"Ten years ago customers were not very engaged with their systems. Standard alarm equipment hadn't evolved with the rest of technology, despite the high-speed connectivity of the Internet," Post said. "This all changed with the digital phone line. We decided five years ago we had to make a choice and started looking at the future." With the last few years' demise of home telephone service, Post Alarm made a decision to standardize all customers on GSM and completely stop using POTS lines.
Making technology 'stick'
Engaging in the latest developments and products undoubtedly helps Post Alarm sell itself and gets new customers in the door. According to Post Alarm, the key to getting a 'sticky' customer, however, is tapping into security users' 24/7 connected, mobile lifestyles.
"We work with a good majority of cell-only installations and that's now almost the standard way to communicate," Post said. "If a customer has an iPhone, we're 100 percent certain he/she will want something like Honeywell's Total Connect, which we offer."
Post Alarm offers Total Connect free for the first three months to any customer with an iPhone. By utilizing the same devices that consumers use to send e-mail, download music and update Facebook or Twitter statuses, Total Connect reaches users in the way they are comfortable communicating, making security more appealing, convenient and easy to use, according to Post.
"We want to be in a position with clients where we've offered them everything and made them aware of features and lifestyle enhancements for homes before they bring it up," Post continued. "The logic is that it gets us back into houses for more services with additional new technologies."
Being proactive with customers has paid off for Post Alarm in low attrition and cancellation rates. Customer retention is especially critical for Post Alarm because customers are not held on contracts. "If a customer wants to leave for whatever reason, we're not happy about it but don't restrict anything," Post said.
Seizing upon new technology and being upfront with customers has always helped Post Alarm push the envelope of services with customers, ensuring the company keeps its existing subscribers and gains new ones. Technology alone, however, isn't enough to make the sale.
"Since the days of my father Sam, Post Alarm has brought together the traditional attributes of an integrator and alarm company up-to-date with technology," Post said. "We've always given our customers as many options as we have in the security space so we simultaneously protect our accounts and advance our business."
About the author: John Lorenty is the Commercial Security Systems leader for Honeywell Security & Communications, Louisville, Ky.