Finding the right contract central station is a key ingredient to the success of every alarm company. And, it’s not easy to switch to a new central station once you have chosen one. Thus, the selection process requires a lot of thought and a thorough research process.
Dealers’ top three criteria for selecting a contract central station are excellent customer service for them and their subscribers, UL Listing and location. Other important aspects include up-to-date technology, efficiency and quick response times, well-mannered staff, and reasonable prices.
1. Customer Service Wins, Retains Business
Customer service is a quality that every business strives to improve on. When trying to make a customer happy, a smile, listening patiently or just being helpful when help is needed goes a long way.
Specialized training is another form of customer service. Some contract central stations have a separate portion dedicated to elite dealers.
Most dealers agree that the quality of service they receive from the central station is very important. It is essential for central stations to be able to answer questions, furnish quality operators, have minimal problems, be good to customers and do a good job. If there are problems, dealers like the contract central station to troubleshoot and fix them as soon as possible or at least keep them informed of what’s happening and when things will be up and running.
New and innovative ideas can also help in the customer service department.
2. UL Listing Boosts Confidence in Central Station
If a contract central station is Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Listed, dealers tend to be confident that it’s run efficiently. The Listing means the company has passed rigorous evaluations and met several guidelines set forth by UL.
Having the ability to say you and your central station are UL Listed is becoming more and more crucial to getting jobs. Prospects may not know what it means to be UL Listed, but they do understand quality standards. If you tell a prospect your central station has passed several quality standards and mention some of those standards, they’ll be impressed. They’ll be even more impressed when they see the certificate.
Many high-end commercial clients are required to have a UL certificate for any security installation. That means those companies can only turn to an alarm company with a UL Listed monitoring station.
3. Dealers Care About Location, Location, Location
The consensus among dealers about location is that it’s nice to have the contract central station close by, but it’s not absolutely imperative.
One benefit of having a local contract central station is that if it upgrades equipment, you can go check it out. If training is necessary, it’s just around the corner.
4. Technology Becomes Meaningful Choice
The fact that a monitoring station is equipped with the latest technology is another point that is checked out when dealers look for a new central station.
5. Efficiency, Response Time Saves Lives
When a customer needs help now, a central station has to be ready. This makes efficiency and response time very significant qualities for most dealers in search of a contract central station.
6. Dealers Believe in an Efficient, Friendly Staff
Dealers insist on efficient and friendly staff members at their contract central station who cater not only to the dealer, but even more so, to the end user.
While switching central stations is difficult, it’s not unthinkable, especially if your subscribers are unhappy. They’re your bread and butter, so don’t let your central station get complacent. Keep in touch with your subscribers to find out how the central station is treating them and send any complaints directly to the top of the central station’s personnel.
7. Cost Factors into Sound Decision
Before making any kind of purchase, the question of price always comes into play. Some buyers don’t mind paying a little more if they’re getting something in return, but no buyer wants to overpay, and usually every buyer wants to get a good deal. The same attitude can be attributed to dealers looking for a monitoring station.
Although cost is important and no one wants a lot of money coming out of their pockets, in many cases, paying a little more to get better service is worth it.
Obviously, while cost is important, it has not reared its head as the most important factor affecting dealers’ decisions about which central station to use.