Lots of companies like to claim they offer great customer service, and that they have the loyal customers. I recently spoke with the CEO of one of our competitors, whose company had stated online that FrontPoint could not compete with their #1 rated service. Of course, I set him straight – but it reminded me that amidst all the smoke (and mirrors) of this very crowded industry – there are 13,000 alarm companies in the US alone – the consumer should have the right to shop for peace of mind with some sense of certainty. And then I found this great article in Inc.
The article is titled, “4 Keys to Customer Loyalty.” I really like the writer’s take on this topic, in no small part because he sounds as if he is describing FrontPoint in much of what he writes. Here’s a sample:
Customer satisfaction is a joke. It’s customer loyalty that’s the real challenge. There are few things more valuable (or more rare) than customer loyalty. Customer loyalty cannot be bought. It must be earned… not just once, but every day of the customer relationship.
Reviews Tell the Story
We like customer reviews, since we know they separate the great companies from the rest of the pack. For example, FrontPoint has over 1,700 reviews on Angie’s List, where you cannot buy good reviews: the alarm company with the next largest number of reviews has less than 200, and they are older than we are – and have many more customers. Customers who write glowing reviews aren’t just satisfied – they are loyal. And that means they stick around.
Loyalty Equals Retention
In the alarm industry, the best objective measure of customer loyalty is customer retention, meaning the rate at which your customers stay with you from year to year. The opposite of retention is cancellation, and the average US alarm company reports cancellations at roughly 12% per year, or roughly one in eight customers cancelling service. It’s been said that ADT has a cancellation rate of 16%, in terms of customers: that means they have to replace one out of every six customers a year, just to stay even. The lesson is that despite its size, age, and evident muscle, ADT performs worse than the industry as a whole. And ADT’s less-than-stellar reviews tell the story. In contrast, FrontPoint is proud to have the lowest cancellation rate of any major US alarm company.
Here’s more from the article – and what the four keys are. Although it’s written from a business-to-business perspective, I think the concepts absolutely hold true for individual consumers.
1. Offer something uniquely valuable. Uniqueness is the price of entry into the world of customer loyalty. Unless you have something that nobody else can offer, you’re selling a commodity. Furthermore, unless the customer perceives that something to be of value, it can’t possibly earn the customers’ loyalty. However–and this is important–the uniqueness need not be a product feature. In fact, that kind of uniqueness is often temporary. There are two uniquely valuable things that are far more permanent: 1) your positive reputation as a businessperson who can be trusted and 2) your firm’s reputation as a reliable and hassle-free business partner.
Wow – what a great description of FrontPoint’s business model. Other alarm companies overlap with us in some of what we do, but none of them have put it all together the way we have – or earned such an outstanding reputation for leading edge technology and world-class service.
2. Understand the customer’s business. It’s a complete myth that most customers are well-informed about the kind of products and services that you offer. While it’s true that the Internet contains a wealth of information, real decision-makers don’t have time to wade through it all. Quite the contrary. Customers expect YOU to know all about their needs without having to take the time and effort to brief you on it. They want and expect you to make things simpler and easier for them, not the other way around.
3. Add value with every contact. Even if you’re selling something unique and you’re a huge expert in the industry, if you can’t add value every time the customer deals with you and your firm, you’ll never earn loyalty. It means bringing something new and interesting to the table every time you talk. It means dealing with customer problems before the customer realizes there’s a problem. It means respecting (and never wasting) every single second of the customer’s time. When earning customer loyalty, there are no second chances. Never assume a customer will cut you slack because you’ve got a long history together. To earn loyalty, you must constantly prove to the customer that the relationship is crucial.
4. Go above and beyond. Here’s a hard truth: customer satisfaction is a joke. Show me a customer who’s merely “satisfied” and I’ll show you a customer who’s ready to find another vendor. “Exceed your customer’s expectations” may be a bromide, but it’s the true price of true loyalty.
That’s the approach we take at FrontPoint: every interaction is an opportunity, and we treat every customer as if that person is our only customer. That’s where you get great reviews in huge numbers, industry-high customer retention, and true loyalty.
FrontPoint is the recognized leader in wireless home security for combining the most advanced home security and home automation services. Whether it’s safer cellular monitoring, notifications and remote arming, video features, or using apps to control lights, locks, and thermostats, FrontPoint has the solution. We provide systems that are safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat – that’s why FrontPoint really is the #1 ranked alarm company in the US. You deserve peace of mind from your home security provider, and FrontPoint is happy to earn – and keep – your business. Give us a call.