Pinnacle corralling customers with geofences

The summer model company believes new Geo-Services technology could make customers 'stickier'
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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

OREM, Utah—Pinnacle Security believes geofences could help keep its customers from straying.

The leading summer-sales-model home company, based here, recently announced the launch of Alarm.com’s Geo-Services technology. With the free service, customers can set geofences, which are perimeters around locations, using an iPhone or Android device. When they leave or enter the geofenced area with the hand-held device, they get automatic reminders sent to the device to remind them to arm or disarm their system.

Pinnacle just rolled out the new feature to its sales force nationwide in June, so the company doesn’t yet have much hard data. But company officials said anecdotal evidence suggests the Geo-Services offering is helping sales and could make customers "stickier."

“We’re excited about it because customers don’t have to necessarily do anything and they can get reminders from their system to let them know to arm it and to disarm it,” Kevin Woodworth, VP of installations for Pinnacle, told Security Systems News. “From a customer-usage perspective, it’s one of those automated features that makes it so the customer stays in touch with their alarm system maybe more than they would without it, and that certainly drives usage and usage drives attrition.”

Geo-Services also is enhancing sales, Woodworth said. “We’ve had it out there for a little while and it’s helped for sure,” he said. “It gives one additional point of differentiation that our sales guys can use on the doors, one extra thing they can talk to customers about to spark interest.”

It’s not just available to new customers—existing customers also are getting the feature as a free upgrade, he said. The company hopes that will increase their stickiness.

Pinnacle VP Stuart Dean said in a prepared statement: “The biggest challenge in properly using a home security system is remembering to arm it. … Our partnership with Alarm.com allows our customers remote access to arm their system through an app and now will go a step further and send a reminder when the iPhone or Android device leaves the user-determined geofence.”

The company said that “once this technology is enabled on the customer’s account, a default geofence is set up around the system address; users have the option to create additional geofences as well. Arming reminders, tailored to the customers’ individual needs, are then created for each geofence. Customers can specify dates, times, and the recipients of the reminder.”

Alarm.com was touting Geo-Services at ISC West in March, prior to its April release.

Pinnacle last year launched Alarm.com’s Image Sensor—a wireless device that combines a motion detector with a built-in still camera, allowing homeowners to view “snapshots” of what’s happening in their homes from their smartphones or other devices.

Woodworth told SSN: “That product is going extremely well. This summer it’s our second summer with it.” In 2011, Pinnacle sold more than 10,000 of the devices and now the number sold has risen to 25,000 or more, he said. “And it’s obviously not the end of the year, so we expect that to go [up] quite a bit more,” he said.

Pinnacle is having “an outstanding summer,” Dean told SSN. He said the company was not ready to release sales specifics at this time but added, “We’re up over last year.”