Sell It While It's Hot!

Accessories and add-ons boost profits and retain customers

"Digital security is a big seller right now," said Jim Arnold, vice president of Sales, Control4, Salt Lake City. Control4 partners with Honeywell, Kwikset, Yale and Baldwin.

Kwikset has a remote access control solution, the SmartCode with Home Connect Techology. These keyless entry electronic locks, developed for interoperability with home automation and security systems, communicate wirelessly with other devices in the home and deliver a variety of access control options for enhanced residential security.

"The lock will also allow you to check door status, automatically arm and disarm your security system, and initiate customized scenarios upon entrance and exit," Arnold said.

Yale's new deadbolt and lever locks are the first products in the Yale Real Living line. Available with either a capacitive touchscreen or pushbutton keypad, the platform operates seamlessly with the Control4 platform.

"The locks are integrated with the Control4 2.0 user interface, allowing the homeowner to directly access and control many of the lock's unique features. With the Control4 system the user can create personalized events or scenes triggered by the push of a button from anywhere in the home or remotely via the Internet," said Arnold.

Mobile connectivity is the way to go

Both solutions are popular, Arnold added, because of the accessibility to the Control4 platform from mobile devices and touchscreens throughout the home and when away from the protected premises. Control4 MyHome is a family of software applications, accessible through laptops and mobile devices that allows consumers to access and control lighting, temperature, music, movies, energy and security.

That certainly helps build a more loyal customer. "We enjoy an attrition rate that is about 35 percent lower than the national average," Frase said. "We attribute that, in part, to promoting valuable add-ons that we truly feel are in the customer's best interest."

Guardian's attrition is below seven percent and the customer lifespan with the company averages around 14 years. Anything that creates a stickier customer is valuable.

Frase said he finds customers are generally reluctant to make changes to existing systems unless their life or business circumstances change-such changes include growth in business, remodeling, moving, changes in family circumstances, etc.

"Clients have their own pressures and constraints to deal with," Frase noted. "They want the integrator to provide a solution that addresses their needs with minimal disruption, hassle, or call-backs."

Whatever the accessory sell, the idea is to keep the customer engaged, whether it be with text massages or value-added product, Graham confirmed. "That is the end-game," he said. "We want the customer more engaged in using the system and using it more often and regularly."

Make it sticky so they stay

The top reason customers quit contracts, Brady said, is that they feel they "no longer use the system."

"These new mobile apps and interfaces make it easier for the customer to manage and use the system even if they are not in the home," Brady continued. "You can get $5 in a heartbeat to deliver a security message to a cell phone or computer." The customer who is late returning home now can arm the system remotely, for example.

Yet the business is coming from both customers transitioning to newer technologies and buying add-ons, and those with retrofit systems.

Integration with security systems presents broad opportunities for Control4 dealers since many of their potential customers have high-end homes with existing security systems they don't want to change. Furthering the experience by incorporating integrated door locks into a complete Control4 system is a logical extension.

Fell said any good add-on "absolutely" produces a stickier customer. "If you have five products placed with a customer, you have them for life," he said. The more services an alarm company can provide, the more the customer's inertia increases and the more cumbersome it becomes to change providers.

Brady's strategy would be to present all the up-sells-remote management, CO monitoring, identity protection, smoke alarms, video-at the onset of the sales process. "Even if they don't buy all the add-ons, they know you are capable of providing them," he said.