We sat down with Service Manager Matthew Roller to dive into Acoustic Architects’ approach to service. Read our interview with the smart home expert who is elevating every aspect of the connected home from behind the scenes.
What is your background in home tech?
IT and marketing. One of my first jobs was in a computer shop, building small computers, small networks, and doing repairs.
How did you join the Acoustic Architects team?
I was working for a competitor for a while. It was the same place Spencer and Aaron worked at before starting Acoustic Architects, a company called Sound Advice. Not so much heavy on home automation, but heavy on home audio. But home automation has always captured my attention more. I’ve always liked the gadgets and gizmos.
I met Spencer and Aaron because our paths kept crossing, with one of us needing a product from the other.
Tell us about your role as Acoustic Architects’ service manager.
Essentially, I’m kind of the go-to guy for all of our existing customers. Once the system is complete and installed, it finds its way over to my plate. For the first few years, we do basic maintenance, software updates, fix a product, not too much. As the system hits five years, six years, seven years, we try to successfully revamp the system in a way that makes the most sense for the client.
What are some challenges you face?
A lot of times we just have to get the customer to engage briefly, even for a couple of minutes, so we can go in remotely and address a small issue, rather than wait a day or two for a tech to get out there. So we have a growing number of clients willing to spend the two to three minutes on the phone letting us address specific issues rather than me having to pull in a tech in a day or two. That’s kind of my challenge and advantage all in one. It’s a great advantage, and can take care of a lot of problems very quickly.
The expectation really always should be that these systems are great, incredibly advanced, do amazing things but every once in a while, like a Tesla, we need to do a little bit of work to keep them running.
What kind of expectations do clients have?
That we respond quickly, are readily available. We are acclimating to a seven-day-a-week operation and will have a dedicated Saturday and Sunday technician to respond, troubleshoot and go out to work on any issues that arise.
How do you communicate effectively with clients who might not be tech savvy?
That’s always the challenge. The most successful people in our field are the ones who can translate things into layman’s terms. Explain proper expectations, what a client should and can expect if they make a change. We explain the possible outcomes.
It’s all about expectations and their experience with technology. If they have a better understanding of technology, the more realistic their expectations of us will be. Those who don’t deal with technology as much might have unrealistic expectations of how everything should work. It can create challenges. My expectation would be that I see my customers twice a year but no more than that.
What is Acoustic Architects’ approach to service (for both homeowners and architects and interior designers?)
At the end of the day the architects and designers are homeowners as well. So our approach is to make sure they have the best experience they can have while they are home, as far as reliability, performance, then customization. We want to make sure they’re getting what they want.
What is Acoustic Architects’ value proposition regarding service?
We are really working on rolling out some service plans that will allow us to provide the highest level of service. So we like to think of it more as a client care maintenance plan, where we get ahead of the client, get out there once or twice a year, do software updates, get everything running. But most importantly just to be available. If the issue happens at 10 pm, we get it done by 9 am the following morning; it’s a huge relief. Especially if we can do it remotely; if not, then in person. We’ll do everything we can to make it happen in the quickest time available based on the product.
What is some new smart technology you’re excited about?
We’ve gotten so much into lighting lately. I love it. Between having smarter lighting that adjusts to daylight, adjusts to you, to your schedule to get you into circadian rhythm—I think that’s amazing. And on top of that just getting the internet to the point that it’s bulletproof. We’ve become internet-reliant. I’m always going to suggest whatever it takes to make the internet 99.9% reliable. When the internet fails, there are very few things we don’t rely on it for. That’s actually where I spend a lot more of my time than other subjects. I can make someone’s life far better by focusing on the internet than audio and video.
Can you share an anecdote or trade story?
I was actually at a high profile celebrity’s 50th birthday party. There was a lightning storm the night before that took out equipment. I had to go to the house in Miami, and her birthday party is that night, her concert is that weekend. I wrapped up just as she finished her presentation. It was one of those weird little days where I was stuck in a reality tv show happening around me.
What do you see in the future for home tech and service?
As strange as it is, everything will go to the cloud. Less and less hardware will be put in, and more services will be on the cloud—which is why I’m always more concerned about everything on the network working.
Responsive Living, the term coined by Acoustic Architects founders, Aaron Flint and Spencer Hauldren, is the concept of seamlessly enhancing the client’s unique lifestyle using smart home technology. Responsive Living allows you to interact with your space via touch input, voice command, and predictive automation, placing you in full control of your home.
If you would like to learn more about integrating new systems into your smart home system, feel free to connect with us. We will be happy to schedule a demo with you.
For more information, visit acousticarchitects.net.
Like what you read? Spread the word and share on LinkedIn.