When you’re in a profession that provides service to consumers, you can expect to receive complaints once in a while. In fact, in SSI’s February issue, Vivint CEO Todd Pedersen probably said it best when he stated, “I don’t care if you’re selling security door-to-door or delivering rides to Disneyland, you’ll get complaints from consumers.” (By the way, you can check out that exclusive interview here.)
Of course, it’s better when your patrons praise your work and customer service skills because it proves that your work is not in vain. This is the case for Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Canada-based SecurTek Monitoring Solutions, which was recently recognized as a 2013 recipient of a Consumer Choice Award (CCA) for Best Alarm System Company for the greater city of Regina.
Established in 1987, the CCAs names winners in 14 Canadian cities through a comprehensive market research survey conducted by Leger Marketing, a market research firm. This year was the first time that CCA presented an award for Best Alarm System Company.
A subsidiary of SaskTel Telecommunications, SecurTek provides monitoring solutions and event related information services through an extensive dealer network and strategic partnerships, for 70,000 customers across Canada. Realizing that it’s not easy to win over customers, SecurTek President and CEO Barry Rogers is thrilled with the win, telling SSI, “We’re proud to be recognized by CCA. Our staff and partners can take pride in their work and efforts to make a difference to our customers’ safety and security.”
Rogers also shared how his company is able to effectively offer superior customer service to its clients. For more details about that, check out the following conversation:
What steps does SecurTek Monitoring take to keep customers happy?
Barry Rogers: We review our customer feedback with all of our staff — especially with staff whose typical duties are to respond to customer service and inquiries.
The feedback we get is from a third-party company that surveys our customers regarding our levels of service. The review focus on our strengths and areas that we could use some improvement, according to our customers.
For example, in 2012, the feedback we got was that customers felt that staff knowledge was the No. 1 one area that customers felt that we did well. The customers also thought that we should continue to focus on this area. So we developed some internal training programs in this area so that our staff increased their knowledge about our products and services and also focused on scripting so that they informed customers on each contact about options that they customer may not have been aware of. The customers found that this was extremely helpful as they we not always aware of new or value-added services available to them.
We equip our staff with the information that customers tell us that we should focus on — higher product knowledge, ability to resolve customer complaints without having to escalate to managers more effectively, asking questions of the customer to get a better understanding of their issues and concerns.
What other types of customer service training do your employees receive?
BR: Initially, when they are first hired, our staff goes through a lengthy and rigorous initial training program. We also provide time each month for mandatory training sessions to reinforce our customer expectations with our staff.
All three of our monitoring stations are ULC [Underwriters’ Laboratories of Canada] certified and we have achieved Central Station Alarm Association [CSAA] Five Diamond certification, which measures our training and metrics. We base all of our training on industry standards from CSAA, the Security Industry Association [SIA] and the Canadian Security Association [CANASA].
With many cities increasing false alarm fees, do you think that helping to reduce false alarms played a role in SecurTek Monitoring earning the Consumer Choice title?
BR: We put a tremendous focus on reducing false alarms, and we have initiated many programs that enable our success, including great partnerships with the police and fire dispatch areas all across our customer base in North America.
False alarm reduction is not just a monitoring station initiative; it starts with working with highly trained partners in our dealer network who are all focused on a quality installation of best-in-class equipment that is regularly maintained for the customer. We also have a top-notch technical support team that works directly with our dealers and customers to ensure that their systems are installed and maintained as well.
Each of our technical support staff has achieved the CANASA Alarm Technician Level 2, which is currently the highest technical standard in Canada. In the central station, we have initiated many programs to reduce false alarms through using enhanced call verification, specialized false alarm training for staff, customer training and documentation to ensure that they know and use the systems correctly.
What does your company do to keep customers happy? Post your responses below in the comments section!
Ashley Willis | Associate Editor