Do You Utilize Your Central Station’s Automation to the Fullest?

Automation platforms often offer innovative tools that can be used to enhance your customer’s experience and satisfaction with their alarm system.

Do You Utilize Your Central Station’s Automation to the Fullest?

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 central station’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. As you know, 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 central station asking for a passcode, which may or may not be answered resulting in a 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 in 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 okay 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 automatic SMS text messaging. Most people prefer text messages over phone calls, and with the onset of robocalls so prevalent, they’re more likely to pay attention to a text than answer a phone call. More and more automation platforms offer the ability to send SMS text messages as a means of alarm activation notifications, with customer cancellation options, making it more seamless to respond to a known false alarm.

Some automation features even offer secure chat room experiences where customers on a call list can join in real-time to share information about the alarm and make better decisions about their security and response. 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.

Chances are your monitoring company’s automation 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, 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. Some of them can be automatically scheduled to show up in your email box every morning so you can use them to 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 such as all the cellular 3G sunset programs, and new services for all of the latest smart home products you offer.

Next, check with your monitoring company about the remote tools that are available for your company to help cut down on the time your techs have to spend on the phone. Automation systems usually give techs the ability to instantly access account data, 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.

Lastly, it’s common for the best monitoring company automation systems to be integrated with leading CRM platforms that offer tools to help you tackle important tasks such as sales tracking, installation and service scheduling, inventory management, billing, and more.  Some even offer payroll services. To make managing your accounts easier, CRMs usually sync your data automatically with your monitoring company so you don’t have to enter data into multiple systems.

If you haven’t checked out what your central station automation platform can offer you to help manage your business with more efficiency and assist in engaging your customers in new ways, contact them to get up to speed on how they can better support you!

About the Author

Contact:

Sarah Salazar is Account Manager at United Central Control.

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