In Car Tech: Getting On Board
It hasn't always been an easy road for Custom Sounds though. Like many other retailers, they have felt the pressure from stiff price competition in the core car audio products category, specifically with head units. "About seven years ago we made a conscious decision to embrace integrating with OEM car audio systems instead of just defaulting to taking everything out and that effort pays huge dividends to us these days. Factory stereos really can be your friend," comments Cofield. When they need to determine the best ways to integrate aftermarket products in their customer's vehicles, Custom Sounds turns to their proprietary in-house database system that queries the sales person with qualifiers about the options already present in the vehicle. Based on the input, the database provides the range of recommended solutions in audio, video, Bluetooth, safety and security product categories. "We even have this proprietary database accessible as an app for our sales associates to access on their smartphones while engaging with the customer out at their car," added Cofield. Yet another way Custom Sounds is bringing high tech to the customer experience.
These days Mike Cofield will tell you that it's a matter of seizing opportunity and creating that opportunity when it may not necessarily appear in your lap. Custom Sounds is successful as a specialty 12-volt retailer because the company understands that you need to consistently expose your business to new faces and that prospective customers need to break the mental barrier of presuming independent retailers are always too expensive for them to visit. With a tried and true recipe of high profile sales events, well merchandised showrooms and highly trained sales people making that critical customer contact, it's no wonder Custom Sounds is on track to have another record year. l