Why You Should Go ‘Above and Beyond’ to Differentiate With Service
Jennifer Doctor, senior director of product management for Tyco Security Solutions at JCI says, “Personal service means more than sending a bill or responding when an event happens.”
Advances in alarm signal communications have introduced newfound opportunities, and challenges for installing security contractors. Jennifer Doctor, senior director of product management for Tyco Security Solutions at Johnson Controls (which now includes the respected legacy brand DSC), joins the conversation to discuss these and other topics.
Wireless has not been well accepted traditionally in the commercial marketplace. What main challenges do integrators face today in trying to sell and deploy wireless solutions to these customers?
True, wireless technology has not been accepted well in the commercial market, but that can change with the right solution. To be attractive the right technology needs to be available for integrators. Naturally, the technology offered needs to work across longer range, be robust against interference and it must be encrypted.
But there also needs to be a portfolio of products that work in this environment. Until integrators have a whole solution that meets these requirements, acceptance in the commercial space will progress slower than in the residential market.
Where do you see underserved or untapped opportunities for security dealers in the marketplace?
This may sound unusual coming from a manufacturer of security products for dealers, but there are opportunities for dealers to create marketplace differentiation through service. Of course, offering the highest level of product quality is essential, and doing so in ways that deliver products that delight while offering security and protection.
But the opportunities that exist today are about how to provide the personal service that the DIY solutions in the market do not. Personal service means more than sending a bill or responding when an event happens. Customers are often willing to spend more if ‘above and beyond’ is there. Creating a ‘health report’ for the customer would be of significant value to customers, yet few dealers offer this as above and beyond. This level of service is where dealers can stand out.
In this Internet of Things era, how can connected smart devices be expected to greatly enhance the life-safety mission?
The concept of DIY and IoT seems to have empowered many companies to offer solutions in the life-safety space. Some even market themselves as security. But, simply offering a product that is based on wireless technology or available via a Cloud-based app is not enough. Products have a greater need than ever to be as reliable and secure than ever.
Do you consider self-monitored or MIY systems a threat to your security dealer partners’ business?
This is a large market with huge potential for growth. Our shared goal in the industry is to provide a means to make individuals feel safe and secure in their homes. Yet, the definition of security has shifted to be in the end user’s, the homeowner’s hands. I think there is room in this market for different definitions, as well as for different products that enable the path to the goal. MIY is not new. It has been available in the market, in some form or another, for more than five years yet as an industry we are still only protecting about 22% of the homes. There is room for all of us in this market.
Where is the marketplace currently in the transition following the 2G sunset? Do you see dealers still struggling to catch up?
2G is over. AT&T already sun-setted 2G and Verizon’s dates are fast approaching. Dealers who have not made the transition will face trouble if they have not done so before the date. Johnson Controls has offered LTE products for years in support of the dealer market. That is where the dealers need to be. That is until we begin the transition to 5G — not today, relax!
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