We’ve all heard (or unfortunately experienced firsthand) horror stories where a customers’ pro AV solution falls short of expectations or flat out fails to meet their needs. Every tale is unique, although there are enough similarities in these stories to identify trends and avoid your own failure if you look closely.
Avoid the 10 most common pro AV epic fails.
- Not preparing thoroughly. Solution providers will occasionally get so caught up in the thrill of the sale that they fail to prepare adequately. Preparation is a broad concept that includes ensuring new hardware and software are compatible with existing, that integrations are tested and confirmed to work correctly, and that the right hardware and software have been selected.
- Not having the necessary qualifications. Ensure you have the necessary certifications, training and clearances to work with your customers. For example, one solution provider won a giant airport contract only to discover they didn’t have the security clearances to enter the complex and perform the install.
- Not planning beyond the initial install. Don’t overlook the opportunity to serve your customers by providing necessary post-sales training and support.
- Not planning for content. Help your customers create a 30-, 60- and 90-day plan for digital signage content. Help them migrate their workflows to accommodate the change to digital advertising. Help them plan around holidays.
- Not being sensitive to customer budgets. All too often, solution providers become blinded to a potential payday and forget to put their customer’s best interests first. Don’t oversell your customers what they don’t need. For example, a 4K display might pack the latest specs, but if it’s going to be mounted 20 feet away from the closest customer, a lesser, more affordable display, would suffice.
- Not having a business continuity plan. There’s nothing worse than a customer-facing pro AV solution that’s out of order. Whether we’re talking about a video wall with a dead display or a kiosk with a fatal blue screen of death, it’s unacceptable in today’s environment. Encourage your customers to purchase a 5-10% overage of hardware that’s ready to be swapped in the event of failure.
- Not having the right people as part of the project. Regardless of who or which department initially contacted you for the solution, ask who else should be a part of the sales and design process. Chances are, you’ll want someone from marketing, human resources and other department heads.
- Not securing your solutions. Ensure your pro AV solutions are properly firewalled, segmented and protected. This includes changing the default admin username and password that would give unauthorized users access to the system.
- Not taking advantage of Ingram Micro’s complimentary pro AV design service. Solution providers new to pro AV can have the guesswork removed by relying on Ingram Micro’s team of experts to design their solutions.
- Not contacting Tom Jones, IM’s pro AV expert, for assistance. Jones has decades of experience in pro AV and related technologies and is an invaluable resource just an email or phone call away.