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Three More Key Strategies for Sustaining Your Growing Alarm Business
In a previous article, we discussed three key strategies to help you once your business has passed through both the “start-up” and “growth” phases and you now seek sustainability. It bears repeating that each phase in a business life-cycle requires a different kind of mindset. Employing that new mindset, one that is more forward-looking, is as essential as implementing specific strategies. Combined with the right attitude, here are three more strategies that will help you navigate the sustainability phase of your business trajectory:
1. Focus on Attrition. By the time your business is in the sustainability phase, you have likely gleaned a better understanding of the concept of attrition. Your attrition rate directly impacts the health, profitability, and long term value of your security alarm company. Both Gross Attrition and Net Attrition are important to your ultimate sustainability and will become a key metric to a purchaser of your business if you ever decide to sell.
Start measuring it on a regular basis, so you can track your progress. Set your sights on maintaining an attrition rate at or below industry standards (about 12 percent gross). If you’re not there yet, begin by analyzing the reasons your customers are canceling and immediately addressing those issues.
2. Training your people. To reach a state of operational excellence (giving your customers a consistent, reliable experience) means ensuring each of your employees has a distinct, repeatable protocol for handling customers. Otherwise, a customer’s experience may end up being based on the mood of a particular sales person or customer service representative on any given day. Incorporating training that gives clear expectations will help your employees know what to do and how to do it in the various situations they are likely to face.
Training not only helps your business run better because trained employees will be better equipped to handle customer inquiries, make a sale or use computer systems, but research proves that giving your employees training and tools for long-term career goals also promotes greater job satisfaction. A more satisfied employee is likely to both be more productive and stay longer, and in turn, greatly reduce your hiring costs. When your company runs like a well-oiled machine, customers can relax with the knowledge they are in good hands.
3. Effective Communication.Lastly, if you spend all your time creating a surefire operation but no one knows about you, it won’t do you much good. Consistently keeping in touch with customers (and prospective customers) and staying focused on their needs will serve you well. Continually remind yourself that customers don’t buy “products,” they buy “feelings.” Your prospective customers ultimately want to feel safe, secure and well-cared for. Capturing that feeling in your messaging is paramount. Once you have secured a customer, you must continue the dialogue. Communication is the basis for all good customer relationships and the strength of those relationships is what keeps customers satisfied and prevents attrition.
The foundation for effective communication is simple: Say what you mean, mean what you say, and do what you say you’re going to do. It may sound simple but it’s easier said than done. Remember, if your customer loses faith in you, you’re headed for trouble. Staying focused on communicating effectively throughout the life-cycle of a customer’s experience, from initial contact through the full-term of the engagement, contributes mightily to your long-term success.
If you need a place to start, our Resource Center can help get you going in the right direction.
Moving through a new stage of your business is not without challenges. As you start implementing each of these strategies, there may be times when you are not sure of what your next best step is. The good news is, you don’t need to do it alone. Contact Alarm Capital Alliance for a no-pressure Business Analysis. Having consulted with hundreds of alarm companies, ACA can help you prioritize your best strategies for getting unstuck and building a high-value business.