July’s annual SSI Best of the Best Issue includes 2014 Installer of the Year (Large Company) Protection 1. Walking the talk when it comes to customer care and service is a leading reason P1 was recognized for excellence. Here, Chief Marketing & Customer Experience Officer Jamie Haenggi lends much more detail to how the company achieves such outstanding results. Be sure to check out my other P1 blog in which CEO Tim Whall addresses how the business recruits and retains top talent.
How does your company provide exceptional service to its customers?
Jamie Haenggi: We provide exceptional service to our customers by keeping it at the center of everything we do. Every employee in every location knows that he/she is responsible for delivering an exceptional customer experience in every interaction. From call centers to branches to corporate offices, each has its own strategy and metrics to measure customer service for every customer. We measure everything and put a daily focus on the opportunity with the most potential for improvement. Data, training, communications and employee engagement to drive discretionary effort are core components to our philosophy of delivering exceptional service to our customers.
What are some specific examples of your customer service in action?
Haenggi: A recent example we can provide in terms of customer service in action is our experience with Rite Aid, a national drug store chain with locations in 30 states. Rite Aid came to us with a tight deadline to convert 4,000 of their locations. Instead of outsourcing the work to subcontractors, Protection 1 created a “Seal Team.” Named for its effectiveness and mobile attributes, the Seal Team was furnished with a new fleet of trucks to help them deploy to new locations at a moment’s notice. Essentially, this was a dedicated installation team for the customer, which allowed for standardized procedures, centralized training, efficiencies of scale and prearranged contingency plans, just to name a few of the benefits. As with all national accounts at Protection 1, Rite Aid was also given a dedicated team of account managers in our National Account Operations Center in Irving, Texas. This team handles everything, including scheduling of the Seal Team, billing, service, and any other issues that may arise. The entire Rite Aid project was completed within the deadline, under budget and to the complete satisfaction of the customer.
Across all of our segments, our customers are satisfied, evident by the 97.3% customer satisfaction rating we are very proud of. This survey is produced on a monthly basis with nearly 100,000 surveys at various points of customer interaction. Specific examples to our customer experience include: removal of our IVR in our call centers so when a customer calls, the phone is answered within one ring; nine times out of 10 the person that answers that call is able to help the customer without a call transfer; the customer typically experiences the benefit of same-day service delivery without additional cost; our Tech Tracker is an E-mail notification that keeps the customer not only informed of the technician’s arrival, but also provides a picture of the tech and his training credentials - an additional layer of security for our customers coupled with the convenience of knowing the technician’s ETA.
A great story about how our people do make the difference is when Customer Service Representative Sharyn Puczylowski received not only a hand written note from a customer, but a gift certificate to Red Lobster, thanking her for her personal customer service and restoring her faith that companies do care about customers.
How is your customer service evaluated and continually improved?
Haenggi: A key metric we look at in terms of our customer service delivery is our attrition rate. We believe attrition is a key indicator of how happy customers are with your service. In 2009, Protection 1 had a 13.3% retail gross attrition. Since then the company has steadily reduced attrition year over year to now 10.8% retail gross attrition in 2013. We constantly look at our longest call waiting stats, along with customer satisfaction, average hold time and transfer rate. We strive for the perfect day, which means all calls are answered in less than 60 seconds, we transfer less than 10% of our calls and no one waits for more than 30 seconds. We’ve got a customer experience team completely devoted to ensuring customers have a positive impression of Protection 1 and they take a Six Sigma approach to our processes that allows us to review and improve when applicable.
In the call centers, we track every call and the reasons behind each call and then we rate each interaction. Our call center plays a front line role in capturing and disseminating data. Each day our report card from the previous day is sent to all levels of the management team showing how each department performed the previous day related to longest call waiting, average speed of answer, productivity and alarm acknowledgment.
When it comes to our national accounts and other select key accounts, we have quarterly business reviews whereby we review the data provided in our custom 1REPORT which looks at data such as number of service calls, percentage of service calls within 24 hours, top five reasons of service calls, top locations requiring service calls, number of alarms, go-backs, and QC scores among other data and operational performance metrics.
In the field, we measure how quickly, accurately and satisfactorily we provide service and installs. Our reports show how many calls we did, how accurately we did them and how many times we had to go back to fix something.
On the sales side, we are able to see line item detail on all of our transactions each day – in real-time. Anyone can look at the activity of our consultants on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. We assign quality scores to our sales, looking not just at volume sold, but credit scores, payment methods and revenue collected up front – all known indicators of a long-term customer.
In addition, because of our unique situation as a security company, our monitoring leadership across all call centers is in constant communication, reviewing data to develop better strategies and constantly looking to enhance the customer experience. Monitoring call center employees are also involved in setting up new accounts or those with complex instructions. This helps us “get it right” from day one.
We keep our data software updated through systematic upgrades and use of the latest technology to keep us informed and efficient. In this way, we provide the customer with the information that is needed in an expedient manner, showing respect for their time and thus improving the overall customer experience. By logging and maintaining various data, we are able to spot trends and areas that may need improvement.
All of the eSuite services that our company offers are in direct response to needs that we learned of via call center intelligence and end-user research sessions. Protection 1 has created many innovative customer solutions by leveraging contact center data and feedback with regard to our customer experience. This learning has helped drive our strategic direction and made us the company known for transformational thinking. The call center serves as our learning lab, and when a problem consistently pops up on our radar, we can take action to quickly address it.