Security Business

MAR 2019

Find news and information for the executive corporate security director, CSO, facility manager and assets protection manager on issues of policy, products, incidents, risk management, threat assessments and preparedness.

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60 Security Business / / March 2019 of delivering exceptional customer service. ese are not one-time events – you must dedicate your time and budget every year to reinforce a cul- ture of customer obsession. Customer Service: Success will require you to build a team fanat- ically focused on making every customer experience an exceptional one. e sales process must be sim- ple, easy to understand and on your customer's terms. Installation has to be on time, fast, engaging and helpful in eliminating the stress of a new technology. Every subsequent engagement – from billing to ser- vice to technical support – has to leave the customer with a peace of mind they could never get from a remote service provider. e result will be customers who would no sooner think of installing their own alarm system as they would replacing their roof. You must develop systems that make it easy to do business with your company and that prioritize the customer experience over all else. is requires a skeptical approach to everything you assume about how business should be done. If you make it difficult for your customer to request a service call, you better find a way to simplify that process. If your customers find navigating your phone tree a confusing and frustrat- ing experience, you better pay atten- tion. At every turn, your team has to be relentless at eliminating obstacles to delivering on the promise of a great customer experience. Technology: Success will require you keep pace with the latest smart home technologies and how they inte- grate with security systems to simplify and improve the lives of your cus- tomers. To do that, you must engage aggressively with top vendors who will do the heavy liing for you by evalu- ating and partnering with manufac- turers of the many devices – garage door openers, door locks, thermostats, etc. – that enhance the value of our installed systems. You must regularly introduce new technologies to your existing custom- ers and help them with an easy path to upgrade their systems so they see no gap between what you can deliver and what the latest new entrant is offer- ing. For too long, the approach of our industry has been sign, install and forget. Many companies just assumed that existing customers would con- tinue to provide the recurring revenue to fund continued growth and took them for granted. at formula no longer works, as these customers are hammered by advertising from competitors offer- ing new services with enticing entry pricing. e only answer is to regu- larly engage with customers and open the door for them to upgrade their systems as they desire. Yes, this will require "reinvesting" a modest amount in these customers; however, the alter- native is to have them poached away by aggressive competitors. Marketing: Success will require that you build a strong local brand that your customers associate with reliability, trust and peace of mind. is does not necessarily require advertising – though oen it can play a critical role. Most importantly, it will cement the value of your brand in the minds of target customers in your market and earn the recommen- dations and referrals that will come when you deliver a world class cus- tomer experience. ese voices can be amplified by encouraging online reviews and social media attention. Choose your Customers Wisely: Success will require that you concentrate resources and focus on those customers and market seg- ments that play to your strengths. Consider ending the pursuit of cus- tomers who do not appreciate the value you are offering. Abandon them to these other competitors – customers who are not willing to pay for the peace of mind we provide are better le for others to service. If you do decide it best to stick with the old model of getting a con- tract signed, quickly installing a system and walking away, get ready to find yourself in the cross-hairs of these new, well-funded entrants as well as by traditional dealers who are following these tenets. at will not be a pleasant place. Indeed, it is a tall order and the path is not easy; however, that is the beauty of our free market capitalist system – competitors with new ideas challenge conventional wisdom and market players must adapt and evolve to survive and prosper. We can pros- per – if we use these ideas to leverage the strengths we have and turn per- ceived liabilities into assets. ■ » John Cerasuolo has been President and CEO of Nashville, Tenn.- based ADS Security since 2007. ADS was established in 1990 and currently serves more than 100,000 businesses, industrial facilities and residences throughout the southeastern United States. Learn more at You must regularly introduce new technologies to your existing customers and help them with an easy path to upgrade their systems so they see no gap between what you can deliver and what the latest new entrant is offering. Residential Security

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