The company also created an app to immediately notify customers about low-priority events, such as a test signal not being sent. “Granted, it becomes a less personal experience, because it’s an app, not a human voice. But customers appreciated being notified far quicker than they ever had before.”
Self-empowering customers through portals
Creating customer portals, where customers could easily monitor their locations and access billing and other information, was also a key part of the company’s strategy to improve the customer experience and reduce attrition.
“We wanted customers to see the value that they were getting from us,” says Young. “And the best way for them to see it was for them to be able to go online, [to one of our customer portals], and see right away whether they’re getting value from the service that we’re providing.”
(Protection 1 has two customer portals, one for its commercial and multi-location customers called eSuite, and one for residential customers called MyProtection1.com.)
Using BI to improve employee performance
“The third thing that we did is we worked on our internal BI,” says Young. Before 2010, employees didn’t have an accurate or real-time sense of how they were doing. Today, though, thanks to easy-to-use dashboards, employees can log in and find out how they are performing.
“This actually happens at all levels of the company,” he says. “I do it. My boss does it. Everyone accesses the scorecard every morning and decides what they are going to accomplish that day based on the results.”
And giving employees the tools and support they need to better do their jobs has definitely helped improve the customer experience.
“We have a metric very important to our business called in-standard,” says Young. “That’s a metric we have on our scorecard that shows what percentage of the time I’m not servicing the customer within 24 hours of their request,” he says. “In the past, employees would have had no clue which customers were waiting and for how long. Now I can drill down and see which customers [exceeded the] threshold. And I know right away which customers I need to get on the phone with and [let them know] when I’m going to service them [and] service them quickly. That’s something customers really appreciate.”
Lower attrition through better customer experience (and BI)
“Our belief has always been, if you take care of the customer, everything else falls into place,” says Young. “This means we look for and create metrics around critical experiences for customers and hold front line and leaders accountable to them (vs. P&L).” And the company’s efforts to date have paid off.
Shortly before the new management team took over, Protection 1’s attrition rate was 16 percent. By the end of 2010, it was down to 13 percent. And within 14 months of the changeover, attrition had shrunk to 11 percent. “Today, we’re closer to 10,” says Young. And the company enjoys a 97 percent customer satisfaction rate.
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