Attendees of Home Technology Association’s ‘Best of the Best’ Customer Experience Summit Delve into Business Building Topics During Full Day of Presentations
Summit delivers sophisticated content to help HTA Certified technology designers from best-in-class integration firms supercharge the customer experience.
LOS ANGELES, CA and NEW YORK, NEW YORK (August 27, 2019) – The Home Technology Association (HTA), the first and only third-party certification for home technology installation companies, has put the cap on another successful ‘Best of the Best’ Customer Experience Summit this month, with bi-coastal events held in in Los Angeles and more recently in New York. The Summit offers unparalleled opportunities for comprehensive next-level education for technology design firms to supercharge their customer experiences.
“The content we offered our HTA Certified members at these exclusive and carefully designed Summits is unlike anything else available at other conventions and industry events. It is for experienced integrators operating at a very high-level, designed for making seasoned veterans better at what they do,” says Josh Christian, director of certification for HTA. “It’s a fast-paced, fun event, with great takeaways to bolster our certified members' businesses, along with extensive networking opportunities.”
Stamp of HTA Approval Drives Business
Based on comments from technology integrators attending the Summit, being an HTA Certified integrator is invaluable to their businesses. “HTA Certification is like having a stamp-of-approval that appeals to our high end clientele,” said an integrator from New Jersey.
“The Summit provides yet another benefit of being a member of HTA—quality education designed to help integrators achieve high levels of service to differentiate themselves from other integrators in the industry. The information shared by the presenters and opportunities to collaborate and network at the Summit will help us refine our business to provide our clients with an even higher level of service,” added Nick DeClemente of Elevated Integration, Armonk, N.Y.
Hosted by HTA Certified dealer Ed Gilmore of Gilmore’s Sound Advice, at his showroom in the heart of New York City, the Summit offered integrators a chance to collaborate with peers in a relaxed, comfortable environment. During breaks in the presentations, attendees were invited to experience a custom Kaleidescape demo in the private theater.
Key Takeaways from HTA’s ‘Best of the Best’ Customer Experience Summit Sessions:
Packed into the day were several informative presentations from several customer service experts. They shared with Summit attendees proven tactics to develop deeper connections and better business with their high-end clientele and subcontractors.
Building Customer Confidence
Integrator Eric Thies of DSI talked to the crowd about how clients want to trust the person they hire, and HTA certification is a trust builder that give clients confidence. “Your HTA Certification should be mentioned in every single first meeting with a client,” he advised. “It’s an amazingly effective tipping point. It changes the conversation from price to competence.”
Becoming Your Clients’ Electronics Concierge
There’s a big difference between functioning as your clients’ electronics advisor and their home electronics “concierge.” Ben Pearson, owner of BMP Lifestyle, LLC, shared with Summit attendees his experiences providing private lifestyle services to luxury homeowners. “I’m there to serve my clients in any way possible; it’s akin to having a luxury hotel experience, but in a home,” he said. “When clients return to their primary home or vacation residence, it should be as trouble-free as checking in and out of a high-end hotel.” High-end technology integrators, he advised, should provide this same level of white-glove service when working with their clients. From the company uniforms to the method of communication with clients, there are a number of small refinements that can be implemented to develop greater customer service and loyalty.
Project Consultation: A Money-Making Opportunity
Dealers so often get mired in the work of designing and installing gear that they forget about the consultative part of the equation. Customers want and need your advice. In a panel discussion led by Josh Christian HTA director of certification, Scott Marchand and Andrew Southern shared their success stories as home technology consultants. “We don’t even mention product names during our discussion with clients,” offered Marchand. “We are brand agnostic and instead focus on collaborating with other trades and the customer to ensure that the end result is exactly what they envisioned.” He and Southern agreed that luxury clients find value in having a technology consultant guide them through the design and integration process. Integrators were encouraged to promote their technology design services to trade partners so they can be part of the conversation early in the project. “This is a profit center too many integrators do not take advantage of,” added Christian.
Personality Traits: Understanding Them Helps Close the Deal
Drawing from his experiences in the military and as an entrepreneur, Dan Caulfield, an executive, sales, and growth coach, described four key personality types that integrators commonly encounter and how to best communicate with each of them. It’s not just customers who integrators should strive to understand. Architects, interior designers and builders also fall into one the four personality categories: Driver, Analytic, Expressive or Amiable. Depending on who you are dealing with, modeling your mode of communication for that particular personality style will cause less friction and better outcomes, Caulfield said.
Service: Don’t Give it Away
“Service has evolved into a modern operation of a dealer’s business,” remarked Joey Kolchinsky, founder and CEO of OneVision Resources. During his presentation, which focused on delivering and charging a fair rate to clients for post-installation services, Kolchinsky shared OneVision’s business model and advice on selling service contracts to luxury homeowners. OneVision divides service into several tiers, which provides clients with options and integrators with a path for upselling customers who start with basic service plans to more comprehensive coverage. He advised integrators interested in implementing a similar plan develop a dedicated, fully trained service department to offer the type of customer service clients want. Kolchinsky also established the importance of creating boundaries for clients so the integrator stays in charge of setting his client expectations instead of losing control of his business by having to manage several different client requests.
A Word from the Sponsors
Shorter presentations from some of the Summit sponsors were also on the agenda. Sharing news about their businesses were Access Networks, Kaleidescape, Sonance, Crestron, AudioControl, Savant, and OneVision Resources. Other sponsors of the event included CINEAK and One Firefly.
HTA Certified residential technology design and integration pros are a highly differentiated group of firms who have been rigorously vetted to ensure the best possible experience for homeowners and the trade partners who support and serve them. To highlight the work done by these firms, a new hashtag and related social media campaign are launching in conjunction with the HTA Best of the Best Customer Experience Summit. #HireHTA will showcase, celebrate, and illustrate HTA Certified technology design firms and give trades and consumers a better way to recognize the benefits of hiring an HTA Certified firm.
Learn more about the HTA and the HTA Best of the Best Customer Experience Summit by visiting HTACertified.org and by following the Home Technology Association (HTA) on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Houzz & Pinterest. As of August 27, 2019, there are 189 HTA-Certified firms in the U.S. and Canada. A list of certified companies can be viewed by clicking here.
About the Home Technology Association
The Home Technology Association (HTA) was formed to create a preeminent standard of excellence for the Custom Installation (CI) industry. HTA Certification is a rigorous-to-achieve standard that homeowners, builders, architects, and interior designers can rely on to find the very best residential technology integrators for their projects. Technology integrators who have passed the demanding 60+ point vetting process that focuses on exemplary customer service and aftercare support and a positive business reputation will be HTA Certified and recognized as part of an elite group of dedicated, highly skilled firms. The stringent criteria were developed by industry veterans, which were refined by the HTA Board of Advisors, which includes top executives from Sony, Lutron, Crestron, Control4, Savant, and more.
The mission of the Home Technology Association is to raise the bar in the CI industry by giving exceptional integrators a prestigious third-party endorsement they can use to differentiate their offering and ultimately, win more projects. Not only does this drive more business to the integration community, it also helps ensure consumers have consistently great technology experiences. The result will be a dramatic transformation of the reputation and overall presence of the integration community and those who serve it. Learn more by visiting HTACertified.org and by following the Home Technology Association (HTA) on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Houzz & Pinterest.
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