Like most technology, current security systems make their predecessors look ancient.As far as security systems have come over the last few decades, though, the industry has perhaps never seen faster technological evolution than during the past several years. Today, the ability to control a system remotely using an iPhone or iPad has worked its way into the mainstream and it's only the beginning.
Yet as the industry has made strides from 70s rotary phones, to analog dialers and digital communications, many dealers historically have grappled with knowing how to sell customers the "latest and greatest" security technology to increase user convenience and gain additional RMR.
Mastering this skill is more important than ever. That's because in a world where methods of communication are changing rapidly, security professionals who don't embrace new technology and its multiple transformations can put their businesses at risk.
"If customers are engaged with technology and their systems on a regular basis, they're less likely to drop service," said Post Alarm President and Owner Bill Post. "We use the technology of today to make a much stickier customer and protect our business."
Personal service and top technology
Post Alarm began with Bill Post's father, Sam, one of L.A.'s first narcotics detectives in the mid 1950s. What started out as a small guard company founded in a garage grew into an alarm and monitoring business, composed of only a few family members. Today, all members of the Post family work at the more than 50-year-old, full-service alarm company in Southern California.
Post Alarm's philosophy of personal contact has transcended three generations of family owners. It's the philosophy that has helped Post Alarm—which also takes advantage of marketing tools offered by dealer programs such as Honeywell's Commercial Security Systems (CSS) program—navigate through numerous technological advancements that have fundamentally changed how the industry works. The key is using the technology to give prospective customers a personalized experience.
"When potential customers come in to see us, perhaps with outdated equipment and defunct technologies, we provide them with on-the-spot demos to show them the technologies out there in action," Post said. The company has an impressive theater used to demonstrate a control panel, show a remote video of a child returning from school on an iPhone or arm a keypad via an iPad console to show current-day remote technology.
One customer, for example, visited Post Alarm looking for a new solution to arm/disarm a multi-partitioned system. After seating the customer in the Post Alarm surround-sound theater and discussing their current system's capabilities, the company turned the discussion to new technologies. "We showed him the old standby 'workhorse' system he'd been insisting on for years. After showing him what else he could do with his iPhone, the lighting speed of the system helped push him forward. He had to have this new technology," said Post.
From Post's point of view, engaging with customers early and often has helped the company reduce attrition and achieve a steady stream of RMR. "It was true in the era of the rotary dialers and it's still true in today's fast-paced security world. If customers are engaged with a system from the get-go, we see they're less likely to drop service," Post added.
During the last few years the industry has seen customers coming forward wanting additional enhancements and more control over their homes and businesses—consequently, this scenario has helped move the industry to start enhancing security technology. Cluing customers in on the industry's evolving technologies, especially the ever-changing world of alarm communications, has gone a long way for Post Alarm.