Articles in this series
- 5 Reasons Your Customers Don’t See You as a Strategic Security Partner
- 5 Reasons Integrators Struggle to Become Strategic Security Partners for Their Customers
- 5 Benefits of Becoming a Strategic Security Partner for Your Customers
Think about becoming a strategic security partner as creating a positive, positive feedback loop. A positive feedback loop is defined as providing a change in a given direction causes a change in the same direction. In short – you get out what you put in. If you invest in your customers and offer them benefits, in turn, your customers will invest in you and generate benefits for your security integration company.
Strategic security partners differ from integrators in that strategic security partners focus on the customer experience above all else. Doing so creates customer loyalty, which in turn generates more revenue, increased efficiency, and, hopefully, more customers. But also characteristic of a positive feedback loop, creating negative customer experiences also equates to negative results for your business.
We’ve previously outlined 5 Reasons Your Customers Don’t See You as a Strategic Security Partners and 5 Reasons Integrators Struggle to Become Strategic Security Partners for Their Customers. Once you have identified potential roadblocks toward becoming a strategic security partner and made steps to improve upon them, you open your integration business to new and unique opportunities.
Here are the top 5 benefits of becoming a strategic security partner for your customers:
1. Generate Recurring Revenue
A recent survey found that over 50% of companies that switched to recurring revenue models did so in order to both increase revenue and improve the customer experience. If your goal is to just increase your revenue with no intention of improving your customer experience, you aren’t truly a trusted security partner for your clients. Trusted security partners are always looking out for the best interests of their clients, meaning also providing real value for their clients in the form of long-term service contracts. This real value can come in the form of preventative maintenance schedules, after-hours technical support, or exclusive training opportunities.
Once you have gained a client’s trust as a strategic security partner, your clients are more likely to want to extend their relationship with you via these long-term service contracts. They trust that you know best, which will lead to an improved customer experience and, yes, guaranteed income for your business. Not sure where to start? Check out 5 Ways for Integrators to Succeed at Recurring Revenue Generation.
2. Uncover New Projects
Similar to long-term service contracts, customers who think of their integrators as partners are more likely to continue their relationship in the form of new projects. If a customer is happy with the level of service they are receiving, they are more likely to open up about future opportunities without much prying or sales tactics required from their integrator. It is reported that two-thirds of customers are willing to share personal information with companies – but only in exchange for some perceived value. Perceived value, again, only comes from a trusted security partner in the form of exceptional customer service.
Conversely, 89% of consumers have switched to doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. Positive customer retention and good customer service helps keep customers from moving on to your competitors, something no integrator wants in this increasingly competitive market. Losing future projects from existing clients is a cost of not being a trusted security partner for your clients.
3. Create More Efficiency
Trusted security partners are open and transparent with their clients in the hopes that their customer reciprocates. Such honesty and transparency can be used by strategic security partners to create a positive customer feedback loop. This not only increases customer satisfaction and retention, but also helps security integrators to increase their efficiency by addressing problems they may not have previously been aware of.
Similarly, a recent study found that increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases an organization’s profits by anywhere from 25% to 95%. This is, in part, because as returning customers do more business with the same integrator over time, the integrator’s operating costs also decrease. As both integrator and end user become more comfortable with one another and how the other likes to do business, the integrator can better determine how to delegate specific resources to that customer.
4. Create a Record of Success
Integrators that are strategic security partners have a proven track record of producing happy customers. Why? Because they engage in behaviors that are focused on the long-term, such as selling solutions over products and executing on their promises. This kind of behavior demonstrates a record of success, which improves an integrator’s reputation. Having a good reputation is financially beneficial, as Americans will pay 17% more to do business with firms with great reputations when it comes to customer service.
Having a record of success also provides an organization with great marketing tools. Case studies and direct quotes from previous clients help communicate to future clients what successes they can expect to experience when working with your business. You can point to these resources to answer the potential customer question of, “Why should we hire you?”
5. Generating Positive Customer Referrals
In today’s increasingly connected world, and in part due to the proliferation of social media, customer reviews are more important than ever. Recent studies show that 90% of customers are influenced by positive reviews when buying a product. Just as important, 86% of customers say they are influenced by negative reviews when purchasing a product or service. Strategic security partners are more likely to receive positive reviews, as they hold themselves to a high standard when it comes to customer service, transparency, and communication.
They will also take negative reviews and turn them into an opportunity for growth, rather than blowing off a negative review as simply a disgruntled customer. If you feel as though your integration company receives overall positive, verbal customer feedback but are not seeing any similar results online, consider gamifying the process. Reward your customers via discounts or gift cards if they are willing to submit positive reviews online or create a customer referral program. A true strategic security partner welcomes any feedback, positive or negative.
Reaping the rewards of becoming a strategic security partner for your clients sounds great, but it also requires a level of commitment many integrators are not willing to make. If you expect positive results, you will also have to offer positive inputs to your clients. This includes offering exceptional customer service, acting with your customer’s best interests in mind, and actively listening to customer feedback. Then, and only then, can you begin to expect to receive the returns that come with being a trusted security partner.