The use of audio and visual (AV) equipment has dramatically increased in recent years. From the technological complexities now involved in running a live event, to video-conferencing becoming part of a standard communications toolkit, not forgetting the simple matters such as getting your laptop ‘to talk’ to the projector at a presentation. Regardless of the environment you can be sure that when AV fails it’s always at the worst possible time, usually involving the most senior of clients and guests. So when the AV technician enters the scene, he or she needs some very distinct skills in order to resolve the technical problem quickly, have the confidence to put the people involved back at ease, and leave an outstanding and lasting impression.
Training for AV teams is often overlooked, with technicians telling us that they’ve basically learnt on the job along with the help of their trusty advisor;“Google”. While feeling ill-prepared for anything that can be thrown at them technically, there is the additional problem of the situation itself. The thought of walking into a conference with a 300-strong audience and an irate presenter all glaring at you while you try to fix the problem can be a terrifying experience.
At Mitie Client Services we wanted to address this and so created the ‘AV Academy’, with the aim of professionalising the specialist skills required to be an exceptional AV team member, both in terms of customer service and technical competence.
After months of research and development the AV Academy was launched in the autumn of 2013. It consists of five modules, including a mixture of live classroom training, e-learning, individual projects and co-operative cross-training. Team members have the opportunity to share knowledge and skills that will help them to complete their projects, achieve their personal goals, and implement their knowledge for the benefit of the customer experience. The training is bespoke to each team member in line with the daily operational AV requirements of their specific role.
The feedback from those that have been through the AV Academy so far shows that it’s achieving the right results. Here are a few comments from our delegates:
“It’s easy to go into your shell when clients ask questions about AV, but I have been able to find the confidence in myself to tackle the issues head-on, and to share this confidence and manage it for my team.”
“It was made clear to me that I need to keep the client informed about what the actual problem is, without baffling them with jargon.”
“The AV Academy was very refreshing, enjoyable and fun. I liked the filming activities and it was good to sit back and watch myself engaging with a potential client and see how I come across. One thing I have come to realise through this programme is that we pay too much attention to the meeting rooms and equipment, and forget the client and how they feel – we need to focus on the client as well.”
“It was very interesting learning how to meet the expectations of different client needs and make sure that everybody is happy, and that the AV technician it is seen as confident, full of knowledge and a very helpful person on all occasions.”
To support this new initiative, Mitie Client Services has become a member of the world’s leading AV industry body, InfoComm International, cementing our desire to be at the forefront of this industry.
In these economically though times, while many companies are decreasing the amount of development and training opportunities for their teams, we passionately believe that you must invest in, and look after your teams and in turn, they will look after your customers!
If you’d like more information about the AV Academy, please get in touch to find out more by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Ana Canabarro, Senior Operations Manager, Mitie Client Services – Follow Ana on Twittter