In-home installations are one of the pillars of the alarm installation business, and a significant amount of revenue comes from partnering with popular home security brands or offering upgrades to existing system. But working inside someone else’s residence carries some specific risks for alarm installers, and clients can be particularly sensitive about their homes. A bad experience can lead to a bad review or even a lawsuit. Here are ways to prevent that from happening.
Wear Proper Protective Equipment
While alarm installers don’t have traditional uniforms, they should still have required protective equipment that makes them easy to identify and helps add a professional look to the firm’s workers. Protective equipment isn’t just about personal safety (although that’s important), it should also be designed to help installers avoid damaging homes in any way. That could include shoulder padding on sharp edges of equipment, protective rubber feet on tools like ladders, and more. Those working frequently in homes should also carry around disposable booties so they can wear them when walking on areas that need to stay clean. Basic precautions to make sure installers don’t damage any part of the house while they work are very important.
Thoroughly Explain Changes and Requirements
An alarm installation or replacement may require certain explanations for homeowners – one reason that it’s important installers also have some customer service skills. For example, homeowners may say something like, “Why is the smoke detector so high, I wanted it lower,” which would require a quick explanation of building codes. There are also certain devices, like security hubs and touchscreens, that owners will have to make personal decisions about placement. As long as owners know the reasons behind installation decisions and get suggestions when they need them, they are more likely to be satisfied.
Ask Homeowners Directly If There’s Anything to Know
When scheduling an installation time and finalizing a quote, try to find time to ask homeowners directly if there’s anything the installer should know. Often, this leads to important tips that you can put in the notes of the order for the installer. Homeowners may let you know anything from, “We’re painting the living room please don’t touch the wall in there,” to, “Actually I won’t be home but text me and I can see a temporary door pass.”
Talk About Pets
Ask homeowners about their pets, especially if they have dogs that get free reign of the house. Pets can be a liability issue that’s best avoided by professional installers. When possible, ask that homeowners sequester their dog in a crate, garage, or bedroom when you are scheduled to work – both the installer and the pet will be happier this way.
Always Include a Cleanup Phase
Require a cleanup phase after an installation is completed so that installers will always clean up after themselves and make a good impression. This isn’t just about carrying out any packaging leftover, although that’s still important. Installers should also watch for things like tracking dirt indoors accidentally or scattering drywall dust on a carpet. A couple of wipes with a rag can make a big difference when homeowners take a look at the work.
Offer Training or Testing Options
Certain security platforms will require their installers to go through a pre-planned training routine with new owners (this is also their way of reducing liability and customer service issues). But even if training is not required, it’s a good idea for installers to offer a basic training routine, or at least walk the owner through a test of the alarm or other equipment to make sure everything is functioning like it should. Whether homeowners are self-monitoring or using professional monitoring services, they will benefit from knowing how things work and it can cut down on complaints later on.
Put an FAQ on Your Website Specifically for Homeowners
As you can see, there are a lot of questions that owners may want answered about an installation in their home. One of the best solutions is to create an FAQ page to specifically discuss what to expect with a home installation. Answer questions like what to do with pets, how to prepare your home, what to do if you won’t be there, what decisions homeowners will have to make, and more. ADS Security has an example of this kind of FAQ right here for some inspiration, including a friendly, casual tone and advice on what to think about. This can save a lot of time for homeowners who browse online and read up before they order.
Finally, after completing an installation project in someone’s home, don’t forget to send a follow-up message like an email or a letter. Use this opportunity to thank the owner for choosing your services, giving them additional advice on using new products, talking about scheduling maintenance, and asking for feedback. This also gives homeowners an opportunity to write back and talk about something that made them feel uncomfortable or that they want addressed. Responding quickly can be a way to stop bad reviews and liability issues before they begin.