Why relationships are critical when selecting an integrator

When you think about selecting a partner to handle your meeting room technology integration, what’s the first question that comes to mind? How much is this going to cost me? Yeah, we can hear you thinking it now. And you’re not alone. When it comes down to the nuts and bolts of implementation, emphasis is often placed on price. Facilities and IT are given lower budgets and still expect to make magic happen.

Don’t worry, we’re not here to say you should blow your budget on meeting room technology.

But it IS important that you balance cost with bang for your buck. The cheaper the solution, the more likely quality will be lacking. Focusing on price over experience and relationships can often lead to incomplete jobs and sub-par delivery- Jobs that don’t get done, don’t get done right, or are completed but don’t work.

At RoomReady, we feel that relationships should trump everything. Why the focus on relationships? Well, it aligns to our belief that partners should build longstanding relationships based on trust. Developing a good relationship between buyer and integrator leads to an environment where customer needs are heard, understood and acted upon. Ultimately, that means better room execution.

Trust is foundational

At the core of a good customer-integrator relationship is trust – and it certainly isn’t built overnight. Your integrator should work to earn your trust throughout the entire process. It begins with your integrator being upfront about the complexities and realities of a particular room solution, and how long it will take to complete. Being transparent throughout the design and installation process creates a respectful relationship, where the implementation team can serve as a consultative voice – and the customer can feel a sense of security.

In a perfect world, this transparency in integration would be the default. But too often, our team finds a customer’s previous integrator didn’t follow that philosophy.

For example, we completed several rooms at the older headquarters of a Las Vegas-based utilities provider. The provider ultimately selected another integrator when it came time to build its new headquarters. It wasn’t long, however, before the provider started noticing corners were cut during the install – and it came back to our team to fix the botched implementation. Because we had established trust during the earlier engagement, the provider knew it could come back to RoomReady to deliver the meeting room experience it needed when it came time to move into their new corporate headquarters (you can read more about the project here).

Trust leads to understanding

Trust may be the core of a good integrator-customer relationship, but it’s the understanding that comes with trust that ultimately ensures a project is completed correctly. There’s nothing worse from a customer’s point of view than trying to explain what you want and seeing your request go in one ear and out the other.

From the integrator’s perspective, that means asking the right questions up front to ensure the room setup, from the screen to the speakers to the lighting, meets a customer’s exact specifications.

Here are a few of the questions we launch a new engagement by asking:

  • What are you trying to accomplish with this installation?
  • What are you using the room for?
  • What problems have you had in the past?
  • What are the must-haves for the space?

Not all rooms are the same – nor are customer needs– so asking these questions is a critical part of room integration. We bake these questions into our RoomReady Way process early, making them central to our Explore and Simplify stages, where we assess and personalize a meeting room solution based on a room’s needs and restrictions.

Understanding leads to better room execution

An integrator should never approach a customer’s meeting room as “just another job.” That’s how corners are cut and mistakes are made, particularly in the closing stages of a project. You know what they say about the best laid plans – an integrator should go back and check their work, even if everything was installed correctly.

RoomReady often finds that jobs we’ve been selected to fix weren’t tested or fine-tuned to the customer’s liking. Even though the room looks like a million bucks, the room controls aren’t worth a dime. Users try to make use of the space and find they can’t get their computer to connect. Adoption and morale tank.

Our team avoids closing on a sour note by certifying each room we install. It’s an extra step that puts us in direct contact with the customer to ensure everything works to their liking – and that they understand how to operate every piece of technology within it. We also record the session, giving the customer a reference point in case they have any questions about room operation down the line.

You can’t hurry (meeting room) love

When a meeting room is in dire need of a repair, it can be tempting for a customer to go with the integrator who gets the job done cheapest and fastest. But this is a choice that often becomes more expensive – and time consuming – down the line when it needs to be fixed (again).

Instead, the best integrators balance cost with delivery, building a relationship with the customer to ensure that every dollar of the budget is maximized. This approach leads to better communication between customer and integrator, smoother installation, and a quicker return on investment from a more functional meeting room.

Bottom line: don’t settle for a one-way relationship with your integrator. Build your meeting room on trust.

Briana Henning

Chief Revenue Officer