Mine Activity Report Data to Increase Your Company’s Value
Prospective alarm account buyers — especially those with their own central stations — are smart investors who examine the smallest details, and so should alarm dealers if they want to maximize the value of their subscriber accounts.
If you doubt that fact, calculate your company’s value — at both ends of the spectrum — using the widely accepted formula of multiplying the number of subscribers by its recurring monthly revenue (RMR), times a variable factor that ranges from the 20s to the upper 40s.
That variable factor, determined by the collective quality of subscriber accounts, is one you can control if you know what details to look at and how to use that information.
In terms of alarm subscriber activity reports, if you delve into the individual records and examine what each really means, you will likely come away with golden nuggets of knowledge that can be acted upon to better serve your customers, improve your company and add long-term value by boosting that important variable multiplier.
Review Activity Data Daily
Every single day an alarm dealer should review the activity report from its subscribers’ systems.
When there are invalid signals, dealers should proactively address an installation error or correct data entry mistakes right away so the system operates flawlessly. Taking these steps will go a long way toward building a lasting relationship with the subscriber, which is a factor that increases the variable multiplier.
Another reason to look for invalids is to identify trends so you can investigate the root cause. You may uncover a fault in the system design or realize that a particular installer needs additional training. Either way, your company is better off knowing the origin of the problem so it can be fixed with minimal subscriber impact.
Dealers should also look for any excessive signal traffic (like investors do), such as numerous open/close signals from individual accounts. Should an end user have a habit of coming and going more than originally expected, a dealer can establish terms with the subscriber to increase traffic levels so that the account’s RMR is not dwindled away one signal at a time after the subscriber passes their monthly threshold.
Low-battery signals or missed auto tests for established accounts provide dealers a service or upsell opportunity by contacting the end user about the problem. In addition to battery replacement revenue, the subscriber may have changed to a voice over IP (VoIP) telephone provider, thus necessitating new communication hardware, such as radio, GSM or IP solutions. While on their premise, you might entice them into choosing additional services that will increase the account’s RMR.
Other Benefits and Capabilities
Analysis of activity reports may even avert a lawsuit. If you are not reviewing and then addressing the raw data from your customers’ systems, think about how that will play out during discovery, or worse, in the courtroom. Even if you are found not to be liable, wouldn’t it be better to devote small blocks of time to report analysis instead of spending monumental sums for legal defense, as well as time resources?
Although daily analysis may sound like a daunting task for companies with a large subscriber base, your central station technical staff can tailor activity reports to show only the types of signals you select or provide all history from key accounts.
In fact, dealers can receive any system information they want, filtered in a precise manner and sent instantly to them via their preferred medium, i.e. E-mail, text message or fax. Additionally, field technicians can use real-time, online activity reports to test systems during installation. That saves them from having to call the central station when testing individual devices and zones.
While there are many more possible ways to glean account information from activity reports, the point is by reviewing the available data, dealers can make decisions that will help them operate much more profitably and increase the overall value of their subscriber accounts.
Kevin Lehan is manager of public relations for Des Plaines, Ill.-based Emergency 24 Inc. He also serves as executive director of the Illinois Electronic Security Association (IESA).
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