Across the board — from the homeowner to the dealer — mobile apps are increasingly important in today’s market. Today’s homeowners are on the move and are used to using mobile phones, tablets, or other mobile devices to access all of the information they need. But so are today’s dealers, who are simplifying operations, eliminating paper, increasing efficiency, and capturing information in the palm of their hand with new available apps.
SDM asked dealers, “How are you using apps?” and found that many dealers are actively incorporating apps in ways that make sense for their customers and their own businesses.
Chip Shiver, president, Shiver Security Systems Inc., Mason, Ohio, bluntly says his company looks at apps like banks look at Internet banking — as a key sales advantage. “Let’s face it, if you do not have the appropriate apps you are lost in the sales process. Apps really help our people demo the systems and make them feel real to consumers,” he explains.
Live demos of an app represent “meaningful opportunities to educate and sell consumers on the benefits of interactive services,” says Joe Lininger, vice president, Marketing, Guardian Protection Services Inc., Warrendale, Pa. Guardian presents live demos of the app whenever possible, he says. For example, every member of the residential sales team can present a live demo of the app from a tablet during an on-site presentation. And this year, Guardian revamped all of its residential trade show displays to allow for a tablet kiosk with a live demo of the MyGuardianHome app. To read more about how Guardian utilizes apps for its end users, its dealers, as well its own internal use, read “Super Charging Apps Across Guardian Protection” on www.SDMmag.com.
Frase Protection Inc., Cordova, Tenn., offers the Alarm.com app for customers who are interested in interactive services, and the company’s salesmen both use the app at their own homes and demonstrate it during every sales presentation. “In our market right now, we are finding that about half of new prospects see the value of interactive services and are not dismayed by the slight increase in the monthly fee associated with the app,” reports Jonathan Frase, owner, Frase Protection.
Also, during the sales process, the salesmen use iPads apps for contract signatures and to process installation payments. “We began using them about two years ago and it has truly enhanced and streamlined our sales process. In fact, our sales guys can actually complete more sales appointments per day, and the information flow, including proposals, contracts, and payment info, is cleaner and more organized than it has been in the 40-plus years we have been servicing our market,” Frase shares.
Per Mar Security Services, Davenport, Iowa, uses apps for the company’s video platforms, managed access control, interactive services, sales processes, and technician support, says Brad Tolliver, vice president Electronic Security, Per Mar Security Services.
Brent Edmunds, Stone Security, Salt Lake City, shares his company uses the Microsoft Office 365 app quite a bit. “This is a basic ‘team site’ type of app that allows us to share important project information as well as other company information that helps us run more efficiently.”
Around the industry, video viewing via app continues to grow as well, and homeowners seem ready to pay the fees for some of these apps. Frank Icuss, president, Early Warning Alarms Inc., Chicago, says his company offers video remote viewing through an iPad and iPhone app for free. “People love it. We also offer the Honeywell Total connect app for a fee, as well as a feature called Uplink Remote, which is basically a remote alarm on/off function, also for a fee,” which adds to the company’s bottom line.
Today’s customers are expecting apps, so offering them allows customers to more seamlessly integrate a security system into their lives and deepens the relationship they have with their dealer. Are you successfully using apps in a unique way in your business? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your story.
Adding Business Efficiencies With Apps
It is not just all about the homeowner. Service providers and manufacturers around the industry are offering apps targeted directly at dealers and making their lives easier. And dealers are happy to use them. Affiliated Monitoring is one such company offering apps for both dealers and end users.
- The Affiliated Dealer App gives alarm professionals the ability to actively manage all of their accounts, view live signal activity, place accounts on and off test, and capture electronic signatures.
- The Affiliated Customer App is an invaluable tool available to all Affiliated dealers that gives their customers instant access to their account activity and lets them update account information.
“Affiliated’s apps have brought a significant number of new partners to our family. These apps are included as a standard portion of our unique service offerings,” says Mike Zydor, Affiliated Monitoring’s managing director.