Best Practices for Implementing Parasol in Your Company: Part 1

Best Practices for Implementing Parasol in Your Company: Part 1



Thanks to all of the dealers who joined us for Episode 2 of Parasol Connections! Our guests did not hold back sharing their tips and advice for exactly how they implement and sell the Parasol service! Chris Sterle (Acoustic Design Systems), Olivia Gibson (Elite Media Solutions), and Henry Clifford (Livewire / Parasol) shared so much great advice, we captured some of their wisdom in a recap for you. Here are just some of the great things they shared on Episode 2.

Why Parasol? 

We can tout the numerous benefits of Parasol’s 24/7/365 service all day long. But what makes our dealers decide to go for it? For Chris at Acoustic Design Systems, it was the need to give their service department some relief and offer better support options for clients.

“We are very service focused and long term customer service focused. We do about 1,000ish projects a year and needed to find a way, as the years ticked by, to make sure we could always properly and best support those long term customers.”

For Olivia and Elite Media Solutions, the pandemic is what pushed them to embrace the idea and go all in. 

“We needed to give our clients better service. We’re really in the service industry – you can’t just do a job and walk away. When the pandemic hit we saw the huge need for people to have remote support so we just decided to go for it. We have seen tremendous success.”


Rollout: What you should know

Whether you are a bigger, process driven company like Acoustic or a smaller more nimble company like Elite, we’ve got you covered. Here are some great tips shared by our guests about the Parasol system, what you should know, and the stumbling blocks they overcame making the switch.

“Parasol does a fantastic job providing literature and information on how to properly address each of the different devices and set them up so they can then provide the best service to your customers. As long as you have a plan for your team, you use the plan that Parasol has already put in place that they already know is successful, it works really, really well. It’s pretty seamless,” says Chris.

Olivia agreed that having a plan and doing your research ahead of time was important but also advised that it was key to understand what we [Parasol] require from your team. She also stressed the need to communicate exactly what the service entailed to the client. One lesson they learned early on was that their clients just assumed they would be talking to a person who was familiar with their house. 

“We had a client recently who was really frustrated with why he was being asked questions. We looked at it internally and realized he’s frustrated because before he was able to say my son’s bedroom with all the Red Sox memorabilia […] We had to pivot and explain that the 24/7 support guys are the experts in the product and fixing your problems, they’re not the experts in your house to know which bedroom is which,” explains Olivia. 

Once Elite realized that’s how their clients think, they pivoted to communicate to clients that they’re not just calling down the street. Once clients understood that, the service was well received.

“The biggest thing is that it’s ok to be flexible and adjust things after they’re rolled out,” Olivia advises. 

Henry warns to be ready to see big gaps in your current processes and be ready to address them and embrace improvement.

“When Parasol started solving issues they also started escalating issues to us to sort out. I remember gaps in our game as far as dealing with escalated service requests. If we didn’t have that nailed down, that showed up real quick. Parasol has made us a better integration business,” he says.

Chris says overall you should be malleable and take advice from others. “We are not alone and don’t have all the answers. There are so many smart people in our industry. Don’t be close-minded to someone’s great idea. Respect the process and make sure your process goes in line with your goals. Don’t be turned off to a process because you think you know more.”

Tips for rolling out internally

Ready to get started but not sure where to start? The first step is to plan your internal rollout and get buy-in from employees. During the episode, Chris shared that he started with a plan before he rolled it out to his teams. 

“It really will work if you do your job as an owner/manager and have a plan in place prior to rolling out to your team,” he says.

Part of that plan was getting his team to help develop the process together before rolling it out to customers. 

“We test everything in house first before we roll it out. We are very process driven and so we wrote a dead nuts perfect process for doing the entire thing. Everything from the first time talking to a customer, how we’re going to implement it, how it goes into our RMR billing cycle, etc.” he explains. “We had our programmers and service techs help with writing the process with how best to roll this out. Employees buy into new processes that are coming from the top down when they are included in the conversation and part of the process. My technicians sat down and went through the Parasol paperwork and had some great ideas,” he shared later on in the episode. 

For Olivia and her team, it was all about taking it one step at a time. 

“As a smaller business we tried to prep as much as we could and understand the process as much as possible. We were a little hesitant and nervous to get started since this was going to be such a big change and a different way to look at service. We just put one foot in front of the other…”

For her team, radiating excitement for the new Parasol system was simply a matter of explaining the benefits to them.

“We are a family business and we treat everyone like family. We value our employees time when they are not at work with their families. If we all work together to get 24/7 in as many homes as possible, that frees up those texts and emails that creep in on the weekend or during the family BBQ. Those systems are going to break and we’re going to have to go back in and potentially do a service call or fix them. But if you have Parasol, and they can look at it and diagnose and cut down that time, it frees up our team to keep moving, keep doing more jobs and be successful as a company. It reduces stress all around for everyone.”

We’ve only scratched the surface with Episode 2! Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog series on implementing the Parasol service where we discuss rolling out to new and current clients and tackle how to handle the “texting VIP” and “telephone tough guys”! 

Don’t want to wait? You can watch the full episode, with way more insights and tips than this blog post, on our YouTube Channel here.

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