Last year, I wrote about the importance of customer service. But we should also remember that customer service doesn't just apply to the way businesses treat their customers. It's is a two-way street. And customers should also use logical thinking when interacting with a dealer or service technician.
Below are some tips based on what I typically do, or think about, when going through the process of purchasing a product or service. These are also the things that I hope my clients, and customers overall, would think about, too.
Have a Budget and Know What You Want
It is difficult for anyone, not only dealers or specialists, to help you when you don't have a budget or know what you want. Even as a THX-certified advisor, I can't give an answer if you come to me and ask "which 65-inch television should I buy?" Price for a TV of that size can vary considerably based on a number of factors. To determine a budget, beyond basing it on your financial situation, and how much you are willing to invest, you also need to consider for what and where you'll use the product. For a TV, for example, will you be watching mostly movies? Sports? Where are you going to put it? In a light-controlled room? Living room? Office? All of those factors will change my answer, beyond just knowing how much you want to, or can, spend.
Recognize That Good Labour Isn't Cheap
Don't expect good work if you want it cheap. It takes years to hone a skill - any skill. Proper tools are not cheap either. You don't want a fresh out of school surgeon with non-sterilized tools to do work on your body, do you? In the same vein, you should be willing to pay for the proper installation of technology products if you want the job done reliably, and don't want to have to deal with potential frustrations later.
Never Haggle For Service Based On Your Equipment Price
Hanging a 32" TV and hanging a 50" TV takes the same amount of labour, time, and running cost to the technician. It takes the same amount of time for the installer to come to your house as well, regardless what you want them to do. Calibrating a cheap 50" TV or a high end 75" TV makes no difference to the calibrator. Installing a $200 car speaker is the same as installing a $1,000 car speaker. The same goes for the labour to mow a 50 square foot lawn, which would be the same whether the home is in a borough or an upscale area. So never haggle for a service fee based on the price of the item you bought, as these two things don't really relate to one another, unless one product also happens to take less time to install than another.
Get Your Place Ready
Nothing is more annoying than coming to a client's place to do a calibration and discovering that they haven't even taken their new TV out of the box. Or worse, spending the next hour trying to find the remote. Then there's that issue of a delivery person coming to a house with a new 85" TV to encounter a driveway that has not been cleared, and is covered with snow, or worse, ice. Be courteous and sensible.
Don't Play With the Settings
It's really annoying when I receive a phone call saying, "I accidentally pressed the reset button." That's not an accident. You need to deliberately go into a setup menu and sub menus before even seeing the reset function. After pressing reset, there's even a confirmation notice before you can finalize the move. Don't play with the equipment after it has been professionally set up, and certainly don't lie about it once you've done it.
Also, if someone is there to do something like calibrate your display, or install a security system, don't blame them because your Sonos speakers don't work (unless the same dealer sold you both, and you've hired them to set up an entire system.) Not everything tech-related in your house is the purview of an installer coming to do a single job.
By both the dealer/custom integrator/installer and the customer/client taking stock of one another's needs, and being courteous and professional, the buying process can be that much more pleasant.