I recently caught up with Mike Grubb, VP of Marketing, Legrand | AV Residential Solutions to talk about the ongoing response to COVID-19, virtual training and education, and what constitutes the ultimate home network. Part 1.
Maureen Jenson: What was Legrand | AV’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Mike Grub: Our top concern was always keeping our employees and customers safe. In addition, constant communications continue to be a top priority in this time of uncertainty. Our leadership team has done an amazing job of keeping our internal and external teams informed with frequent and clear updates. From those developments we continue to communicate to our integrator channels on the latest on product availability, manufacturing supply and status on our support teams, logistics teams and sales workforce.
MJ: How have you supported dealers during this time?
MG: One of the earliest things we did was to reschedule all in-person trainings as virtual webinars. Then we did some “voice of the customer” research to develop a better understanding of what our dealers’ and distributors’ needs were to be successful in this new business climate, and we based all efforts on that.
One of the initiatives that resulted from our research was to develop co-branded marketing materials that our dealers can send to their customers or post on social media to open the conversation between the integrator and the customer. They don’t have to create the content, so it minimizes the time and effort they have to put into their marketing initiatives.
One example is a work-from-home promo we put together to help encourage their customers to improve their networks and WFH spaces, because that was a huge need as everyone started working from home. We also ramped up our training offering and developed programs to help integrators prepare for future growth, as well as launched cost-effective product solution bundles.
MJ: How have you strengthened your virtual education and training?
MG: In addition to our vast library of recorded webinars and trainings, we increased the number of public webinars. These are available to anyone who’d like to attend and stored at the Legrand University. We’ve also started hosting more private webinars for dealers who’d like additional training, and have implemented private webinars for distributors, buying groups, and rep firms that want to promote education and training to their dealer base.
MJ: With everyone WFH, the network has taken a leading role. Have you seen an uptick in networking gear sales? And what constitutes the ultimate home network?
MG: Yes we have, and a lot of that demand is coming from integrators themselves. Since most continue to be working from home, many of them are taking advantage of our personal use program to upgrade their own equipment. This in turn has created awareness among their customers, who are finding out that they don’t have to go through a .com marketplace. Instead, they can buy networking gear from their integrator, who is able to send it to them pre-configured and then walk them through a quick setup over the phone, if they are still uneasy having service companies in their homes.
In terms of the ultimate network that actually depends on a number of factors, like the level of service you have coming into your home, the size of your home, and the demands you are putting on the network. The needs of someone in a two-bedroom apartment will be much different than someone in a large house with six 4K TVs, security cameras, and a streaming audio system. So in terms of equipment, there’s no one “best” solution for everybody. But in general, a solid network will have a Gigabit router, wireless access points featuring the latest technology, and a controller that helps actively control roaming in your living space, and manage network switches for connected devices.
Stay Tuned for Next Week when MJ Talks to Mike Grubb about the latest Legrand AV product introductions and ProWatch, what it is and how it gives dealers the RMR advantage! Part 2 here.