4.3.18 – SSI – Mark Matlock
Following up after alarm and service calls allows you to ensure customers are satisfied, in addition to giving you an opportunity to upsell your services.
Throughout my years in the industry, I’ve noticed a troubling sentiment from many alarm dealers who think that “No news is good news! As long as my customers are paying their monthly monitoring bill, my customers must be happy — life is good.”
As a result, many alarm dealers seem to be afraid to proactively contact their customers because they believe that “rocking the boat” will cause customers to question the value of their alarm system and ultimately cancel their monitoring.
I’ve found the exact opposite is true. As a good industry friend of mine touts, “Nothing bad ever happens when you proactively reach out to your customers.” I completely concur. I encourage alarm dealers to be proactive about reaching out to their customers because there are many benefits to be gleaned from doing so.
Remember, there are many other folks who are reaching out to your customers as well: the competition. “But how,” many dealers ask? “Why would I contact them and what would I say?” Let me give you a few examples.
First, every alarm dealer should have access to reports from their central station that show the previous day’s alarm activity from their entire account base. These reports are not only a treasure trove of information, they also give you many reasons to call your customers to show them how you have their back.
Someone in your office should be deciphering these reports and responding accordingly.
Make Time to Follow Up After Alarms & Service Calls
For instance, when you see that a customer has had an alarm, you have the opportunity to call them to make sure that everything is OK. Contacting your customers after an alarm event will not only impress them and provide added peace of mind; it’s the perfect time to ask them if they need anything and to share your latest offerings.
In fact, some studies have suggested that immediately following the alarm is the best time to get referrals from your customers. You can do the same with low priority signals such as power failure and low batteries. Proactively calling your customers on these signals can this help you deal with any issues on the spot and may also help you generate service revenue.
Another good time for positive customer outreach is calling them after a service call. By doing so, you’re able to ascertain your customer’s level of satisfaction and you also have the opportunity to assess your own internal quality and technician accountability.
Questions like: Was the technician on time? Was he or she polite? Did they remove their shoes, clean up, explain everything, etc.? This type of follow-up builds confidence and wins customers for life — and more referrals!
It also keeps your technicians on their toes, which results in better service. During these calls, don’t be shy about asking your customers for referrals. After all, if you’re doing a good job, your customer should be happy refer their friends and family.
Highlight Additional Offerings, Enticed by Discounts
On another note, I’ll bet that many of your customers are looking into additional services like home automation, lighting, locks, cameras and the other bells and whistles they can connect to on their tablets and smartphones. However, they may not be aware that they can get these all of these things from you.
Calling your customers after an alarm or trouble condition is the perfect time to tell them about the rest of the products and services you can offer. This not only increases the value of their system, it could also generate more buzz for your business as they show off their new gadgets!
You can also create greater value of such offerings that they can’t get from the competition by offering discounts on alarm monitoring for subscriptions to new services. Giving up a month or two of monitoring fees for customer satisfaction and loyalty is a very small price to pay in the long run.
Some of these new services may even give you the opportunity to earn a few more dollars each month, which will also increase the value of your company. Of course, customer contact doesn’t have to be a phone call (although I’d recommend it) — all of this can also be accomplished by email or with a bill stuffer.
The point is that reaching out to your customers should be a regular practice for your company. I’d go so far as to say that failure to reach out to your customers will ultimately lead to higher attrition as they look to other service providers.
By contacting your customers regularly you will be proving the personal service, security and peace of mind on which this industry was built. With that responsibility comes a higher burden of customer care than just about any other on-premises industry.
So, don’t be afraid of contacting your customers. Instead, be proud to show them constant value and that they made the right choice of having you as their alarm company. You stand to benefit from more potential referrals, more service revenue and more recurring monthly revenue. Try it and I think you too will agree that nothing bad happens … rather, a lot of good is just waiting to happen.