

Companies often focus on things that are unique to them, or that they do very well. A company may have new, cutting-edge technology that makes them stand out, or it may have amazing logistics that allow them to have lower prices. The one thing that every company needs to have, regardless of its strategy and […]

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Asking Probing Questions

September 7, 2022

Since you all know I like kicking things off with an aphorism, here’s a two-for-one deal: business author Alan Weiss wrote, “Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is a pattern.” Before that, Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels (you may have heard of him) wrote, “Once is happenstance, twice […]

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The AV Industry and the Power of Social Media

January 30, 2019

Customer acquisition is time-consuming and expensive, so it makes sense to treat prospects and customers as valued people when they’re looking for your brand on social media. As a person who has a great deal of understanding about the time, effort, and costs of new prospects earned through marketing, I am acutely aware of the […]

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Dashboarding Your Success

October 15, 2018

This month at CCUMC, I will be discussing how Bates College began to turn around its service operations by using data, metrics, SLAs and dashboards. This is not an earth shattering new business tool, but it is something that I think many organizations still don’t use quite enough or don’t use it in the right […]

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Customer Service Is the New Marketing for AV

May 22, 2018

“Brand is not what you say it is. It’s what they say it is.” That’s the observation from renowned brand thought-leader and master storyteller, Marty Neumeier, author of almost a dozen books on the subject of brands. So if they have such sway over your brand reputation, how important is customer service for your brand? […]

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Defining AVaaS for Stagers

February 26, 2018

Over the last year or two, I have been reading with increasing frequency about AVaaS, or “Audio Visual as a Service.” In particular, I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the writings of my friend Gary Kayye. Gary is one of the best I have ever met at analyzing a product in our industry […]

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Audio and Video Missing from AV Social Media

February 23, 2018

The future of reaching each vertical, including the House of Worship (HOW) market, has a big stake in social media advertising, engagement and user-generated stories. Like the social media landscape, the audiovisual space often looks like a nascent, promising industry on the verge of something significant. Unlike the social media brands, the audiovisual industry is […]

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So You Have a Recall

June 11, 2017

Late last year, I got to have a front row seat for a major product recall from one of the world’s largest electronics manufacturers. Well, maybe it’s not accurate to say I had a front row seat –more like, as a distributors’ rep, I was on the sharp end of the stick, having to manage […]

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Even Apple Sees the Future Is Services – Not Just Products

May 23, 2017

I have been harping on this for years. I have been telling everyone in the AV industry that to survive the future of AV, services need to be front and center, along with the products. Sure, a good mix of products with both established technology as well as future-forward, emerging technology is a giant part […]

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We Have a Plan But It Doesn’t Work!

February 15, 2017

Suppose you were one of the United States largest businesses, with your estimated net valuation exceeding 63 billion dollars, with gross revenue over 9 billion. Your 32 divisions average over $300 million in gross profit every year, and your divisional COO’s average salary is over 8 million, without considering anything but cash compensation. Who would […]

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Customer Service: Two Experiences

February 15, 2017

I am back from ISE 2017 and had an amazing experience. I learned so much and will have plenty to write about, and will be following up on over the coming months. I had two experiences with customer services, and the differences were so vast, I want to write about them. I am a firm believer […]

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Service Recovery — Lessons Learned from an AV Guy

December 28, 2016

How do you fulfill service recovery when you are guilty of poor service? This a very viable topic even if you think you are perfect. Yeah, I was wrong once last year… I think. Right. Seriously though, great customer service is a cornerstone for any successful business. I can be an expert in my industry, […]

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Is Your Client Care As Good As You Think It Is?

December 22, 2016

With the holiday season upon us, I’m reminded of a predicament I found myself in a couple of years ago. A friend of my parents planned a combination holiday party and Trailer Park Boys marathon. I remain mystified by the obsession my parents and their peers, doctors, judges, university administrators and similar, have with watching […]

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Is Your Service Department Screwing You Over?

September 29, 2016

Recently, my husband had a major service issue with his car. This was a service issue so major, he contemplated leaving his car at the dealership and getting a new one somewhere else. The details will likely be for another post (lawyers might get involved). But I think there is a lot that we can […]

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All Ticked Off

June 23, 2016

Just a couple of days ago, I was working with a colleague in the UK to troubleshoot a conferencing system with a client in a third location. We got together on a call for a few minutes before we dialed the client in order to make sure we were on the same page with regard […]

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I will not fail.

May 4, 2016

“I will not fail.” This thought just came to me recently and it flows from my recent post about building and maintaining “Forever Customers.” Then, I found this meme which says it all.  The point is, you have to go into every opportunity and be able to say to your customer, in one way or […]

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What Missing a Flight I Was Early For Taught Me About UI

May 2, 2016

A few weeks ago, I had the mortifying and frustrating experience of missing a flight that I was very, very early for. How does one go about missing a flight after sitting for a few hours in the terminal? It turns out that it’s a relatively easy process. Step One: Arrive early, then have your […]

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Building and Maintaining “Forever Customer” Relationships

April 27, 2016

The truth is, “You will always be remembered.” But, the question is, “How will you be remembered?”  As a business owner and service/product provider, I recommend the following principles to establish good customers because of your good reputations: Focus on being relevant, but realistic, in your offerings. Just because your customer does not want to […]

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Confessions of a CTO Lurker

March 22, 2016

Probably like any other founder/CTO in a startup, my day consists of a huge variety of things — meeting with technology partners, going to on-site visits with customers, designing products, engineering, speaking at events… the list goes on. I’ve discovered that one of my “hidden” jobs is at least as important as these other things […]

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Primacy, Recency and the Power of Options

December 14, 2015

So by now you know that I’m a huge proponent of ensuring that your proposal to the customer is carefully thought out and 110 percent customer-centric. It has to be customer focused, succinct, written in language they understand (no technical terms or jargon), short enough that they will actually read it, and solely focused on […]

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Service Efficiencies: Don’t Roll A Truck Twice

November 24, 2015

Time is money, and, for that matter, money is money. Everything your company does needs to focus on making the best use of both. Efficiency is everything, not just in project design and installation, but in after-install service as well. Your service techs need to follow processes and function as efficiently as your installers do. […]

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Customer Service: Products That Are Ready

November 4, 2015

As I sat down to write this column, I hemmed and hawed. I even got the column in a little late as I hesitated as to whether I should submit it or write a new one. I did not want to write something that was overly critical of a company, and yet I have had […]

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Does Your Digital Signage Have a Purpose?

August 18, 2015

I have written before about how my kids are often embarrassed of me in public because I stop and stare at technology, or, even worse, ask questions and take pictures. So was the case recently on a trip when we stopped in the Big Apple. At the register there are now digital touch screens, with […]

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The Finishing Stage And How To Do It Right

July 17, 2014

If you’re called back for a second interview for a job, the fact is that they’ve already decided to hire you: The second interview is simply your last chance to screw it up. You just have to reinforce the good impression you made in the first interview and you’re good to go.By that same token, […]

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Customer Service — It’s Where the Money Is

April 3, 2014

In September, I wrote about the struggle I sometimes feel when thinking about whether to develop a strong relationship with a vendor/manufacturer or to play the field. I decided to revisit that topic after some recent experiences, and some recent news. One of the major reasons I questioned whether we would stay with a certain […]

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The Difference

February 4, 2014

(****Update*****2/6/2014.  I received a couple comments that sediment in older wines is normal, which is entirely true.  This wine was not a 7 year+ bottle, so the yeast/protein sediment they referred to would not be normal for a 2011 bottle.  Crystalline sediment may be normal if they use a more traditional process that doesn’t filter […]

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Everything is Empathy

December 3, 2013

Think about your last horrible experience with a company. Perhaps the product didn’t work as expected or advertised. Did that company listen to you and try to make it right in a way that was mutually acceptable? Or did you get the loathsome “I’m sorry you feel that way,” which is a particularly insidious type […]

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Repair Equipment, Repair the Breach

August 23, 2013

You made the sale to a church, then you moved on to the next sale. Hey, that’s the sales cycle, right? Yes, but it’s not the customer experience cycle, which is the real paradigm that affects your ability to make future sales. The importance of taking care of customers who have invested into your brand […]

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Social Media – Digital Word-of-Mouth

July 18, 2013

In the not-too-distant past, I knew of a systems integrator that boldly listed their “Top 10” clients on the back of their sales sheets. They were 10 churches that most pastors in the house of worship market would know. All were previous clients of this firm. The implied assertion of listing these ten churches was […]

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Customer Service: Do You Have a Clue What That Means?

January 29, 2010

I thought the holiday season was time when we’re all supposed to be nicer to each other. Was I wrong about that? After a string of unpleasant and downright rude retail clerks, I’ve taken my business online where I don’t have to talk to or interact with anyone. This may seem like the perfect answer […]

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