Pro 1 tracks techs

New initiatives goal is more personal service
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Thursday, May 12, 2011

ROMEOVILLE, Ill.—Protection 1 announced May 3 it is “revolutionizing customer service” with two new initiatives.

One is Tech Tracker, a new service free to Protection 1’s residential, commercial and national accounts customers that electronically notifies them when a technician is en route, and provides such information as the technician’s photo, certifications and qualifications.

Also, the company said, it has eliminated its automated attendant so that callers get a real person on the phone nine times out of 10.

Jamie Haenggi, chief marketing and customer experience officer, said consumers in today’s impersonal, technology-driven world want better customer service, so Protection 1 is providing it.

“We’re going back to how people want to be treated,” she told Security Systems News. “That’s what’s revolutionary about it.”

She said the enhanced services are “absolutely a selling point and an attrition reducer.”

Tim Whall, president and CEO of Protection 1, which is based here, said in a statement:

“Two of the greatest frustrations of customers—whether they’re homeowners or business owners—are calling in for customer service, and waiting around for service technicians to arrive. Tech Tracker is just one more way we’re using technology and good old-fashioned common sense to enhance our customer service.”

It’s not that the company is rejecting modern technology, Haenggi said. Both service enhancements still rely on it—she said Tech Tracker sends out information about technicians electronically, and when customers call in to speak to a real company representative instead of a recording, technology helps identify them automatically and route them to customer service or monitoring, depending on their alarm status.

“We’re using significant technology on the back end,” Haenggi said. “We love technology, but not when it comes between us and our customers.”

She said it was CEO Whall’s idea to eliminate automated attendant phone service.

“His passion to deliver just the best customer service,” Haenggi said. “One of the things he actually has said before is, ‘I hate the drone’ [the automated attendant]… and we’re all kind of saying, ‘Well, nobody likes it,’ and he said, ‘Well, we shouldn’t have it.’”

Protection 1 eliminated the automatic phone attendant in November, Haenggi said.

Both initiatives tell customers that Protection 1 respects their time, Haenggi said.

Tech Tracker was rolled out nationally earlier this spring. Sending extra information about the technician and the person’s photo helps customers feel more secure, but it’s also a personal touch, Haenggi told SSN.

“I know what you look like before you get here, so when I open the door I kind of know you already,” she said.

Haenggi said customer feedback on Tech Tracker in a couple months of use “has just been overwhelmingly positive.”

Protection 1 serves more than 1 million customers and employs more than 2,500 people in more than 60 locations across the nation.