The Silvertrac Extra

Improving Customer Retention: Part 1


Improving customer retention as a security company is a lot like building a house, you have to start with the foundation. There are several moving parts that contribute to your overall retention rate.

In this post we are focusing on how the discovery and negotiation process influence your customer retention. 

Believe it or not, customer retention starts before your customer is even a customer. Here's why:

Your Customer Isn't the Expert... You Are

One of the major barriers to long term customer retention is the failure to be a true industry expert.

Remember, your customer is not the security expert, you are. Let me show you the difference. Listed below are two possible scenarios.

Scenario #1:

A prospect calls your office asking for a quote on security guard services. The receptionist forwards the request to the Business Development Manager (or the Operations Manager).

The prospect asks for a quote on the hourly rate to have an officer on site for 8 hours per day, 7 days per week. 

After asking some general questions, the BDM promises to get a quote over within 24 hours.

The BDM then begins the guessing game to decide what price provides the best chance of winning the contract.

"Not to high, because I know {Insert National Competitor Here} is going to go low. But not to low because I don't want to give the job away for free."

Eventually the BDM decides on a price, plugs it in to the usual proposal template, and sends it off to the prospect as promised.

Scenario #2:

The same prospect calls and is forwarded to the BDM or the Operations Manager.

The prospect begins by asking for a quote, just like before. 

This time, instead of handling the request on the phone, without gathering much information, the BDM requests a meeting.

"Rather than following the pattern of operators that have disappointed you in the past, we'd like to make a visit to make sure that we are starting things off on the right foot. We believe this process is critical in building a quality long-term relationship"

The prospect thinks, "wow... that's different." and decides to book a meeting.

The BDM then visits the site and spends time properly identifying why the service is needed and what the desired outcome is for the prospect.

After gathering the necessary information, the BDM is able to construct a proposal that speaks directly to the needs and desired outcome discussed in the meeting.

Let's Get Real..

By now you're probably thinking about how much extra work it would be to visit every prospect and individually write each proposal. But hear me out…

You may not be able to follow the process in scenario #2 every time a prospect calls. Unfortunately, you have to battle the perception of the security industry as a whole, which sometimes means that all your prospect will want is a price. 

But I assure you that following this approach, when possible, will have a direct correlation to an increase in customer retention.

The Action Plan

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are in the discovery and proposal stage that will help improve your customer retention.

  1. Establish your prospect's desired outcome

    Your prospects desired outcome is the core purpose and intention behind the decision to hire a security operator. In short, it is the result they are looking to capture by hiring your team.

    Asking the right questions will help you establish what their desired outcome really is.

  2. Establish performance metrics and milestones

    Having an officer on site to provide a "presence"is great, but what did the officer actually accomplish?

    KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) may not be something you're measuring yet, but this is a management tool worth considering as more and more companies begin to employ it. 

    "A Key Performance indicator is a type of performance measurement that is used to evaluate the success of an organization as a whole, or in regards to a specific activity in which it engages."

    KPIs are a great way of measuring how well your operation is performing for your prospect. 

    For example, if your goal is to reduce the presence of vagrants at a property, you might measure the number of times an officer reports that issue each month. Measuring the number of times it is reported wil help you determine if you operation is reaching your goals. 

Including this key information in your proposal will not only increase the likelihood that you win the contract, but it will help establish the foundation for a long-term relationship with your customer.

Make sure you check back in for part 2 in our series on Improving Customer Retention. We'll be going over the intricacies of transitioning an account after you've won the contract.


Subscribe for updates

Johnny Page

Johnny is a Customer Success Enthusiast for Silvertrac Software who is passionate about business, technology, and (of course) our customers! Johnny spent time in the security industry in Business Development, Marketing, and Operations before joining the Silvertrac team.