Put Your Customers First When Partnering With a Central Station

When do you consider a job to be finished? Is it after you’ve made an irresistible sales pitch? Is it after the client signs on the dotted line? What about after the installation is complete? How about after the customer has been trained on system operation? Maybe it’s after a system has been upgraded?

Perhaps it’s when the monitoring contract expires?The answer is that, unless you sell the business, you should NEVER consider a job to be finished. A successful security company is one that is always evolving. Evolution has no ultimate destination or state – it is perpetual and eternal, always striving toward improvement.

In business, as in nature, those who do not adapt become extinct, or, as some have said, “Evolve or die.” As America has shifted away from manufacturing toward service-based businesses, adaptation has come to mean focusing on the customer.

As a security dealer, customers are your most important assets, and every effort must be made to ensure their safekeeping. That means communicating with them regularly and building relationships. In doing so, you reap the rewards of long-term loyalty, referrals, and selling new and/or additional services. Even when a customer cancels, you should check back periodically to see if you can reclaim their business.

For dealers who do not do their own alarm monitoring, selecting the optimal third-party central station is a critical piece of this puzzle. Central stations often interface with end users, sometimes under great duress more than dealers. To protect those assets, you need to partner with a reputable and responsive central station.

Security Sales’ “2001 Annual Central Station Roundup” (see page 34) is designed to help you make the best choice for you and your customers. This year is our most comprehensive listing ever, as 48 providers are included (up from 35 in 2000 and 32 in 1999).

As you look through the directory, examine what makes each central station unique and what services they offer; cost should not be your primary motivating factor. Beware of deals that appear too good to be true (see Security Exchange on page 6).

How long have they been around? How many accounts can they handle? How do they combat false alarms? Can they support growth, both in terms of services and accounts? These are some of the questions you should consider. (For more guidance, see “Selecting a Central Station – Are You Sending and Receiving the Right Signals?” on page 28).

Remember that a smart central station alliance could prevent your business from going the way of the dinosaur.

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