Customer advocacy is at the core of Vivint's vision.
Someone asked me the other day, “What is Vivint’s vision of service? What is the driving philosophy that determines how you care for your customers?” There are many reasons our service rises above the rest, but four of the biggest areas we excel in are: customer advocacy, a strong hiring policy, competent customer support, and quality assurance.
When a customer calls in we immediately get on their team. We want to be their advocate. We find out what the problem is, and go to work on their behalf. We want to solve the problem and assist them in any way we can. Our customers are central to everything we do here at Vivint, and we want them to feel that when they call in with an issue.
Sometimes customers fall on hard times. We understand that this sometimes happens, and we’ll work to make sure that they can keep the protection in their home. We would much rather keep a family protected for the long term than to collect that month’s monitoring payment. Our goal is to build a bridge for our customers that helps them overcome their difficulties so we can maintain that relationship. We believe we exist to help other people succeed. It means a lot to our customers to know we are on their side.
strong hiring policy
At Vivint, we want to hire the kinds of people who have already demonstrated a lifestyle of serving people. When I interview someone, I ask them what kinds of things they are doing in their personal or business life to serve others. If the answer is absolutely nothing, that isn’t the kind of person we want on our team. We know if someone has a servant’s heart in their personal life, they will usually have a servant’s heart in their professional life. An employee who serves will find ways to serve the team she manages, her coworkers, and the customers that she comes in contact with everyday, and that is important to us.
Everyone who works for us is an employee. What I mean by that is we don’t farm out our jobs to dealers and subcontractors. All our service techs have gone through complete background checks, reference checks, drug tests, and MVR checks. We care about who we send into a customer’s home, and our people really do make a difference.
Vivint has a one-strike policy for customer service employees. When we hire someone, they sign an agreement saying they will never talk down to a customer. All employees, from the VP’s on down to the newest training group, know that if they belittle a customer, they lose their job. There are no exceptions.
When people are hired, they agree to “become Vivint” and maintain a high standard of work and behavior. We want great attitudes only. We have staff meetings every week where our employees receive training and feedback, strengthening their communication and other job skills. Our employees are always growing.
competent customer support
At Vivint 93 percent of all technical issues are taken care of over the phone through customer support. This means that only rarely does a customer have to take time out of his busy schedule to have a tech visit his home. The secret to this percentage is we only have two panel types: Honeywell and Go!Control. Our competitors have hundreds of different panels, and it is impossible for them to be experts on all of these. At Vivint everyone including sales people, installers, tech support, and customer service reps are experts on our two panels, so they can efficiently and effectively help our customers.
We have given our customer service reps the power of the executive decision. At Vivint we have pushed the decision-making down to the bottom. When people call in, they want to talk to a decision-maker, and our customer service reps have been trained and have been given the authority to make the same decisions on behalf of our customers as upper management. We also cluster our call center reps in groups of ten, with a manager over every group, so that if they do need help making a decision, they have easy access to a supervisor.
Our call centers have no talk-time restrictions. This is very rare—most customer service reps are trained to keep the length of their calls around 3.5 minutes. But at Vivint, people matter. We don’t want to make our customers feel like we are rushing them off the phone. We want to connect with them and let them know they are valued.
quality assurance (we listen)
Through analytics, Q&A, surveys, customer follow up, call recording/analyzing technology, and social media we are able to do “complaint mining” for more than 700,000 customers. We receive and analyze hundreds of surveys from our customers every day about things like customer support, experiences with sales reps and field service techs, and overall opinions of our company. This gives us the data to determine what our customers want and what is most important to them. We measure this data frequently and use it to analyze how we are progressing, and this drives how Vivint grows and changes as a company.
We want to listen and respond to our customers, and we have many different ways to communicate with them. In addition to our call centers, we connect with people through Facebook, Twitter, our corporate blog and 24-hour email response. In today’s culture many people don’t want to communicate over the phone, and we want our customers to be able to reach us any way they choose. We want to respond quickly so people feel valued and protected.
So, to wrap it all up, our philosophy of service at Vivint is based on being an advocate for our customers, hiring and equipping competent employees who will serve and value people, and assuring quality through open lines of communication. This is the vision of service that makes Vivint rise above the rest.
Josh Houser—President of the Vivint Family Foundation and Vivint’s Vice President of Service and Inside Sales.