Are You Utilizing the Benefits Offered by Your Central Station’s Automation System?
Your central station’s automation platforms often offer innovative tools that can be used to enhance your customer’s experience and satisfaction with their alarm system.
When choosing a monitoring company for your monitoring service, most companies consider reputation, response times and customer satisfaction levels. However, you might want to take a closer look at what your monitoring center’s automation can do for you.
Automation platforms often offer innovative tools that can be used to enhance your customer’s experience and satisfaction with their alarm system, and therefore, your company by creating new and different customer engagement opportunities.
From false alarm reduction to faster, more efficient customer notifications, your monitoring company’s automation will likely have the tools you need to maintain your customer database and provide them with the best possible service.
Take, for instance, false alarm reduction. It’s an ongoing industry challenge with end users, monitoring companies, alarm dealers and authorities. Many false alarms are accidentally caused during the arming and disarming process when customers are distracted with other things such as their long day of work, or an armload of groceries.
Then, when your customer is trying to disarm the system, or outside getting the rest of their bags, they get a call at home or on their cellphone from the monitoring center asking for a passcode, which may or may not be answered resulting in an unnecessary police dispatch.
One of the easiest ways to combat this common type of false alarm using your monitoring company’s automation system is to use a cancel code into your customer’s system. The code can also be programmed in the automation software to cancel the alarm from further action, or downgrade the priority of the alarm signal and turn what could have been a police dispatch into a positive “customer engagement.”
For example: A call to your customer to see if they’re OK or simply advising your customer that an alarm was received, but also acknowledging they were able to deactivate it quickly using their disarm code to indicate help is not needed.
Another way to reduce false alarms using your monitoring company’s automation system is utilizing automatic SMS text messaging, or two-way chat service. With the increasing number of telemarketing and robo-calls, customers and phone carriers alike are blocking unknown callers which can make it difficult for monitoring centers to engage with responsible parties after an alarm activation.
SMS text and two-way chat removes that obstacle and helps promote a much faster notification time. Most people prefer text messages over phone calls, and with secure two-way chat features, they have the option of chatting with other responsible parties and their monitoring center to make more informed decisions on alarm activation.
They may even offer the ability to electronically cancel an alarm right in the chat room before it’s delivered to a dispatcher for action or escalate the alarm if someone needs help right away.
Your monitoring company’s automatic SMS text or interactive voice response (IVR) systems may also be leveraged to improve service by providing immediate notification to your customers of low priority signals. This not only gives your customers the information they need and in the way they prefer, it also allows your monitoring company’s dispatchers to focus delivering fast response times on high priority alarms.
Your monitoring company’s automation system also has a number of reports that can provide valuable insights on opportunities to improve customer service such as alarm activity, trouble signals and failure to test. Missing or outdated information reports are also extremely important as inaccurate information can slow down your monitoring company’s response time and even compromise your customers’ protection during alarm processing.
Not only can you use these reports as a means for a customer touch to follow up on the well-being of your customers, answer questions, schedule service and update information, but some studies suggest the best time to get referrals is after an alarm event — especially if you’re following up with them to see if they’re OK.
Most reports should be able to be run on-demand using your monitoring company’s dealer access portal or can be automatically scheduled to show up in your inbox every morning so you can use them to proactively schedule service. The added bonus of contacting your customers as a result of the reports available from your monitoring company is that you can use it as an opportunity to inform them of new initiatives and services your company has launched.
Next, check with your monitoring company about the remote tools that are available for your company to help cut down on the time your team has to spend on the phone. Mobile apps give techs the ability to instantly access account data onsite, place accounts on test and check signals once the test is complete.
This not only gives them the information they need and complete control over their service call, it’s a big timesaver over repeatedly calling the monitoring center and taking time away from you customers.
Some of the best automation systems are also integrated with industry-leading CRM platforms that give your office staff the ability to tackle important tasks such as sales tracking, installation and service scheduling, billing, and so much more. CRMs usually sync your data automatically with the monitoring center so customer data doesn’t have to be entered into multiple systems.
There are a variety of ways that your monitoring center’s automation platform can help you manage your business more efficiently and help you take your customer engagement to the next level. If you haven’t spoken to your provider recently about updates and services, you are highly encouraged to do so.
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