We in the AV industry often struggle to obtain a level of credibility that professionals in other industries seem to earn by simply holding an occupational title. For example, it is common for the average business person to assume that a licensed architect has the capacity to design work of a certain basic standard and that all accountants can perform competent accounting. However, credibility does not come with a title in the AV industry.
The reputation of a company can begin with the certifications it earns and promotes to its customer base. For example, the InfoComm CTS program is among the certifications that lend credibility to individuals in the AV industry, as the RCDD does for the Structured Cable industry. Programs built on these certifications to recognize firms also serve to set companies apart. They demonstrate that firms have invested time and valuable resources to train staff and certify employees to meet high standards. AVC currently has nearly 80 percent of the Technical and Sales Teams holding the basic CTS. Out of 25 team members, we also have 4 individuals with a CTS-I, 4 with a CTS-D, and 1 with INCE Certifications.
These certifications are certainly valuable but are only partial contributors to a company’s reputation and viability in the AV market. Just knowing how to do the work doesn’t mean good work will be done. Today’s environment is highly competitive and how an AV company stands behind its workmanship and tools is another driving force to earning and maintaining customer trust and maintaining long-term credibility.
Consumers (both at the consumer level and business level) look to warranties for peace of mind in their investment. Strong warranties imply a high standard of quality in the materials and workmanship of the product, whether it is an air conditioner, an automobile or an AV system.
Some AV firms guarantee their work for 90 days while others opt for 12 months. As practitioners, don’t we expect the systems we design and integrate to work well beyond these periods? In our minds, any solid company that believes in its product should drive a message of confidence to its customers. That is why AVC has raised the bar.
We now warrant our workmanship for 3 years. We want our clients to know that we stand behind our work and systems. AVC delivers a high level of service, quality, and reliability. We offer tools that clients can depend on for their business today and into their company’s future.
If we as an industry truly want a higher level of credibility with our clients, then I challenge the legitimate Systems Integration firms to step up to this longer warranty. It will enhance the image of the industry as a whole, and help distance each of you from the untrained, unprofessional competition.
About the Author: Tom Peters is president of Applied Visual Communications and a 35 year veteran of the AV industry. He is a Past President of InfoComm and is an active volunteer in efforts to innovate and improve the AV industry.
About Applied Visual Communications, Inc.
Applied Visual Communications, Inc. (AVC) is a Women Owned Small Business founded in 2006 by industry veterans Carole and Tom Peters. AVC is a premier Audio-Visual Systems Integrator which designs, builds and maintains visual communications systems for conference rooms, training rooms, classrooms, network operation centers, demonstration/sales rooms, auditoriums, digital signage and meeting rooms of all types. AVC has expertise in audio conferencing, videoconferencing, video walls, digital signage, performance audio, video streaming, presentation recording, control systems and related AV technologies. Located in Herndon, Virginia, AVC primarily serves the greater Washington, DC market.