Bates Security Puts People First as 2016 SSI Installer of the Year (Small to Midsize Company)
This is the second time Bates has earned the award. The company makes a strong impression on customers and employees alike, resulting in commendable growth numbers.
HORSE racing’s Kentucky Derby is billed as “the most exciting two minutes in sports” and while you wouldn’t typically associate security businesses with such fervor, there’s no denying that what has been taking place not too far from Churchill Downs at Lexington, Ky.-based Bates Security is as exciting in its own right.
In fact, an abundance of enthusiasm flows throughout this company, which routinely thrills customers, stands as a pillar in the community and has notched an annualized growth rate of nearly 21% the past five years. Now that is something to cheer about!
“We show our customers how much they are appreciated every chance we get,” says Bates Security Marketing Coordinator Crystal Newton. “From reaching out to them at home shows to prize giveaways on social media, we encourage our customers to engage with us. We also make it easy for our customers to reach us at any time of the day. We take concerns and issues very seriously and often it is a team effort to rectify any issues that may arise.”
Whether internally with its associates or externally to customers, and beyond that to citizens and those in need, it’s readily apparent the family owned and operated Bates Security puts people first. That approach and resultant business success has returned the firm to the winner’s circle as the 2016 Security Sales & Integration Installer of the Year (Small to Midsize Company).
The award, which Bates also nabbed in 2012, is presented each year to the security company that best meets the criteria of: exceptional customer service; business practices and marketing strategies that ensure success; properly training company personnel; motivating employees; giving back to the community; and contributing to the betterment of the security industry. This year’s runners-up were Reed Brothers Security of Oakland, Calif., and Baltimore’s Securityhunter.
With beginnings that trace back to 1984, today from its single location Bates’ 53 employees satisfy more than 7,300 residential and commercial customers that generated almost $10 million in 2015. While the firm’s top priority last year was providing memorable customer experiences, it also focused on keeping attrition down as well as increasing sales and productivity. Those efforts were supported by creative marketing and, naturally, unbridled enthusiasm.
Cornerstone of Customer Care
Bates Security’s first step in accomplishing its 2015 goals was evaluating the competition. The firm sought to easily differentiate its brand and image, and offer better quality and more efficient service.
The foundation to achieve that was set in 2014 when the company hired an operations manager, Cindy Neuman, to oversee its customer service center (CSC) and service and installation departments. Neuman has brought the three departments together to work closer and more resourcefully, and handle problematic installations, service issues and customer concerns.
Bates considers the CSC a cornerstone of its business model and most important sales and customer retention tool. This team is responsible for taking care of the customer via remote training, making data changes, following up after alarms, testing equipment and much more. There’s also an online version of the CSC to make it easy for customers to contact Bates Security for changes or concerns.
“When taking a call from a customer, we reiterate that the first thing we do on the phone is listen,” says Neuman. “Good service begins with the customer’s ability to speak to a person and share their experience, their concerns or their questions. We also have technicians on call after hours, weekends and holidays to help at any time. Plus many of us are easily reachable after hours.”
Although the CSC is staffed with dedicated professionals, all employees understand that customer service is their primary responsibility. Workers are cross-trained to handle various situations and to be able to take charge of issues when necessary.
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