How to Deploy a Key System the Right Way – Dialogue

May 4, 2020
After performing your discovery, design, development and deployment, you still have to have a good ongoing dialogue for a successful outcome and a satisfied customer.

Congratulations! You completed a successful key-system deployment. The client has signed off on the project punch list, and you handed over the keys. Your work here is done, right? Not quite.

You have the client’s attention, you’ve developed and nurtured a relationship and, more important, you’ve earned their trust. If you pride yourself on being a savvy businessperson, this is the perfect time to explore how you can continue to serve your client well into the future—through ongoing dialogue.

Continued Relationship

Discuss warranties in place. As a trusted adviser, you have responsibilities. These include explaining all product warranties in place and answering questions that the client might have. This likely will include a manufacturer’s warranty on the key system itself but also can include any warranty that you extend on the work you performed, such as a 60-day warranty on labor or free key-cutting services for 30 days.

Detail preventative-maintenance options. Several weeks or months ago, your customer made a purchase decision. They decided to hire you to implement their new key system. Today, they know you as the locksmith, but they probably aren’t aware of your full range of service solutions or capabilities.

Preventative-maintenance contracts can be profitable revenue streams for locksmiths. This is your opportunity to cross-sell. Explain your programs in detail and perhaps leave behind literature. Then, follow up with an email that details exactly what your services include.  

A preventative-maintenance contract might be straightforward, such as conducting an annual site visit during which you replace batteries in electronic locks, perform software updates and check that doors operate safely and correctly. It might include a provision for emergency service when the need arises or for additional training should the end user have a change in personnel. If nothing else, it’s highly likely that over the course of the next few years, doors and locks will be subject to wear and tear and will require maintenance. Because of the relationship you established, you’re in a solid position to win this future business.

Review the process for authorizing key cutting and service work. As the locksmith and project manager, you likely have defined your own rules and policies for the process of authorizing new keys to be cut. Do you require only a phone call? Do you require written authorization from an authorized individual whom you have on file? Take the time to review this procedure with the customer.

The manufacturer certainly maintains a file of the employee or employees at each company who are authorized to order key blanks. Be sure that the customer clearly understands who is authorized to have keys cut, who is authorized to order key blanks and what the process entails.

The same goes for service work. Who is authorized to call upon you to perform service work? Let’s say one of your loyal clients is the owner of a multifamily housing complex. A pipe bursts overnight in one of his units, but the occupant is away, and the key isn’t working in that particular door. What should be done? Explain the service process, including what number to call for such emergencies and how you typically respond to standard and emergency requests.

Discuss the benefits of updating the client’s master specification. Although it might be challenging to accomplish, you should encourage your client to add your products and services to their company’s master specification, including the materials to be used, methods of installation and quality of workmanship expected. Discuss the overall benefits of having and maintaining a master specification. This can go a long way in helping to solidify future business.

Stay in touch. Your role doesn’t end after you deploy a new key system. There are many opportunities for you to continue to add value to the end user, so be sure to stay in touch. Regardless of whether the client purchased a preventative-maintenance contract, there’s no harm in reaching out a few times each year to inquire how the key system is working and to ask whether you might be of service with any issues or challenges they face. 

By following the five D’s of an effective key-system deployment, you not only will increase productivity and efficiency, reduce waste, improve quality and reduce risk, but you also will position your business to take advantage of recurring business and generate positive reviews and word-of-mouth referrals from happy clients. 

Editor’s note: Read the previous installments of our series online at, and

Dale L. Bowman, CML, CPP, PSP, PCI, LEED BD+C, is Medeco’s Director of Business Development, OEM and International Sales.

About the Author

Dale L. Bowman

Dale L. Bowman, CML, CPP, PSP, PCI, LEED BD+C, is Medeco’s director of business development, OEM and international sales.