Building a Team to Focus on Customer Service
When Rex Gillette joined
Protection 1 nearly six years ago as its Vice President of Retail Sales, the
company was better known as a small business and residential security provider
with a very small dedicated National Accounts organization and no retail focus.
Recruited by industry veteran Bob Dale, he was tasked with recruiting, hiring
and building out a team of sales professionals to serve this specialized
Gillette was no stranger to the retail market. He started his career in retail
security in 1983 as a territory sales rep for Sensormatic Electronics in the
Northeastern part of the country. Over the years, he served in many roles
including area sales manager and director of sales. In 1996, he was asked to
lead Sensormatic's efforts for the Asia/Pacific region where he served as
General Manager with responsibility for the entire P&L. Upon returning to the
United States six years later, he assumed the role of vice president of sales
for what was to become ADT Security Services' retail division, after the
acquisition of Sensormatic by Tyco. Prior to joining Protection 1, Gillette also
served as Director of Retail Sales for Vector Security.
His 30 years of experience taught him that serving the customer first was the
key to success for any organization which aligned well with Protection 1's core
philosophy. Having joined the Protection 1 team, Gillette set out to build a
dedicated, world-class retail sales organization. The attributes he looks for
most in his team members are integrity, relationship building and problem
solving skills, hard-working and motivated.
He credits Protection 1's customer service platform with his ability to attract
the best in the industry both from an employee and customer perspective. When
recruiting new team members, a great selling point for Gillette is the fact that
his sales professionals can focus on meeting their customers' security needs,
not chasing down service technicians.
In order to do that Protection 1 operates a National Account Operations Center (NAOC)
for its large, enterprise national account customers including major retailers.
The center is responsible for the design and implementation of large scale
system roll-outs encompassing technology ranging from simple BA conversions to
integrated electronic security systems. This is done through a program called 1
This program entails a dedicated team of four to five people who are assigned to
an account, with one individual overseeing the activities. These teams sit and
work together and are familiar with all aspects of the job and customer
requirements. The group is responsible and accountable for all customer
interactions with Protection 1, including account management, order entry,
installation, service delivery, monitoring and billing. The team monitors the
account every day to ensure the systems are working at peak performance and to
identify trends that could potentially turn into problems down the road, making
it possible for early intervention. This team liaisons with the NAOC Field
Operations team to implement a customer's requested installation timetable,
manage communications and collect installation sign-off documents.
Gillette and his team can also tap into the company's Network Operations Center
(NOC) and Integrated Solutions group. This Center has a dedicated staff of Cisco
Certified, Meraki Certified, and Sonicwall Certified team members. The NOC is
primarily focused on providing real-time monitoring of IT-sensitive systems,
including up/down status and network performance metrics. In addition to
monitoring systems for performance and potential problems, the NOC also designs,
installs and commissions LAN/WAN networks for companies that either do not have
the internal resources to accomplish this task on their own or for those who
want a dedicated security only network. The addition of the Cisco Cloud and
Managed Services Express Partner Certification introduces a new level of
capabilities and expertise to the NOC in this growing outsourced services
market. Outsourcing of these activities is progressively gaining traction in
today's competitive retail world.
When Gillette first joined Protection 1, the company's primary offerings were
around burglar alarm and small fire systems. With the support of the NAOC and
the NOC, his team can now offer advanced technologies that many of his customers
are looking to include in their security portfolios. Retailers recognize the
need for solutions that not only protect people and property but also help them
deliver a more efficient and effective operation to give them an edge in today's
Gillette feels that the company's reputation for consistently maintaining a
97.3% customer satisfaction rating and A+ BBB ranking make attracting top notch
employees and notable customers a reality. Simple things like phone calls
answered by a Protection 1 operator and not an automated phone tree, typically
within one ring are stand-out functions in today's fast-paced business climate.
Offering same-day service is standard and not an upcharge at Protection 1. And
unique offerings like TechTracker, a service that notifies the customer when a
technician is scheduled for their location, just add to the customer first
mentality at Protection 1.
The focus on customer service that Protection 1 provides has allowed Gillette to
build his team over the past six years and greatly expand its retail customer
portfolio to include some of the country's top brands. The devil is in the
details and for Gillette, it's all about the details.