Cocked, locked and ready to rock the network: ESNT certified technician Arthur Davis of ADS Security, Savannah, Ga.PHOTO COURTESY OF ADS SECURITY
Recently I have started watching a show on the Travel Channel called “Hotel Impossible.” The star is Anthony Melchiorri, a hyper fellow who helps old hotels freshen up their look, straighten out their personnel, and increase their bookings and profits.
What makes this show great is Melchiorri, who is extremely in-your-face with the hotel owners and management, tells them what they’re doing wrong, and shows them the “Anthony way” of running a quality hotel. Most of his actions and directions are on the money, although I could do without the weekly searching for bedbugs and other vermin in the mattresses and bathrooms. As a regular traveler, I really do not want to know about the cleanliness of a typical hotel room — I just use hand sanitizer by the quart.
On a recent episode, Melchiorri upbraided a doorman. What stuck in my mind was Anthony’s statement: “You are the ambassador for this hotel. You are the first and last person the customer will see during their stay.”
This got me thinking about our industry, and how we present ourselves to clients. Ask yourself this question: Who is the most important person in your company from your clients’ perspective? Is it the billing department, the central station, the owner, the salespeople? I don’t think so. The “ambassadors” for your alarm company are the service and installation technicians. The men and women with tools on their belt are your company when they go to a client’s home or business. They are the people with whom the client interacts, and can make a great impression, which builds the image of your company, or tear apart years of good will by not responding with empathy to the client’s needs.
Technicians in our industry are truly a unique and valuable breed. I believe that many people become technicians because they have a mistaken belief that they are not “people persons.” They profess that they prefer working with panel programming or cabling problems to communicating with clients. However, their interaction with clients can reap great benefits.
What many alarm company management and owners are missing is that customers tend to believe what the technician tells them, while they may look at sales people skeptically. After all, the sales person wants and needs to sell, so clients will naturally raise their guard. When the technician talks, the client listens.
Which brings us back to “Hotel Impossible.” At one of the restaurants within a hotel that Melchiorri is revamping he holds a meeting with the wait staff and restaurant servers. Apparently, they weren’t tasting the nightly specials themselves. At this meeting Anthony pumps up the staff and makes sure that they not only have tasted the appetizer and main course special, but also that they have been given an incentive to sell or upsell customers on these dishes.
Think about it. Because the technicians are the people your customers trust the most, doesn’t it make sense for them to have the latest technologies to demonstrate? How powerful is it when a technician can whip out a smartphone, connect to the camera in their house and show the customer? “Yeah, I use this every day at 3:15 to make sure my kids are home.” This makes every one of your technicians a true ambassador of your company, demonstrating valuable technologies. If the techs are provided an incentive to present IP cameras your cash register is “gonna be ringin’.”
Your technicians can play a vital part in the growth of your company, and provide the critical human link in a world where many businesses only interact with their customers via email, Internet, or voice mail. Your company sends out real humans to install, fix, and test alarm systems. Today is the day to start planning how to make your technicians true ambassadors for your company, demonstrating to customers how the latest technologies can make their lives easier and provide valuable peace of mind.