This is a tale of two broken TVs and how listening to your AV provider can change your experience.
A few notes for the purpose of our story. First, both TVs purchased in this tale were under manufacturer’s warranty – both in their first year of life. Both TVs were purchased through our professional AV integration company. Both clients were recommended the same brand.
Broken TV Story 1
An excellent client that enjoys technology, Ms. Smith, has worked with us longer than I can remember. When she is in need or desires a new TV, she does not go to the internet; she calls and asks what’s new and what deals are out there. After we give her said deal, she trusts that we are looking at any promotion calendars and does not go in search of the TV for dollars cheaper. She trusts us, which is vital for a solid-long-term-relationship to survive.
In this case, Ms. Smith wanted to update her surround sound and also upgrade her TV. After chatting with one of our trained team members, she and her husband decided on a 75-inch LED. The TV was ordered and then installed by our installers.
Broken TV Story 2
Customer B, Mr. Jones, is a newer customer. He was also in need of a new TV and wanted it installed. We recommend, as we always do, the same brand as Ms. Smith just purchased. However, Mr. Jones did his own research and came to his own conclusion and decided that after a few Google searches that he wanted another brand of TV. Our story is always the same: we buy one brand direct, and one through distribution and that brand does not seem to care about the individual.
Both TVs just so happened to break.
Ms. Smith called and told us that lines were going through her screen — not good. We rang the dealer-dedicated 1-800 tech line and immediately the tech on the other end knew the issue. He arranged for us to order and install a brand-new TV and for us to pick up and ship back the broken one. She was so thrilled with the transaction that she praised us on social media.
Mr. Jones had to go through a local repair center. We picked up the TV and then the repair center picked it up from us. They had to submit paperwork back to the manufacturer before they would send parts and then, we were told that the paid invoice from us (a 35-year-old-company) was not enough documentation and that the client needed to show proof from his bank that the TV had been paid for.
Eventually, the client had to call the manufacturer to escalate his issue up the chain until he finally was allowed to have his TV repaired. Once parts were ordered, it took about another week or so to get them installed and the TV back to the client’s house. As you can imagine, he was displeased.
Both brands are name brands. Both were midline models.
Issues happen, for sure, and when they do, what kind of experience do you prefer? I often use the phrase, “Technology is not a perfect science,” and to that end, who do you want on your side?
A transaction is more than an exchange of funds, but an exchange of trust. If done well, you are creating a relationship with both the dealer and the manufacturer. We often explain to our clients that while consumer reviews and other articles may test a new TV for a few days, we know how they react long term, and we are small enough to make changes, drop brands, and make a suggestion based on happy clients. Some heed our advice, and some do not. Many who do have created life-long partnerships and will call us for their next TV and so forth. Those who force our hand and look for the lowest price because they think that they “know better” usually do not call back. They’re not looking for a relationship, and at that point, they should just purchase online.
When I go to a restaurant, I ask what the waiter recommends, and if he tells me not to order the fish, I steer clear. Listening to the suggestions of the waiter will result in a more satisfying meal, like creating a relationship with your integrator will result in a better value over the total cost of ownership of your system.