The right AV installation service provider is critical to your company’s productivity. Here’s what office and IT managers should look for in an AV installer.
If there was one area of your operations that’s used more than any other by your staff, it’s most likely your AV solutions. From videoconferencing cameras to microphones, digital whiteboards, and remote collaboration tools, AV plays a vital role in your company’s day-to-day.
The central role of AV tech means that high-quality and well-functioning tools are essential for your company’s operations. It also means a lot of complexity to navigate – especially for smaller startups and distributed enterprises that may not have a phalanx of technicians on-call 24/7.
To navigate the best solutions for your unique needs, it may be worth working with an expert AV installer. The partnership can pave the way towards a stress-free setup, followed by ongoing support that never leaves you isolated and wondering, “why isn’t this working?”
Choosing the right person or company to meet your company’s specific needs is essential–not all AV installers have the same level of knowledge and skill. Additionally, the relationship you build with your AV installer will likely last for the long term: they will be the person you call to upgrade, repair, and maintain your equipment.
When evaluating what to look for in an AV installer, the vendor shouldn’t just be knowledgeable. They absolutely must also be reliable, capable, and easy to work with. Here are some specific things to keep in mind when you’re searching for an AV installer.
#1: Reputation and reliability
Because relationships with AV installers can last for years, doing some due diligence is essential. Consulting reviews can be a great way to gain insight into how the professionals in your area have performed in the past.
Word-of-mouth recommendations from other companies can also be beneficial in this regard, especially from companies that have similar needs to your own. (For example–if you work in an office that has 150 employees, and you got an excellent recommendation for an AV installer that works with offices of 10-15, they may not be the best fit.)
And remember: you get what you pay for—spending a bit more for a provider who has a reputation for reliability and good quality service can save your company a lot of trouble in the long run.
Questions to ask: What is the installer’s success rate? Do they consistently deliver projects on time? Do they do what they say they are going to do?
#2: Transparency and good communication
‘If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself”– or so the old saying goes. It’s true: if you’re working with someone who can’t seem to describe exactly what they do in an understandable way, that might be a red flag.
Therefore, transparency is another crucial point to consider when searching for an AV installer. A good service provider can communicate clearly about how the technology works and their goals for implementing it.
Questions to ask: Is the AV installer able to simply describe the workings and implementation of the technology?
Keeping tabs on how long an AV installer takes to respond to your calls and messages early on is a key indication of how they might behave down the road. When you first contacted them, did they respond within a few hours? Or did it take a day or two? If they took a long time to get back to you, or they were hard to get ahold of in the first place, they probably won’t be offering good-quality support when it matters.
Questions to ask: How long does the AV installer take to respond to requests for contact? Is there a number that you can use for urgent matters?
#4: Collaboration and positivity
Since relationships with AV installation service providers can last for years, it’s best to find someone pleasant to work with. Ideally, you want an AV partner–not just a salesperson.
After all, this is the person you’ll call when things go wrong. Therefore, someone who can handle stressful situations with professionalism and good humor can make a huge difference. On the other hand, someone who conducts their business with negativity can make a bad situation even worse.
Questions to Ask: Is the AV installer fun to work with? Do they approach your collaboration with a positive attitude, or do they bring negativity to the partnership?
Like any customer service provider, a good AV installer will always be one step ahead of you: they will be able to anticipate your needs and prepare for them accordingly. Additionally, a top-level AV technician can make suggestions that will help your operations run more smoothly.
When you’re looking for an AV installer, look for a team that listens carefully to your needs and customizes its recommendations accordingly. You can learn a lot from how a company pitches business: a company that’s slow in responding or hard to get ahold of is unreliable. Then you most likely won’t be having a stress-free install — and certainly not getting good ongoing tech support!
Questions to ask: Does the service provider proactively identify potential problems and suggest appropriate solutions? Do they use their industry expertise to make suggestions that may improve the functionality of your AV setup?
#6: Domain expertise
A qualified technician will have a current working knowledge of the newest and best AV equipment — and have the skills to train you well so that you have the confidence to introduce new systems company-wide.
The best AV installation service providers work with hardware and software companies to stay on the cutting edge of what’s available today. Therefore, top-level technicians will have demo units of the products that they can install in your office.
Questions to ask: Does the service provider have demo units of what they are selling? Do they regularly work with the equipment they are offering?
Finding the right AV installer takes time
While it may be tempting to pick up the phone and call the first AV installer who turns up on Google, doing due diligence is critical. Investing the time and effort it takes to find the right service provider for your company can save you thousands of dollars and dozens of headaches in the long term. Use these points of consideration and questions to help guide your search. Happy hunting!