We've been partnering with security alarm companies for over eight years, and within the last few years we've come to the realization that using their customer data to personalize digital marketing efforts can yield impressive results. When security companies are proactive in gathering data, they are much farther ahead in the potential marketing results they can achieve.
Why should you start caring more about customer data?
- Improves customer retention - the average security company attrition rate is 11.7%. A 5% increase in retention rates can result in 25% more profit!
- Enables more cross-sell and up-sell opportunities
- Cross-Sell - monitoring & smart phone access
- Up-Sell - New products & services including video cameras, smart home components - locks, lights, thermostats, doorbells, and sensors.
- Referral opportunities - offer reasons and promotions for your customers to refer you to their friends, neighbors and family members.
- Customer feedback surveys - obtain insight on how well you service customers, what's missing from your current offering, and what else they need from you.
- Staying top of mind with your customers, providing company news and how you are helping the communities you serve.
- Use existing customer data and demographics to find prospects just like them
- Loyal customers are 5x as likely to repurchase, 5x as likely to forgive, 4x as likely to refer, and 7x as likely to try a new offering (Temkin Group).
The most critical component to successfully using customer data
No, its not how much money they pay you or the products and services they subscribe to (that's a close second, but not number one). It's their email address, and here is why:
- Email addresses are the driver to digitally communicating with your customers
- Used to show digital ads to current customers on Google and Facebook
- Used to show digital ads to prospects who are similar to your customers on Google & Facebook. Learn More.
- Send them emails with product upgrades, anniversary thank you's, etc.
- Remind them of your "movers" program
- Win back former customers!
You should plan to have 98% of your customer's email addresses. An informal survey of security companies tells us many have about 50% of their customers email addresses. That's not good enough!
How to get security customer email addresses:
- Download a missing email list from your accounting software (ex. Sedona)
- If emails are in another system, (ex. Monitoring system), download them
- Match records from multiple systems (use Excel or Access)
- Hire a temp or use internal staff to call customers to update their email address
- Require email addresses for every new prospect and customer
Once you get the email addresses, update you accounting system and/or CRM system. Build a process to continually find and update missing email addresses.
What is the next level of customer data for security companies?
So now you've collected more email addresses and have a plan in place to collect all emails going forward. What other data can you pair with the email address to generate more RMR and grow your business?
There are several pieces of information that can be used for marketing, but the most important element is having easy and consistent access to accurate information that says exactly which security products and services the customer is paying for. Here's some examples:
- Residential or commercial customer
- Type of residence (home or apartment).
- Industry for commercial accounts
- System and equipment type (panels)
- Date they became a customer
- Smartphone access (Y/N)
- Monitoring (Y/N)
- Video cameras (Y/N)
- Type and number of cameras
- Monthly, quarterly or annual invoice amount and how much they are paying for each security component
- Smart lights, locks, thermostats, sensors, etc. (Y/N)
- Warranty date (if applicable)
- Original salesperson or online sale
The first step in developing the process to extract this data for marketing purposes is to ensure it's accurate. We suggest you take a sample of customer data records (go back a few years) and verify the accuracy of the data. If you determine there are inaccuracies and it tends to be with certain data elements, figure out a plan to improve the quality of the data.
Of course, if data is missing, identify the best source of the data and fill those gaps. This may take some time and you don't have to necessarily hold up any marketing efforts (you can start with the data that is accurate) but having clean data will enable enhanced marketing capabilities along with better business decision making opportunities.
Depending on the system that houses the data, you will have to develop a process to extract the data for marketing purposes. Many systems have reporting tools to query their databases. In some cases it may be beneficial to build a data store of marketing data that gets refreshed periodically. In addition, if you use a CRM/Marketing Automation platform to send emails to customers and prospects, you will have to get the data into that system either via uploads or an API type integration between the systems.
We believe security alarm customer data is a huge asset for your company and should be leveraged to it's maximum potential to increase retention rates, create new qualified sales leads that result in closed business and increased RMR. That's why we say to every security alarm company we talk to "There's gold in your customer data!"
Want to learn more about increasing RMR through better customer data management? Watch my webinar now!