I have been an independent security consultant for over 27 years. I have worked with literally hundreds of different security system integrators, ranging from one-man shops to the largest security systems integration companies in the world.
Every once in a while, I come across a security integrator that really stands-out. These integrators seem to exceed customer expectations in every way and set the standard for professional, high-quality security and surveillance installation and service work. I call these integrators “world-class”, and enthusiastically recommend them to my clients.
Here are some of the characteristics possessed by a “world-class” security systems integrator:
During the sales process
- Really listens to the customer’s needs before trying to sell them anything.
- Talks to the customer on his level and uses a minimum of technical jargon.
- Honestly explains the strengths and weaknesses of the product he is selling.
- Gives the customer an itemized quotation so that he fully understands what he is buying.
- Truthfully explains the ongoing maintenance and upgrade costs of the system he is proposing.
- Gives the customer a realistic idea of how long the system is really going to last and how quickly it may become obsolete.
- Has the courage to tell the customer that what he is asking for really won’t solve his security problem.
- Is quick to refer the customer to other service providers when they may be better able to meet the customer’s needs.
- Doesn’t try to sell the customer something he doesn’t need just to make a sale.
During the installation process
- Fully complies with the agreed upon specifications or contract.
- Sends only well-qualified technicians to the jobsite to perform the installation work.
- Is respectful of the customer’s workspace; causes minimum disruption, cleans up messes as they are made.
- Regularly keeps customer informed as to the status of the installation so that there are no surprises.
- Keeps schedule commitments and finishes the installation on time.
- Provides an adequate level of user training until the customer is fully comfortable in using the system.
After the sale
- Is as quick to return calls and emails to the customer as they were before the sale.
- Has a service organization in place so that service calls can be handled promptly and professionally. Has more than one person in their company who can work on the customer’s system.
- Takes full responsibility for the problems the client is experiencing – doesn’t try to blame problems on the manufacturer or other parties. Stands behind their product even if it ends up costing them money.
- Honors warranty commitments even if customer may be unaware of them.
- Lets customer know of expected costs of repairs before they are performed.
- Keeps customer informed as to the status of their service request. Tells customer what they are working on, when problem is solved, and what they found.
- Calls the customer back periodically to check-in to see how things are going.
- Keeps customer informed of system upgrades and enhancements. Doesn’t wait until last minute to tell the customer that their system is at “end-of-life”.
The difference between top-performers and mediocre performers is often only in the way that they handle the small details. Simple things done repeatedly can place a company in the top 5% and allow it to become a “world-class” security systems integrator.