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They Use It – Or You Lose It: Combatting System Non-use

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They Use It – Or You Lose It: Combatting System Non-use


One of the most frequently cited reasons that customers give for wanting to cancel their accounts is that they “just don’t use their systems anymore.” System non-use is also major factor in account delinquencies and cancellations for nonpayment.  And customers that don’t use or perceive the value of their systems are prime targets for your competitors’ sales and marketing efforts.

What causes customers to stop using their systems?

1. Old or outdated systems

2. Changes in customer needs or wants

3. Lack of knowledge about the operation of the system and/or the services you provide

4. The sale and installation of the wrong system for the customer

Here are a few customer retention strategies to combat system non-use.

Communicate the value of security systems.  Communicate regularly with your customers about the value of owning and using their security system. Use e-mail, newsletters, bill inserts, website blogs and other communications as opportunities to provide tips to customers on using their system. Let your customers know about other services, such as fire, carbon monoxide, and water detection, to show that the that the system provides always-active services (and value), even if the customer doesn’t use the intrusion portion of the system or interact with the panel regularly.

Make sure your service offerings are competitive.   One key to customer retention (and increased RMR) is upgrading your customers with new technology and services. Some of today’s largest growth areas in the residential market are home automation, remote or mobile device-based control capabilities, and video. In the commercial market, automation, mobile, access control, cellular communication and video are lucrative areas for increasing RMR, as is inspection, testing and maintenance services. If you’re not offering the latest services and technologies, consider adding them.

Actively market and sell your services.  Let your customers know about the full range of services that you offer. Otherwise they may assume that you don’t offer the latest technologies and services, and go looking for them from your competitor. Don’t wait for your customers to call you for upgrades or new technology, actively sell them. If you wait, your competitor may come knocking on your customer’s door and offer to install a new system – one that the customer will want to use – for free. You will have lost the opportunity not only to retain the account, but to increase your RMR.

For more tips on selling new technology and services to existing clients, read our bog post Power Up Your RMR Through Product and Service Upgrades.