ROMEOVILLE, Ill. — To improve the customer experience for its national accounts clients, Protection 1 has introduced the SiteView application, allowing customers to view images of equipment installed at various locations on P1’s eSuite Web portal.
Typically, a security director managing multiple sites is not always able to be present during the installation or upgrade of a security solution. To keep customers informed on the process, technicians capture video footage or images of the newly installed equipment on an Android device. Using the SiteView app, installers place the photos on P1’s centralized location, which pushes data to the customer Web portal.
Customers are then able to view images of site surveys, installation progress and virtual site walk-throughs. The new app also works in conjunction with the company’s recently introduced Equipment Inventory capability, which allows customers to view reports of site equipment inventory.
The firm began developing the app in February 2012 at the request of CEO Tim Whall, who wanted to improve customer experience by ensuring that all technicians, including third-party subcontractors, have performed a top-notch installation job, P1 CIO Don Young tells SSI.
“We wanted to make sure that there was a method to verify the workmanship, as well as the look, feel and design of equipment for national accounts with remote locations for the customer,” he says. “We didn’t want our national account customers to call their own employees to take pictures and then send them via E-mail. That’s a very inefficient process.”
During the beta trial, P1 deployed more than 550 Android smartphones to its entire technical workforce, including subcontractors, to test the efficiency of SiteView.
“A lot of companies deploy sophisticated tablets or smartphones to their sales force,” P1 Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer Jamie Haenggi tells SSI. “Our philosophy has always been that we start first with the closest to the customer experience. Our technicians are interfacing with customers on a daily basis in terms of their service.”
Because SiteView provides a visual walk-through for clients, P1 technicians can show customers how a properly installed system should look. For example, during the pilot testing for the app, one installer took photos of side-by-side control panels — one installed by P1, the other by a competitor. By doing this, the technician was able to demonstrate how poorly executed the other company’s installation was compared to P1’s, according to Haenggi.
“The customer never sees poor installations because it’s often tucked away in the back of some storage closet,” she explains. “When control panels are shoved away like that, a lot of times it can lead to service problems down the road. By having the quality of the P1 installation next to it that’s so detailed, clean and neat, it gives the customer insight on what a quality job looks like. Plus, the client will have less service problems down the road.”
Additionally, SiteView enhances the customer experience by assisting the tech support department. Often when a customer calls in to report a system malfunction, the customer service representative is blind to what the end user sees on his end, thus frustrating the client. However, with the new app, the technical support agent can now pull up the customer’s site and view what the client is describing, helping to expedite a technical assistance call, Haenggi says.
For the most part, P1 engineers had very few challenges developing the technology, according to Young. However, one hiccup needed addressing. With various national account clients, it would be easy for technicians to mistakenly upload images from an installation site to the wrong customer’s account. Thus, P1 created a filtering process to allow electronic security contractors submitting the footage to verify that the data placed on the Web portal is accurate.
“Clearly, we didn’t want to risk the chance that images submitted by the field were actually from the wrong location,” Young says. “We expected that this would be a necessary process, and it proved true in the end.”
P1 officials hope SiteView, which officially launches next month at the 58th annual ASIS conference, will have a strong impact in the electronic security industry.
“Over the past two years, P1 has come up with some industry firsts that have been really positive for the customer experience,” Haenggi says. “I think we’ll start to see other companies try to keep up with our customer innovation, which will raise the overall reputation of the industry. That’s a good thing.”
Ashley Willis is associate editor for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. She can be reached at (310) 533-2419.