Should You Cancel a Customer?

Let them go or stay? You can make the difference

Those who bring in critical training have become the market leaders in this industry. The small and mid-sized companies who invest in this fundamental training for their team have excelled far beyond the expectations set forth by the bigger players. The smaller local or regional alarm dealers who takes this kind of training seriously have discovered opportunity while others who continue to procrastinate walk right over and leave money on the table every day.

Today, there are many opportunities to help ease customers that make you little to nothing into customers that contribute to your profit and cash flow. Here’s the script: “Dear customer, I’m calling from your alarm company and I want to introduce myself and to thank you for your trust and loyalty. I was looking over your file this morning and I noticed that you might really benefit from our new super saver loyalty gratitude program. This month in exchange for a new agreement and less than $1 additional per day, we can offer you a GSM radio which can save you the cost of a monthly phone bill should you elect to cancel your home phone service. For just a little more, we can even provide you with the ability to arm and disarm your system right from your cell phone as well as receive text messages the minute your child comes home safely after school. As I said, in exchange for a new monitoring agreement, we can install this upgrade at our lowest discounted price of $X plus $X per month. If this particular program doesn’t work for you we have several different loyalty bundles available which we created to increase your security and give you even more peace of mind for less than $1 per day. May I have your representative get in touch to discuss some of the other package specials we’re offering right now?”

Service techs and central station operators who often maintain solid relationships with customers can mention various added-value options in a benign and non-threatening way. If you ask me, any service tech who goes to a service call where no radio or cellular transmission equipment is in place and fails to mention this to the customer or the sales rep is leaving money on the table every single day. You can multiply that by the number of techs and service calls they do per month.


Offer real training to personnel

While this kind of approach may not be comfortable for everyone, there are dozens of other ways to pick up much more of the profit you’re currently leaving on the table but you may never find it until you stir the pot with some real training. Incidentally, service bundles aren’t only for your number 3. Numbers 1 and 2 are far more likely to jump on a bundle. The fact is though, none of them will if you’re not stimulating your team to get in the game and bring it.

When it comes to canceling a customer, unless your company is a charitable organization you are in business to make a fair and reasonable profit. Moving your number 2s from breaking you even and your number 3s from costing you money is imperative. Once you have identified them and made every reasonable effort to bring them into the fold of contributing to your bottom line, there comes a time to draw the line. Inform these customers that the level of service they currently have falls below the company’s minimum security standard. As a result you have one of three options: agree to a modest rate increase; select any one of the Super Saver Service Bundles; or discontinue service and have them find another provider. For those non-payers and late-payers that cause you so much trouble, do you invest in any training aimed at helping your collections people become better at getting these delinquents to pull the trigger and pay you instead of someone else? If not, there is only one certain guarantee—none of this is ever going to happen by itself.


Bob Harris is president of Attrition Busters seminars. With over 30 years in the alarm industry, Harris provides seminars, workshops and consulting services for private alarm companies and can be reached in at (818)730-4690 or Learn more about The Attrition Busters at