When those in the know look at the elements of a promising movie, book or sports team they will say something to the effect that it has all the right ingredients to be a classic film, bestseller or champion. It can be the same way with a security company.
Case in point is Owen Security Solutions, which was launched by a resourceful entrepreneur who prioritized premium customer care and giving back to the community while building it into a top-flight family-run business.
Like a Gary Cooper western, John Grisham novel or the 1995 Atlanta Braves that brought a World Series title to Owen’s home state — it’s about being made up of the right stuff . In that sense, Owen Security is a classic in its own right, and SSI’s 2019 Small Installer of the Year.
Founded in 1973 by Gary Owen out of his home in Calhoun, Ga., he grew the business throughout the tightly knit community with the support of friends and neighbors, and passed its ownership to his son, Justin Owen, in 2010.
Under Justin’s leadership, Owen Security Solutions has rapidly grown to be one of the largest security systems companies in Georgia and has expanded to service the entire North Georgia and Tennessee Valley area.
“Owen Security Solutions aspires to be the most preferred and trusted property and life-safety solutions company in North Georgia. We will accomplish this by consistently exceeding expectations, delivering exceptional service, and providing premier solutions for the protection of lives and property,” states the company’s mission statement.
Now with more than 40 employees serving in excess of 7,500 residential and commercial clients to the tune of $4.5 million in annual revenues, Owen Security continues to maintain its original business model as a local, family-based company.
The firm remains driven to providing the highest level of customer service and satisfaction, the latest and most enhanced technologies and an unwavering commitment to the communities it serves.
Its operations are predicated on these core values: “Earn customer confidence every day through integrity, honesty and expertise; place customers’ needs first and be the best at what matters most; recognize that our greatest asset is our people, and support them in their commitment to do whatever it takes to make customers happy; contribute positively to our communities; and acknowledge that profitability ensures our future success.”
Read on as Justin Owen, Director of Operations April Chastain, Sales Manager Joseph Weatherford and Director of Marketing Tonia Davis explain how Owen Security Solutions upholds those guiding principles.
Earning High Ratings
APRIL CHASTAIN: Owen Security Solutions representatives strive to earn our customers’ confidence through integrity, honesty and expertise. We place the customers’ needs first and it is our goal to ensure that each interaction ends with a satisfied customer and a solution to each situation. We not only offer continuing education and technical training, but also training on “soft skills” and how to improve a customer’s day better when dealing with Owen Security. Our customer service representatives are proactive in assisting our customers and ensuring their satisfaction. Representatives follow up with our customers after installations, service calls, troubles and alarms, and use multiple forms of communication to best suit customers’ preferences.
Our employees also shop locally and use everyday interactions to check in on customers and ensure they are satisfied with their products and services. We measure customer satisfaction through online reviews and maintain a near 5-star rating on social media platforms. We have also maintained a 4.7-star Google rating and have continued to acquire customers who cite “word-of-mouth” as the reason for their interest. Each year, our No. 1 referral source continues to be repeat customers and customer referrals, which we believe to be a wonderful way of measuring our customer satisfaction.
We continuously strive to improve the customer experience by responding and reacting immediately to problems or complaints and work directly with the customer to solve problems, concerns or needs to the best of our ability. Calls from leads that are funneled through digital marketing are randomly recorded and reviewed during weekly customer service meetings. We take customer feedback seriously and use it to improve in all departments. Our goal is to communicate our genuine concern for each person during every interaction.
Everyone on Same Page
JOSEPH WEATHERFORD: We believe that our success in 2018 can be attributed to our commitment to offering innovative solutions on a local level. We hire representatives who are local to each market we serve and actively involved in the communities we serve. Our employees share the common objective of putting our clients’ needs first; whether residential or commercial. We treat each client as our most important client.
CHASTAIN: Our team conducts weekly leadership meetings to discuss, deploy and refi ne new operational plans in real-time. In addition to security and life-safety products and services, our growth targets involve further implementing and improving new divisions of the company, such as the audio/visual and gate divisions, and meeting the needs of new clients with our technology and expertise.
JUSTIN OWEN: We have recently launched a new custom client tracking and sales software that is unique to the industry and built exclusively for Owen Security Solutions. This software manages the customer from the sales call through the time the prospect becomes a customer and the job is installed. This has streamlined the process to improve communication and make the experience better for the consumer as well as to improve internal efficiency throughout departments.
TONIA DAVIS: Company representatives frequently attend product and vendor training and trade shows to ensure that we are keeping up with the latest technologies and trends. They then research product information and alternatives, product manufacturers and vendors, conduct in-house beta-testing and educate other departments before launching new products.
Owen Security Solutions’ marketing team plans social media marketing across multiple platforms specific to the needs of target customers in each community. Promotions are also created to simultaneously promote fellow small businesses and recapture our current client base. Quarterly newsletters are sent to current clients with information about our company, communities and current offers.
We diligently track each promotion to determine its success and better understand what appeals to our target audiences. We also record and analyze digital platform insights, online leads, recorded calls and use them to retarget current and potential customers.
Everyone Is Family
OWEN: We know that our company is nothing without a strong team of great people. We believe that if we take care of our employees and invest in their professional and personal development and satisfaction, they will take pride in wowing our customers. We look for individuals with optimistic personalities who are goal-oriented and have the desire to grow both professionally and personally. We want to hire long-term team members who will grow into leaders and be creative, resourceful and offer insight on making our company the best it can be.
WEATHERFORD: We have designed our employee onboarding programs to include employee shadowing, one-on-one evaluations, knowledge checks and weekly team meetings to ensure that each new team member is properly trained, capable and confident in their new position.
CHASTAIN: We invest in team-building opportunities and activities because employee satisfaction is a priority in our company. We offer prizes and initiatives for meeting goals, have quarterly company meetings to bring the entire staff together and show appreciation while updating everyone on the company’s progress, challenges and opportunities. We celebrate birthdays, work anniversaries and weddings, as well as supporting employees during hardships. We operate as a true family and take time to express appreciation for each other. The average tenure with our company is approximately five years, with our longest active employee recently celebrating 19 years of employment.
Strong Community Spirit
DAVIS: Our annual Future Hero Scholarship is awarded to the high school senior of a first responder in the community. Our team has also started the Owen Give-Back Program, which is completely funded by employee donations and fundraising. This program allows our company to feed those less fortunate at Thanksgiving, adopt multiple children at Christmas and sponsor schools and various charitable organizations throughout the year.
We also sponsor and participate in many charitable events and activities throughout the year, both monetarily and by sending volunteer employees to participate and work events. Members of our leadership team are also active in the Local Emergency Preparedness Committee. Owen Security Solutions leaders are also committed to the local security industry and educating the public on the importance of products that could save lives.
April Chastain is a board member for the Local Emergency Planning Committee and has devoted a large amount of time and energy to the organization. She often assists with the committee’s emergency planning, strategies, meetings, fundraisers and educating the community.The leadership team has also visited local schools and government establishments to educate on the statistics and suggested procedures for life-threatening events.
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