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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 Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration, directing all editorial aspects of the magazine brand in print, electronically, online and in person. The voluminous, innovative and award-winning body of work he has distinguished himself with since joining the publication in 1998 includes groundbreaking research, landmark features, leadership roundtables, high profile case studies, and many industry exclusives. Well versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is a nationally known figure in demand as an industry presenter and subject matter expert to mainstream media. He is responsible for developing many unique products and programs, including the SSI Industry Hall of Fame, Control Panel (industry’s first E-mail newsletter), Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ), Marketing Marvel, Installers of the Year, Integrated Installation of the Year, Security Industry Census, Systems Integration Study, Installation Business Report, Operations & Opportunities Report, Commercial End-User Study and Security’s Fantastic Fleets. Recognized for his relationship building, integrity and lead-by-example ethic, Goldfine is a solutions-oriented team player who advises and collaborates with industry dealer/integrator, consultant, distributor, central station and manufacturer icons, luminaries and executive business leaders on a daily basis. He is also actively involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), PSA-Tec, SAMMY Awards, International Security Conference and Exhibition (ISC), Electronic Security Technology Summit (ESTS), Mission 500, Electronic Security Expo (ESX), ASIS Int’l, Honeywell CONNECT and other supplier conventions. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee and PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council. A certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast, Goldfine graduated with honors from Cal State, Northridge with a management degree in Radio-Television-Film. His professional media endeavors have encompassed magazines, Internet, radio, TV, film, records, teletext and books. Goldfine resides in the Charlotte, N.C., area with his wife, son and three cats.
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