I recently talked to two ProSource members, Patrick Mulligan of Pacific Audio and Communications and Phil Murray of ListenUp about business effected by supply chain disruptions, the changing face of business, and what customers want now! Part 2 (Part 1 here.)
Maureen Jenson: How has your business changed this past year?
Patrick Mulligan: We are busier now than pre-COVID with demands for Network upgrades, security (cameras and monitored accounts), and whole-house audio since more people are at home now. As COVID was starting up we could see issues with this, so we got proactive and created SOP’s to have company-wide policies. I believe we were one of the 1st integration companies out of the gate with COVID SOP’s. In the SOP we have CDC and WHO guidelines along with some of our internal recommendations. We then shared these on our social media platforms, website, and blogs. We also have a letter for customers and what we need to see before going on a service call or construction site. When we get a call for service or a new job startup, we ask a line of questions. For example, has anyone in the household or on the construction site been sick in the last month? How long have they been in the house? Anyone recently flew in from the mainland? We also mention our teams will have proper PPE and cleaning supplies on them as they enter the home or construction site. Things are being delayed on the job sites as well.
Phil Murray, ListenUp: We are doing a lot more emails and social campaigns. We were very promotional in these campaigns when our stores were first closed down. Fortunately, we were able to do installs when our stores were closed. We had some customers cancel installs but we had a lot of customers who wanted us to update their home systems and wi-fi networks for working from home.
Maureen Jenson: What do your customers want now?
Patrick Mulligan: Networks are the most asked for, then security, then whole house audio and in that order. Also a few media rooms, but since we are in Hawaii, media or theater rooms are not as common as the mainland, the client can walk outside and get REAL 3D MEDIA! Oh, and voice control is being asked for more than it was just 8-9 months ago. Touchless control.
Phil Murray: Home theater has made a real comeback and as mentioned in my last answer, wi-fi networks. Custom systems continue to do well. People are really into cocooning. With movie theaters shut down, people are into improving their home theaters. 4K and 8K TVs continue to do well.
Maureen Jenson: How are your customer’s daily habits changing and how do you meet that tech need?
Patrick Mulligan: NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORKS are the hot button. Since most of our clients are in that 1-10% category and they are working from home they need their networks stronger than ever. They also need to find a work life balance as well as being home so that is where Whole house audio and media rooms come into the conversations. Especially outdoor audio and video. They are in Hawaii after all so the outdoor settings are the thing.