Roundtable: 3rd-Party Central Stations on Navigating COVID-19, Value-Add Offerings
Wholesale monitoring executives and managers share how the pandemic has reaffirmed their commitment to delivering premium service to their dealer partners and more.
What are the latest technology changes within your facilities?
Phillip Wohlfehrt, Sales Manager, All American Monitoring (AAM): We’ve added new integrations with Alarm.com, with features that include: customer in-app cancel/verify and panic; data integration directly to our dealer portal; and video verification. AAM now offers a wonderful answering service at an affordable cost so dealers never need miss a call. AAM provides a number to point your line to and our skilled operators are trained to answer in your company name, dispatch on-call techs and take important messages such as sales leads, service requests and callbacks.
Andrawos: We have enhanced automated notifications. During the extended stay-at-home orders we saw a surge in high-priority alarm signals. All low-priority alarm events are being processed through automation via SMS text or email notification or automated voice call. The result of this action is that customers are notified instantaneously and alarm operators will be available to quickly respond to high-priority alarms. Leveraging this technology has allowed us to increase our efficiencies and continue to answer all high-priority alarms within two rings or less.
Mary Paratore, Vice President of Operations, USA Central Station: Video monitoring is the newest technological change. All operators are trained, and our software is very user-friendly. USAView is a full-service video monitoring platform. It enables dealers to generate revenue from basic health checks all the way through to remote guarding. AI is applied for solutions requiring loitering detection, anti-societal behavior and monitoring restricted areas.
How do you train staff to deliver the latest technology as well as customer care?
Jay Autrey, Chief Customer Officer, Brinks Home Security: In addition to comprehensive new hire onboarding and access to an internal training platform, our employees receive one-on-one coaching on troubleshooting the latest technology and the key success behaviors for proactively addressing customers’ needs. Brinks Home Security focuses on the customer as the center of everything we do. In addition to protecting what matters most for them, we also look out for them when it comes to industry news, technological enhancements, and transparent contracts and pricing. We are also committed to following best practices for sales and protecting our customers from those who use disreputable sales tactics.
Iverson: Our initial training has significant customer service modules. We also utilize a learning management system to provide constant learning and refreshing of our team’s technological as well as service skills. Our technology and dealer services team also attends a variety of in-person and virtual training courses to learn new technologies and capabilities both from within the industry and from other valued learning sources. We then work to cross-train our other professionals with that knowledge through lunch-and-learns as well as other informal information sharing opportunities.
Andrawos: NMC’s comprehensive and expansive training program includes a 90-day initial training program, TMA Five Diamond Certification, six-month certification, one-year certification, and specialized training for video and intervention specialists and lead operators. We also offer ongoing training for any areas of weakness identified in our quality control process.
NMC has an entire education division that provides the initial as well as continued training to all employees, in addition to providing valuable educational resources to dealers. Our training methods include classroom instruction with industry-leading professionals, video instruction and extensive hands-on experience through an exhaustive list of real-life simulations with varying intensity levels.
We test and evaluate every aspect needed to fulfill the duties of the position. Trainees obtain direct feedback from the on-job leadership team so they can make adjustments to their progress accordingly. By the end of the program, all trainees who become full-time employees must meet their KPIs.
What are some of specific value-adds your company offers dealer customers?
Wohlfehrt: With our proficient support and data entry team we are always there to assist and help dealers grow. We offer free email and/or text messages for alarms, troubles, opens and closings. We also provide a free dealer portal to view their account information, place accounts on and off test, and many other great features.
Teresa Gonzalez, President, United Central Control (UCC): One of the greatest value-adds for being a UCC dealer is our Grow Your Business program. We pride ourselves in making sure our dealers have the education on products and services they need to flourish. This program is a culmination of several resources to help them make more informed business decisions. Other value-adds include: mobile app for dealer technicians; QuikChat alarm notifications to end customers allowing for automated request or cancelling police response; automation open API for easy integration of third-party solutions; Alarm,com’s full suite of services integrated with UCC; and ASAP to PSAP active.
Lehan: EMERgency24 is responsible for most of the industry’s firsts in terms of technology and service development. We were the first to have video, to use the Internet for dealer and subscriber communication, and many other milestones over the decades. More recently, we were the first central station to offer an active shooter solution. This allows alarm contractors to provide a service in high demand and it gives them a way to monetize the population of a building, as the charge is based on a per-person rate.
Paratore: Our DealerWeb portal, USAlink, the dealer app, and the opportunity the dealer has to work with our marketing department to promote their brand are all powerful value-adds. In addition, our nationwide boutique redundant centers give the alarm dealer the regional support they prefer, and the longevity of our team delivers a consistent subscriber experience. Describe your company’s approach to newer technologies/service offerings.
Niles: Security is the gateway to IoT in the home. Offering smart home integration is crucial for home security providers, including Brinks. We are seeing an increase in customers who want video included as part of a smart home solution. With video analytics, a customer can see what is happening in and around their home, whether they are on the couch or on the go. Our doorbell camera is popular as it allows for contactless deliveries to your home, while allowing you to still speak to your delivery person. We are also seeing customers use our indoor cameras to watch their children while they are in a different room, or to check on their pets when they are away from home during the day.
Andrawos: We devote tremendous resources to staying ahead of the latest trends and monitoring technologies on behalf of our dealer partners by having major integrations with most manufacturers. For example, for mPERS, we have recently established a Numera Platinum Partnership and demo program that provides our dealers with new RMR opportunities. Additionally, we continue to invest and expand our exclusive Netwatch Proactive Video Monitoring service. Our mission is to provide our dealer partners with as many high-yielding RMR opportunities as possible
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