AV Programming Associates was recently presented with an opportunity to work with a new customer—a reputable and respected audiovisual integration company in San Diego. They had already secured a high-profile government project and needed to partner with an experienced, certified Crestron programming company to complete the project. They also needed some help and support regarding the system design and functionality.
After many conversations over the course of a few weeks to gather information about the upcoming project, the customer shared the amount they had budgeted to cover the programming portion of the project. Unfortunately, as the system requirements and scope of the project came into focus, it became clear that our programming costs would be more than double the customer’s budget.
Since we had already spent a considerable amount of time working with this customer, we were concerned that they would not just be disappointed when we told them their budget was far too low, but would also feel as if we had trapped them, since the deadline for initial deliverables was fast approaching. We knew they didn’t have time to switch Crestron programmers and get them up-to-speed on the project in time to meet their scheduled obligations. We were faced with a dilemma: We didn’t want to ruin the relationship with the new customer and leave them in a tough spot, but we also couldn’t do the amount of work they wanted for the budget they had set.
After much careful thought, we decided the direct and honest approach was best. We explained the situation and made sure to answer all of their questions. We were able to reassure them that the project would be successful and completed on time, but we also explained that their estimated budget just wasn’t realistic.
The conversation went better than expected, and the customer said he appreciated our forthrightness and our ability to recognize the true needs for the project. In the end, we were able to come up with a budget that was satisfactory to both us and the customer. The project is now moving forward and we anticipate a long, mutually beneficial relationship with this customer.
Why do I tell you this story? Well, it’s to point out that sometimes, hard decisions need to be made in business. The easy thing to do would have been to tell the customer, “Sorry, we can’t do the job.” It would have left them in a lurch, but we could have rationalized that it wasn’t our problem. The more difficult thing to do was to go to them and have an open, albeit hard, conversation.
At AVPA, we place a high priority on developing relationships with our customers. We want them to feel confident not just in our Crestron programming abilities, but also in the way they are treated. And sometimes that means having a difficult conversation.
We touch on this in our book, Our Code: AVPA’s Strong Commitment to Consistency & Service (which coincidentally just received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Muse Creative Awards). The third chapter of the book is titled “Hard Decisions for Healthy Outcomes”. In this chapter we talk about how the longevity of a company should be of paramount concern, and that while a balanced approach is important, final decisions must be made with the whole company in mind. At AVPA, we are careful not to make short-sighted decisions that jeopardize relationships, and that thinking definitely came into play in this latest situation with this new client.
In the past decade and a half, we have worked hard to build our reputation as respected, reliable Crestron programmers, and also as a company that runs our business in an honest, up-front manner. Because of this, we have many customers, in San Diego and around the country, who come to us again and again to help them with their Crestron programming needs. We’ve formed some great relationships in the process and plan to continue growing our company in the years to come.
If you’re looking for a Crestron programming company with an up-front approach to business, that is experienced and reliable, contact AV Programming Associates. We would love to talk with you about your Crestron programming projects and how we can help.