Business Q & A

May 18, 2014

A conversation with Jamie Haenggi

Jamie Haenggi, chief marketing officer and customer experience officer, at Protection 1 in Wichita, has seen a lot of changes in the security and alarm business.

Jamie Haenggi, chief marketing officer and customer experience officer, at Protection 1 in Wichita, has seen a lot of changes in the security and alarm business.

There’s been a big leap forward in technology and innovation.

The resolution of video cameras is rising and costs are declining, which expands their use and brings those technologies to the mass market.

A women’s clothing retailer, for example, uses video technology in stores for more than security reasons. A Protection 1 customer, the retailer uses video for marketing and operations purposes, Haenggi said.

For example, the retailer can monitor consumer behavior to see what displays and merchandise customers are attracted to when they enter a store.

A fast food franchisee that’s a customer uses the technology to monitor drive-through times and the stores’ registers.

“The reality is now video is no longer people sitting there looking at the video. Now you can put analytics with video and wring out data and insights,” Haenggi said.

Residential users can use smartphones to arm and disarm security systems, dim lights, change the thermostat and control locks. Working parents with the right technology, for example, can see their children walking through the door after school.

Haenggi (pronounced Hang-ee) grew up in Minneapolis, Minn., and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in international relations and East Asian studies.

After college, Haenggi, 44, joined National Guardian in Minneapolis, then moved to Connecticut to run its start-up international division.

She then joined Holmes Protection in New York City as head of its marketing and acquisition integration department. At the time, the company made more than 40 acquisitions in about 36 months, and Haenggi was in charge of the integrations.

When the company sold to ADT security in the mid-1990s, Haenggi and her family moved with ADT to Boca Raton, Fla., where she was vice president of sales and marketing.

After nearly 10 years with ADT, she joined digital phone company Vonage in Holmdel, N.J., as chief marketing officer.

Haenggi came back to the security business when she joined Protection 1 and moved to Wichita in 2010.

The Wichita site at 800 E. Waterman operates around the clock and employs more than 600 people, or about 25 percent of the Chicago-based company’s workforce.

Haenggi and her husband, Jeff, have two children, ages 14 and 10.

They live on 110 acres in Rose Hill and are building out what she calls a “hobby farm.”

“We call it ‘Farming by Google,’ ” Haenggi said. “We’re city folk that don’t really know what we’re doing. We kind of research and read and just kind of figure it out by Googling different topics and reading about it and learning about it.”

The family has 30 chickens, five horses, a cow, a calf, a llama, a dog and a barn cat or two.

Protection 1’s Wichita workforce handles about 30,000 calls a day. And you answer each call with a human within 60 seconds. That’s a lot of calls.

Our core belief is our brand and our customer experience. ... In our monitoring department, we’ll take in 15,000 alarms today. That’s 15,000 opportunities to create an impression with a customer. (In customer service), we take in 9,000 to 10,000 calls per day just in that one department. That’s 10,000 opportunities to create a brand impression. ... If you take care of the customers, everything else takes care of itself.

When you arrived in Wichita, Protection 1 was a declining company without organic growth. Now the focus on customer service is paying off. How so?

We were a company back in 2009 that had a 13.3 percent (customer) attrition rate. In 2013, we were at a 10.8 percent attrition rate in an industry where the average company is at a 15 percent attrition rate. ... Our whole positioning is around our service. That’s how we differentiated our brand. The best way to grow profitably and to grow is to keep the customers you already have.

Isn’t there a lot of competition out there?

The alarm industry is highly fragmented. There’s 13,000 competitors in the landscape. ... ADT, Protection 1 and Stanley Security make up about 20 percent of the industry. The rest is made up of small mom-and-pop security companies.

What do you like best about your job?

The favorite thing about my job is interacting with our employees. To be in my position, I have the opportunity to help develop, help coach and help mentor. It’s very satisfying to help employees grow and develop careers. Being part of helping to create a culture at Protection 1 is probably where I get my most satisfaction. ... We all spend too many hours at our job not to enjoy the work that we do.

What’s your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge may be time – balancing the different priorities I have in my position. ... It’s being sure I have the impact I need to have and getting done the things I need to get done, and balance my commitment to my family.

What’s your best management advice?

I would say add value to your company. ... A company is looking to grow and grow profitably. If you can contribute, contribute. Second, come in to work with a great attitude. All of us have different pressures inside and outside work. If you bring a good attitude to work, people will want to work with you. People want to help; people are more open to listening with you. If you bring a great attitude to work, things can get accomplished. Third? Ask great questions. The quality of your results is in direct proportion to the quality of your questions.

What’s one thing not many people know about you?

On Saturday mornings I enjoy shoveling horse manure. One, I just love being around horses. Two, I can see my progress immediately. It’s low stress, and I can just clear my mind and I can think. It’s a very prayerful time for me. I spend a lot of time just praying, and I don’t have to think about anything. I can feel a sense of accomplishment. It is my quiet time.

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