The Next Big Break
You’ve undoubtedly seen at this year’s CEDIA Expo the ‘Own the Network, Own the Home’ tagline emblazoned across everything promotional. We’ve been promoting this very concept at ihiji for years, as we believe it is as much a key requirement for the survival of electronics systems contractors as it is a huge opportunity.
In fact, as service providers like Comcast, Verizon, ADT and others continue to enter the market with compelling service offerings, our industry is being forced to evolve and expand its scope on an almost daily basis. Therefore, ESC’s must stake a claim on their client’s entire technological ecosystem and own every aspect of the network, from the overall architecture and infrastructure down to the connected devices.
Those who do this will be able to develop lucrative new service offerings as well as proactive and efficient customer support models that would otherwise have gone to another provider.
The key is to engineer your business for future success by adjusting how you operate today. You’ve likely built your business on excellent customer service and have a one-of-a-kind relationships with many of your clients, as you’ve taken care of their AV technology needs over the years.
However, let me ask you this: How many times have you rolled a truck for an issue that ended up being as mundane as resetting a satellite receiver or cable box? It happens all the time, and it’s costing you serious time and money when it could be bringing in real profits.
Here’s the deal: Your clients come to you because you are the entity they trust to fulfill their needs and solve their problems. Begin capitalizing on this and leveraging your customer relationships. Change your operational strategy by adding service as a line item, with tiered service levels and approachable pricing options. Implement monthly or annual service agreements that provide your company financial restitution for the service work you perform.
Be ready, though. Mass-market retailers, manufacturers and other integrators who also have the ability to deliver competitive service offerings Over the Top (OTT) of a service provider’s broadband connection will be your primary competition, as they too want to control the revenue stream this generates.
An easy way to capitalize on this is to integrate IP-enabled products and include remote systems management, monitoring and support services to ensure connected devices and their respective technologies continue to operate as they did the day they were installed. By doing this, your company can easily and economically handle reboots, updates and upgrades from afar, putting you in a position to prevail over the cumbersome and costly service providers that are actively marketing their services to your customers.
Making your company relevant by providing advanced technologies, exceptional service and superior support for a fair price ensures that your customers will call you when they want to upgrade to the latest technologies. Becoming their trusted source and paid service provider allows you to fulfill their needs and harvest a new stream of recurring revenue, securing your position in the market well into the future.
For your customers, it’s not about the number of bits, or how much bandwidth their service includes; it’s about the solution and the experience you provide them. Do whatever it takes to become a complete technology provider for each of your customers, and enjoy the fruits of your labor: improved margins, increased service levels and higher revenues.
You have a unique advantage, but the time to execute is now. Own the network, own the home ... and reap the rewards! CR