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Select Security’s Smart Choices Spark Success

Select Security earned SSI's Installer of the Year Award by achieving record growth while revamping its operating platforms, improving efficiencies and rolling out new services.

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Like a choice cut of prime beef that has been carefully aged, seasoned just right and cooked to savory perfection, during the course of 10 years Select Security has combined all the essential ingredients to become one of the industry’s most delectable dealer companies. The master “chef” behind it all is Select Founder and CEO Patrick Egan, an SSI Industry Hall of Famer whose insatiable appetite to compete and succeed has resulted in his business being served up the just desserts of SSI’s 2014 Installer of the Year (Small to Midsize Company, 150 or fewer employees).

“Working with the Select Security team day in and out, I know how much their hard work and dedication deserved to be recognized outside of the company,” says Egan. “While everyone was absolutely delighted and surprised when they received the news that the industry had recognized their efforts, it also served to further the passion we have for delivering exceptional protection and service.”

The Lancaster, Pa.-headquartered Select Security’s 150 employees work out of nine Northeast and Midwest branch locations. Monitoring services are provided nationwide by sister company Security Partners’ three redundant centers (including the recently acquired California-based Mace CS).

During 2013, Select Security not only grew its revenue and customer base ($12 million, 15,000+), but also took major strides overhauling its operations and customer support structure. The firm transitioned to new enterprise resource planning, sales force automation and monitoring platforms. One result of that undertaking is automated instant communications sent to customers based on key sync events in the installation and service process.

Other highlights of Select’s year included implementing training and skill evaluation tools to ensure techs deliver the best service, and revamping its Web site to optimize its utility. In the community, a fire tragedy spurred the company to fund raise and donate hundreds of smoke detectors. Let’s take a closer look at how Select Security delivered such a full and satisfying menu.

Customers Enjoy Latest Tools

“In a marketplace crowded with competition, we’ve differentiated ourselves through the higher level of service and customer attention we provide,” says Select Security President Steve Firestone.

Ensuring that statement soars above hyperbole is the company’s infrastructure investment that allows management to understand customers with fine granularity. Each department, from accounting to customer service and beyond, is empowered with the knowledge and tools necessary to provide a first-class customer experience.

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Select’s customer care department is cross-trained and reps are assigned according to their specialized disciplines and territories. In addition to telephone support, they also provide online guidance through E-mail and a planned online chat service was in development at press time. The company uses technology from Sedona Office, WeSuite and Bold Manitou to leverage customer information into ongoing relationships.

“This past year we launched one of the best received service tools we’ve ever had, our automated customer notification service,” says Firestone. “By leveraging our ERP software, along with a host of others, we are able to provide our customers with up-to-date notifications of their service tickets and installation projects. Not only do we send them appointment times and reminders, we also send them information on the technicians who will be servicing them, including photos.”

The company has also implemented an automated survey program that proactively reaches out to customers immediately following each installation and service job. The short surveys evaluate salespeople and technicians on both their hard and soft skills, as well as the customer’s satisfaction with the company as a whole. Results are sent directly to regional general managers who provide either deserving praise or immediate resolution when a problem arises.

The company also holds weekly customer experience evaluation meetings involving representatives from each department. The objective is to take an honest look at successes, and discuss areas with room for improvement and creating a plan to course correct. According to Firestone, it’s all part of Select’s comprehensive and unique blend.

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Article Topics
Business Management · People & Profiles · Sales & Marketing · SAMMY Awards · Select Security · 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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Sales & Marketing, Select Security