How to Give Customers More Value With B2B Web Portals and Mobile Apps
Web portals and mobile apps can provide businesses with comprehensive access and management tools for their security-related data.
Security professionals are tasked with integrating a wide variety of vendors’ products for intrusion, fire, video and access control to provide a reliable and cost-effective solution for businesses to secure their locations.
For optimum success, systems integrators need to supply their customers with the right tools to deliver a 360° view at all times of their locations’ alarm systems.
While many manufacturers offer web and mobile applications that grant access to their specific products, they can’t provide a customer with full access to all the products that have been installed.
To bridge this gap, integrators must provide methods that allow customers access to the monitoring, service and access control data, as well as enable them to manage their alarm systems at each location.
Web Portals, Reporting Tools Expand Capabilities
B2B web portals can be a total solution for businesses wanting comprehensive, real-time information of all alarm activity. A good solution will give access to monitoring data that includes the ability to drill down for more detail on events and view video when integrated.
To enhance this capability, integrators may also consider implementing a data visualization tool, which allows the monitoring and service data to be used in ways not possible with traditional reporting tools.
When implemented correctly, these tools can bring forward the most actionable data with minimal effort from the user. This can help businesses ensure they are deploying their resources in the most effective manner to protect their assets.
For example, monitoring data can allow a business to invest more money in their locations that reside in high risk areas. Service data could be used to identify locations where an employee may be intentionally damaging security equipment, providing a breach in security to allow for theft.
Another key component of a good B2B portal are self-service features such as call list management, request service, mange access to locations, arm/disarm systems, test systems and more.
Users want to be able to make these changes immediately themselves without waiting for someone else to eradicate the situation. Many times, a time-sensitive event and wasted minutes create more risk.
Offering broad self-service capabilities drives efficiencies for both customer and integrators alike. The key is making the tools the easiest and most reliable way for customers to manage their needs.
Make Sure Mobile Apps Offer Intuitive Functionality
With the widespread adoption of smartphones, security integrators also need to consider complementing their B2B offerings with a native mobile application.
Such an application may not have as much feature-rich functionality as a web portal, but should focus, instead, on the needs of the security professional in the field.
These powerful handheld devices also introduce capabilities not typically possible with web portals, like biometric access, built-in camera, GPS and push notification capabilities.
When building a mobile app, it’s important to leverage these capabilities to provide the most secure and intuitive experience possible. Examples include supporting authentication to a user’s account at the touch of a finger, photo and video attachments to provide more detail of service needs, and push notifications to alert a user of important events at their locations.
Customers need easy access to manage their locations while on the go. A mobile application is a solution for a store manager, for example, who needs to grant an employee access to open the store on their behalf because they are delayed.
As mobile devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) continue to make our lives more integrated, the expectation of integrators to provide this capability will continue to rise.
Finding the right blend of features to offer in the mobile application versus the web application is important. Over-complicating the feature offering on the mobile app will result in user frustration and poor adoption of the application.
Make sure a good voice of the customer (VoC) program is in place to help identify the key features that will add the most value for customers. Mix that together with an engaging user experience design and the technology to support it, and you will have created valuable tools that end users can’t imagine being without to keep their business running safely and smoothly.
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