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Practices Make Protection Bureau Perfect

A fanatical devotion to taking care of customers courses through every facet of The Protection Bureau. It lies at the heart of the family run firm’s success, popularity among its clientele, community and the security industry, and being named an SSI 2009 Installer of the Year.

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One of the services customers really appreciate is being able to reach attentive and knowledgeable staff 24/7. The company gauges its success and clients’ satisfaction by distributing a survey during every field call. Customers commonly receive personalized thank you notes and small gifts, and are apprised of any changes or other information via letters and bulletins.

The company has invested in a GPS system tied into every service vehicle such that if there is need for another part or something else, a nearby truck can roll to the site without unnecessary delay or hassle for the customer. Long-time clients have been known to receive upgraded or new equipment at no charge, while new customers are discouraged from buying what they may not need.

“What separates The Protection Bureau from the competition is a solution-driven approach to providing electronic security services,” says Ladd. “Many companies are largely product-focused. We seek the solution and then determine which product will do the best job.”

Building Relationships
For The Protection Bureau, customer service cannot be pigeonholed into one aspect of the business as it is the central principle that defines the company’s culture. As such, it guides management’s thinking and decisions regarding business and marketing strategies.

“Our philosophy has always been that a client should choose our company because we look long-term, and we seek client satisfaction before profits,” says Ladd. “We know a satisfied client is a long-term client, and a long-term client provides steady revenues. Word of mouth is a great referral tool, but the trick is to keep the good words about you coming.”

The company consistently looks for ways to get its name in front of customers. All invoices and mailings include at least one marketing piece. The Protection Bureau also hosts Lunch and Learn sessions in which prospective clients are not only educated about possible solutions to their security needs but also ways to finance them.

The company uses software to track, measure and review its sales and marketing initiatives. Upon the conclusion of a specific, targeted program, wins and losses are tabulated, reviewed and evaluated. These findings are then used as the basis to develop future planning.

Meeting management’s high expectations for satisfying clients necessitates employees are well trained in all areas of the business, but especially customer service and the latest security technologies. Blending all of those factors together ensures an optimal customer experience.

“We look for employees who have the qualities of honesty and hard work ethics,” says Kotke. “We provide a training matrix for each new employee and give them a roadmap. We hold seminars, symposiums, vendor days and encourage certification for our technicians and engineers.”

The Protection Bureau also understands establishing, nurturing and maintaining strong relationships with clients means creating the same types of bonds with its own personnel, who in turn help customers to continue feeling connected. Hence, employees must not only be well trained, but motivated, content and fulfilled enough to make The Protection Bureau their career choice. That’s why the company places so much emphasis on employee-centric practices and activities.

The company sponsors many events for employees and their families, many of which include special T-shirts and other incentives. Breakfasts and luncheons are often provided and tied into monthly events and contests. Staff members engage in baseball games and socialize. Employees receive 10- and 20-year anniversary gifts, and are routinely recognized for going above and beyond with “Bureau Bucks,” which can be redeemed for gifts.

“Today, in order to compete with the mega-companies, one must be well-managed, well-staffed and financially stable,” says Ladd. “To better compete in the market, our company has always tried to operate as if it were larger, offering better benefits and opportunities to our employees, maintaining databases, staying well-stocked, and training, training, training.”

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Article Topics
Business Management · Customer Service · Features · Industry Awards · SAMMY Awards · The Protection Bureau · All Topics

About the Author
Scott Goldfine
Scott joined SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in October 1998 and has distinguished himself by producing award-winning, exemplary work. His editorial achievements have included blockbuster articles featuring major industry executives, such as Tyco Electronic Products Group Managing Director Gerry Head; Protection One President/CEO Richard Ginsburg; former Brink’s Home Security President/CEO Peter Michel; GE Interlogix President/CEO Ken Boyda; Bosch Security Systems President/CEO Peter Ribinski; and former SecurityLink President/CEO Jim Covert. Scott, who is an NTS Certified alarm technician, has become a respected and in-demand speaker at security industry events, including presentations at the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) Annual Meeting; California Alarm Association (CAA) Summer and Winter Conferences; PSA Security Network Conference; International Security Conference and Exhibition (ISC); and Security Industry Association (SIA) Forum. Scott often acts as an ambassador to mainstream media and is a participant in several industry associations. His previous experience as a cable-TV technician/installer and running his own audio company -- along with a lifelong fascination with electronics and computers -- prepared Scott well for his current position. Since graduating in 1986 with honors from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Radio-Television- Film, his professional endeavors have encompassed magazines, radio, TV, film, records, teletext, books, the Internet and more. In 2005, Scott captured the prestigious Western Publisher Maggie Award for Best Interview/Profile Trade for "9/11 Hero Tells Tale of Loses, Lessons," his October 2004 interview with former FDNY Commander Richard Picciotto, the last man to escape the Ground Zero destruction alive.
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Customer Service, Features, Industry Awards, SAMMY Awards, The Protection Bureau