Amherst Strong-Arms False Alarms

Discover the commitment and techniques that allowed Amherst Alarm to break the ice and capture its first Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ) Award.

How have the results meshed with your projections and expectations?
CREENAN: We didn’t know what to expect when we started doing these things, but we know our customer base has grown significantly, and we have a very high rate of referrals from our existing customers that give us new business all the time; we know something is working.

Do you believe your approach/plan should serve as a blue-print for other monitoring centers and alarm companies to follow?
CREENAN: Absolutely. By using these standards and guidelines, for example from the IQ Installation Quality program, there is a blueprint that allows other companies and the industry to achieve a greater customer satisfaction level from reducing false dispatches.


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What about video verification as a tool to mitigate false alarms? Is this being practiced or investigated by Amherst?
CREENAN: We’re using video verification on a limited basis for certain high security applications that traditional systems have trouble with, like outdoor parking lots, remote sights, those types of things. There are a limited number of clients who want the video verification in our market. There’s an additional expense involved for installation and ongoing monitoring, so it’s a specialized kind of client who needs that service.

Looking at the industry, what do you believe is going to hap-pen with police response to burglar alarm systems? Is the situation getting better or worse?
CREENAN: In our region, we’ve seen the police response improve, because there are fewer dispatches resulting in a higher degree of confidence something is actually happening at the home or business. We’ve gotten callbacks on a regular basis from police dispatchers letting us know what caused the alarm, like a broken door or a smashed window or any situation like that. We have a great line of communication with the police and fire departments.

What are some of Amherst Alarm’s overall keys to its business success? Also, what is your top challenge?
CREENAN: We’ve been doing things the right way, according to the IQ standards and guidelines, and are always making sure we’re thinking about what’s the best way to do something for the customer, to make sure they understand all the options available to them.
Our top challenge is recruiting good people to work in our business and ensuring they have the right attitude and aptitude in making a career in the security system industry.

You are very involved in the IQ program, how so and why?
CREENAN: I’m involved with the IQ program because I believe the value it brings to our business is huge. The many things we’ve been able to accomplish over the years are because we’ve stuck to the IQ guidelines and standards in terms of how we operate our business.

From the way we design our systems, the products we select, the installation methods that are used, the monitoring standards that are used, and the customer training we provide, all contribute to a satisfied customer who then uses their system properly and refers other people to us.

Do you believe the PDQ program is valuable to the industry and can help make a difference?
CREENAN:The PDQ program raises awareness for the continued efforts of reducing false dispatches. The more we raise awareness about the problem they can create, the better it is for the industry and the consumer.

How are you leveraging the PDQ accolade to your company’s advantage?

CREENAN: We’re making sure everyone knows we’ve been recognized for our efforts with the PDQ Award. It’s in our Internet marketing, from our website to our Facebook page, and all our print materials will highlight PDQ recognition as well.


Go inside Amherst Alarm in this photo gallery.


About the Author

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Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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