All About the Customer

Businesses set goals, and employees are involved in meeting those benchmarks, year in and year out. The same is true in the security monitoring business, which translates to complete security for homeowners.

Darin Anderson, vice president of monitoring operations at Monitronics, finds his company’s goal very achievable. It’s all about customer retention and customer care.

“Once we acquire new customers, our goal and business model is to retain customers for a long time,” Anderson said. “Monitoring operations is the lynchpin of the business. We talk to the customers more times than other parts of our organization and each time the customer gets to reaffirm the value of the service we provide.”

It’s very easy—recurring monthly revenue is the lifecycle of the business. Monitronics is a Dallas- based company that works hand-in-hand with their dealers to gain new residential customers and then keep them on board for years to come.

In a world of increased mobility and social interconnection, home security is now more important than ever before. Monitronics has more than 1 million home security customers, but they also back up what they advertise with the best equipment, installation and professional service.

“We start with dealers installing state-of-the-art equipment,” Anderson said. “From basic window and door sensors, all the way up to motion detectors and surveillance cameras, our dealer network can provide just what a customer is looking for. They can even add home automation features that will make the home even more safe, secure, and efficient.”

Following installation, Monitronics acquires the account by purchasing the customer contract from the dealer.

“We add to that our professional 24-hour monitoring service at our Five Diamond Certified Alarm Response Center and our award-winning Customer Care,” Anderson said. “What we end up with is a happy customer who is confident in the system they have purchased and the services that Monitronics provides.”

Fewer than 3 percent of central stations in the United States are recognized as a Five Diamond center.

Anderson said they are the largest alarm company that a homeowner has never heard of. That may have been true years ago in the alarm industry, but now Monitronics is a national player in all 50 states as well as Puerto Rico and Canada. They provide their Dealers with incentive to bring new customers on board. Dealers use various methods to contact potential customers, including telemarketing and knocking on doors.

“Monitronics is more than an alarm company,” Anderson said. “We not only provide traditional alarm monitoring for burglary and fire protection, but also have expanded services to include basic medical monitoring and home automation services. Medical services have proven to be quite a lifesaver for those using them.

“We are committed to helping seniors and those with medical conditions feel independent, safe and secure at home. Our medical monitoring services give seniors instant access to professional caring assistance 24/7.”

Falls are the leading cause of death due to injury in people aged 65 years and older, and seniors who fall are two to three times more likely to fall again. Many chronic medical conditions leave seniors vulnerable in their own home: cardiovascular and pulmonary disease, arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, loss of hearing and/or vision, Parkinson’s disease and more.

Monitronics’ medical services provide helpful conveniences for seniors:

  • One press of the medical pendant will instantly transmit a signal to Monitronics staff from any location in range of that person’s security system.
  • A Central Station Alarm Association- certified operator speaks to them using the security system’s two-way intercom and, if necessary, notifies first responders right away.

Monitronics also has gone green in total home automation. The company offers HomeTouch to its customers whereby they can control their entire home in the palm of their hands, and that means more than the security system. A homeowner can save energy by adjusting the lights and thermostats in their home from a designated computer, smartphone or tablet. A homeowner can even turn on and off certain household appliances remotely.

It’s effortless home management at the customers’ fingertips. Benefits include:

  • Setting automatic “smart schedules” and triggers for a home’s lights and thermostats so the homeowner can save energy while the homeowner is away.
  • Scheduling a home’s light to come on for a certain period of time each day while that person is out of town, giving the appearance that someone is home.
  • Creating geo-based schedules that automatically adjust a thermostat to a desired temperature while the homeowner is on the way home.

Knowing that the homeowner is focused on a secure home, Monitronics also makes sure the home is a fortress of safety.

According to a study by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, nearly 60 percent of convicted burglars in the study said they consider the presence of cameras when deciding on a target. With HomeTouch, Monitronics customers can remotely:

  • Receive a captured still image of their property whenever motion is detected.
  • Get text or email alerts with clip or picture attachments to notify them when their cameras record motion activity.
  • Access a searchable library of recorded video clips.
  • Keep track of activity around the house: when their child left and returned home from school, who knocked on their door during the day, and more.

Monitronics goes to great lengths to make sure there is backup and redundancy in their UL listed monitoring center to ensure the safety and security of their customers. But they also have a backup plan in case a natural disaster strikes at the heart of the operations center.

Based in Farmers Branch, Texas, Monitronics has a backup facility located in McKinney, Texas, where staff can transfer their jobs and responsibilities in case of emergency.

“We located a facility in McKinney after consulting with weather experts,” Anderson said. “The facility is still within the Dallas Metroplex, but not in a storm’s path that might hinder operations at the current facility.”

“Dallas is a call center town, and according to The Dallas Morning News, Monitronics has been voted one of the Top 100 places to work in the Metroplex,” Anderson said. “In our world, it’s all about employee appreciation. We believe that working here is more of a career than a job. We appreciate our employees because they make a difference in the lives of our customers and in the business.”

Monitronics also holds an IQ Installation Quality Certificate. The IQ Certification program was founded in 1997 to set standards and provide consumers with a way to identify alarm companies that are committed to excellence.

The program is based on a simple principle: Security and life safety systems that are properly designed, installed by trained technicians using the finest equipment, monitored correctly and operated by trained users typically function without fault, failure or false alarms for years.

In order to earn IQ Certification, alarm companies must undergo a rigorous evaluation by the IQ Certification Board, made up of security, law enforcement, fire, state regulatory and insurance industry representatives. Throughout the application process, companies must demonstrate that they adhere to the IQ Certification Program’s strict Policies and Guidelines.

To ensure that these companies continue to meet the IQ Certification standards, they must annually demonstrate to the Board that they meet the IQ Certification guidelines to earn re-certification.

“By being part of such a prestigious certification program and partnering with our Dealer Network, we hope that IQ certification will help sell new accounts, train customers and reduce false alarms. It’s all part of offering consistency of service,” Anderson said.

What’s new for 2014? Monitronics will continue to expand its business and look for new avenues to increase the RMR in the residential market. They also plan to complete a seamless integration of the Security Networks acquisition that was completed in August.

This article originally appeared in the October 2013 issue of Security Today.


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