Oct. 18, 2022 - Crestron offers a service for every dealer who's embarking on any project: Access to a team of support staff who can offer "expert assistance with technical questions, system design, and proposals for integrated Crestron solutions." That includes residential work, too.
John Yohanna, Crestron's Vice President of Residential Sales, digs a little deeper into the benefits of the Sales Support Service: "First, there's absolutely no cost to you, the dealer," he says. "Secondly, it's very easy to request a quote. There's a very low barrier to entry: You're a dealer embarking on your first — perhaps relatively small — project with Crestron? You're in."
"It's a very quick turnaround from request to quote, usually 24 to 48 hours," he adds. "Even if you've designed the system yourself, we absolutely encourage you to send us your bill of materials and ask, 'Crestron, could you check this for me?'"
Perhaps most importantly, the service comes with a promise, says Yohanna. "We guarantee it to be correct. If we forget a part or a piece, then we'll provide it at no charge — so there's additional peace of mind there."
The guarantee is baked into the process of a request. "A single email to firstname.lastname@example.org is all it takes. From there, we'll send you back the quote and say, 'Hey, it looks good. Now you have that guarantee,' or, if something's amiss or a product's been discontinued, we'll alert you and advise you on a fix.
"But in the end, you've protected yourself — in advance — by sending one email."
Let the Experts Help
Yohanna recommends reaching out in the earliest stages of the process. "That provides us detailed visibility because we know every part and piece that's in the project when we see the quote," Yohanna explains. "Often, these quotes are simply bills of materials separated by rooms — very rarely in the residential world is it more than that."
Another benefit: When dealers avail themselves of sales support, they can be assured the system has been designed by professionals who do this every day. "Our people know all of the Crestron parts and pieces and how they work together," Yohanna says. "For example: How much power do I need for 75 keypads without guessing?'" Moreover, there are experts who have specific knowledge regarding particular aspects of any installation. "You'll have experts in lighting control, shades, DigitalMedia, audiovisual, and so on," he adds.
5 Benefits Provided by Sales Support Services
• The service and its accompanying tools are free to Crestron dealers.
• Requests for quotes are easy, and turnaround is fast — usually 24 to 48 hours.
• The service is guaranteed. If Crestron misses a part or piece, we provide it at no cost to the dealer.
• Everyone on staff is an expert at designing Crestron systems.
• The service helps Crestron understand what's in demand — and helps inform production.
The service also creates an excellent feedback loop between Crestron and its dealers. "When we look at what our dealers are installing in a holistic fashion, we have a great idea of what products are in demand," Yohanna explains. That's especially helpful as supply chain issues persist. "When we're making decisions on what to build, often the component parts that we get are used in multiple products, and we can build product A or product B if we have one of these chips. If we know what dealers are going to need — and when — we can make a more educated decision there."
"Our department does three main things," says Ray O'Sullivan, a 22-year Crestron vet who's now the director of Sales Support Services. "Quoting, pre-sale phone support, and chats to continue that support."
O'Sullivan notes that on the residential side of things, we have a very wide-ranging size of firms installing Crestron gear, from those larger companies with tons of in-house staff to smaller operations. "Often though, residential firms have limited manpower or have resources focused on other key areas of the business. This is where we can really assist and help build out that complete scope of work in expert fashion for them, like an extension of their business."
O'Sullivan's staff — which expanded during the pandemic as demand increased — includes a great many former dealers. "I have at least five employees who came from the residential world," he says. "These people are very, very good at what they do."
One point of pride for O'Sullivan and his team is their ability to problem-solve and troubleshoot to ensure that the client at the end of the process is completely happy. "If something's not available, we can find a replacement," he notes. "If a dealer has determined mid-stream they'd prefer Crestron to a competitor, we can quickly create an apples-to-apples comparison. And if an estimate comes in too high and the client balks, we offer value engineering services that can help lower costs." Additionally, if a dealer's unfamiliar with the emerging technology behind a specific product line, O'Sullivan's team has the answers. "Let's suppose we're talking to someone who's unfamiliar with AV over IP — we'll be able to walk them through exactly all that goes into DM NAX products," he says.
O'Sullivan reiterates what John Yohanna sees as the big benefits of the service: "It's a huge time-saver, and helpful to all sizes businesses. We guarantee the quotes we provide. And it's completely free," he says.
"I can't think of another company offering this service — with this kind of guarantee — at no charge to the dealer."