How to Reach More Customers With Interactive Services

Remote connectivity to home alarm systems is allowing dealers to offer new types of services to their entire customer base. Two-way voice functionality between the central station and the client is driving additional revenue.

Many of today’s new alarm panels are two-way voice compatible with the monitoring center. Two-way voice over cellular capability has also become an attractive option for the growing number of wireless-only households, providing a logical bundle with interactive services.Take a Hands-On Approach

As alarm systems become more highly sophisticated, salespeople must refine their pitch accordingly. Gone are the days of flipbooks and generic door-to-door tactics; reps must provide an exciting visual and interactive presentation that engages the potential customer. The younger demographic (20s, 30s and 40s) is likely more tech savvy, but older prospects need a clearer demonstration of the system’s many capabilities.

For this very reason, some dealers invest in tablets for their reps. It’s a long-term approach; though more costly in the short-term, a couple of sales will quickly cover the increased overhead.

Product expertise is essential. Dealers can seek out local vendor representatives for in-person or over-the-phone training, and dealer programs typically provide similar assistance.

The key, sales experts say, is driving home the day-to-day value of the new services to customers. Rather than manually setting their alarm once or twice a day, they now can manage their system anywhere at any time, and in turn, enjoy greater peace of mind.

The logic is simple: the more a customer uses their panel, the stickier they’ll be.

“From an attrition standpoint, a customer is less likely to discontin
ue their service or feel like their system is not as valuable if they’re using it every day,” Miller says. “They have access to it at their fingertips on their phone or their tablet.”

Catching the Next Wave

What are dealers pushing next?

Home automation is quickly gaining popularity. Z-Wave technology allows homeowners to remotely manage their locks, draw their shades, adjust their thermostats and switch on/off their lights to stay energy efficient. Vacationers can even use the “Home Alone” technique — giving potential intruders the appearance of a full house by scheduling lights in certain rooms to pop on and off at specific times.

Video monitoring currently has less penetration, but it appears to be the next step in upselling existing users. By placing high-definition cameras in and around their homes, customers can take live look-ins at front-door visitors, locked cabinets or baby cribs. Strategically-placed sensors will also snap photos of motion and send pictures via E-mail or text.

Industries everywhere are offering more convenient services to consumers, and the security business has joined in. It’s a brave new course, and a lucrative opportunity for dealers.

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