CE Pro April 2021 - 33

his installation service, but his original plan
was to keep the installation service completely standalone from the retail business.
" I realized that TVs were becoming
more complicated, and with flat panels
coming along, I realized that eventually
there would be a TV in every room of the
house, " he recalls.
" I knew that the TV was going to be
the focal point in every home. We kept
getting requests from customers, including
Michael Jackson, to set up their AV systems
and many of them needed an equipment
rack. So in 1998 I decided to open a separate 5,000-square-foot showroom in Santa
Monica dedicated just to custom installation. It was a bold move and very expensive
real estate on Wilshire Boulevard. We built
a brand-new showroom with a home theater, kitchen, master bedroom and other
areas of the home. "
The name Just One Touch was Akhtarzad's emphasis on the ability to control all
the technology in the home simply via a
single interface. That idea led him to add
Crestron as his first control manufacturer.
Soon, Just One Touch was using the showroom to teach classes to homebuilders and
host wine-and-cheese events for clients.
Eventually, Akhtarzad realized that the Just
One Touch installation service could be
incorporated into Video & Audio Center.
" About seven or eight years ago, I
noticed from our customers at Video &
Audio Center that home integration and
the smart home is what they were seeking.
They didn't want to have to come into a
separate showroom anymore. Customers
were not just asking about the products,
but also asking us to 'design' the system
by going to their home. They needed assistance. So, I realized that Just One Touch
did not need to be a separate showroom
anymore, " he notes.
That realization led to the evolution
of incorporating a Just One Touch section into every Video & Audio Center
store, and establishing a sales procedure
that includes custom installation. When
customers enter the retail location, the
Video & Audio Center sales " concierges "
are trained to engage them in conversation
about their needs. Akhtarzad says every
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C2104 pp30-34 Just One Touch.indd 33

Within a couple of minutes of speaking with a customer, the
'sales concierges' are instructed to bring up Just One Touch by
noting, 'By the way, we have an in-house custom installation
team that can come to your house and make everything simple
and easy for you and your family to operate.'
person in the organization is cross-trained
as a sales concierge, " from the security
guard to the cleaning lady to the cashiers. "
" Our sales concierges are just like a concierge in a hotel. They don't know how to
build a Crestron or Control4 system, but
they know how to understand the customer's needs and then hand it over to a project manager, " he says. " Within a couple of
minutes of speaking with a customer, the
sales concierges are instructed to bring up
Just One Touch by noting, 'By the way, we
have an in-house custom installation team
that can come to your house and make
everything simple and easy for you and
your family to operate.' From that initial
conversation, the next step is to have one
of our project managers visit their home. "
Once the project manager schedules the
appointment and tour the home with the
client, Akhtarzad says it is not uncommon
for the scope of the project to expand.

" Instead of just one TV, it routinely
becomes multiple TVs and the home network, " he notes.
One other byproduct from that close
engagement with clients is procuring service agreements. Just One Touch aims to
get a service agreement from every customer if possible, " even if they are not
interested we will try, because I know that
once we get into that customer's home for
any issue, the agreement will pay for itself.
We aren't selling a service agreement per
se, we are selling the value of our business
itself, " he adds.
To handle service, starting in 2000
Just One Touch/Video & Audio Center
added a 24/7 hotline for clients. Lead
technicians at the company rotate on-call
to respond to inquiries. They routinely
get back to a customer within 10 to 15
minutes, no matter what time of day or
day of the week. Akhtarzad even responds
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CE Pro April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CE Pro April 2021

CE Pro April 2021 - 1
CE Pro April 2021 - Cover1
CE Pro April 2021 - Cover2
CE Pro April 2021 - 1
CE Pro April 2021 - 2
CE Pro April 2021 - 3
CE Pro April 2021 - 4
CE Pro April 2021 - 5
CE Pro April 2021 - 6
CE Pro April 2021 - 7
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CE Pro April 2021 - Cover3
CE Pro April 2021 - Cover4
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