Custom Alarm Excels at Keeping Customers Satisfied — Here’s How

2019 SSI Installer of the Year runner-up Custom Alarm prides itself on a “100% customer satisfaction guarantee” for its post-installation services.

This was among the strongest showings ever for SSI’s Installer and Integrated Installation of the Year Awards. Read about the winners in the July issue of SSI and browse the SAMMY page to read about more runners-up.

Serving parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa from its Rochester, Minn., base, Custom Alarm continues to exceed expectations in all facets of the security sales and installation process, especially in the post-installation services where it prides itself on a “100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee,” according to CEO Melissa Brinkman.

A staff of 68 has produced annual revenues nearing $10 million and 4% growth in 2018, which marked the 50th anniversary for the company, which is also known as Custom Communications. Along with its headquarters, Custom Alarm houses its own UL-Listed, FM-Approved monitoring response center in Rochester, and serves residential and business customers.

“Our customers know they can count on us any time of day or night and that they can reach out to us not just through our main phone, but various members of our sales, installation and service teams respond to calls and emails outside of their normal ‘workday,’” says Brinkman. “Generally we contact our customers within the first 24 hours of a service request to schedule the work and/or complete it within the first 24 hours. We have someone actively engaged in live chat on our website 24 hours a day.”

To maintain such high standards, Custom relies on Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys, which it sends to clients after installations, service calls and inspections. Through the ongoing feedback from customers the company makes adjustments to its service and interaction, and tracks service and installation callbacks on a monthly basis to evaluate for any areas of improvement.

Case in point, Custom managed to identify that technicians were using an inferior screw to mount smoke detectors, which had been falling down, and the company made corrections as well as returned to previous locations to resecure devices with proper fasteners.

Custom points to new customer referral business from existing subscribers as a reflection of its commitment to service, and employs various other methods to promote different areas of its business, notes Marketing & Communications Manager Anna Bradt.

“We offer monthly specials geared toward the different seasons and needs that arise from the seasonal changes. We offer promos for new movers, realtor packages, first responders, veterans and more,” she explains. “We also are targeting specific vertical markets and engaging with partners through lunch-n-learns to discuss ways to improve their safety and security.”

To help keep its own employees satisfied, one thing Custom does is a monthly “Core Values Call Out!” incentive program, through which employees can recognize another employee for something they did to go above and beyond.

Each month a drawing is held, and if picked both the recognized employee and the nominating one get $25 gift cards. No wonder Custom has been among Southeast Minnesota’s “Best Places to Work” for three years running.

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About the Author


Arlen Schweiger is editor-in-chief of SSI's sister publication, CE Pro. He was SSI's managing editor from August 2018 to June 2023.

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