Make 2-Way Voice Verification a Staple of Your Portfolio of Services

Along with helping greatly reduce false dispatches, two-way audio communication can create new streams of recurring revenue.

Two-way, interactive voice communication can be an invaluable tool in times of an emergency, and one that not all central stations excel at delivering as a standard feature of their monitoring services.

In the past, some wholesale monitoring companies have elected not to offer two-way audio due to the complexity and economics associated with properly equipping their facilities to support the service. Even though a monitoring center’s expenditures are higher, the cost difference from conventional monitoring to the dealer is marginal.

Two-way voice communication allows installing security contractors to increase the recurring fees on what they charge their subscribers for monitoring. The technology can be incorporated into most any type of alarm system, including intrusion, fire/life-safety, medical, personal emergency response systems (PERS) and mobile PERS.

A two-way voice system automatically routes signals to monitoring personnel who are specially trained to deal with quickly unfolding emergency situations. When an alarm has been received, monitoring personnel can listen in and, if no threatening sounds or voices are overheard, communicate directly with the premises.

Depending on subscriber preferences, most two-way-enabled accounts can display unresolved security issues and other information helpful to monitoring personnel and first responders in assessing the situation. For example, many medical customers have life vials in or around their refrigerator that contain medical information. If such information is noted on an account it can be relayed to the dispatcher.

This immediate verification of an alarm event can go a long way in mitigating false dispatches. Indeed, law enforcement authorities across the nation consider a verified alarm by way of two-way audio as a higher priority call, therefore expediting faster police response.

Two-way voice tackles other vexing issues such as call waiting, call forwarding and off-premise voicemail systems, all of which account for a great many alarms that are not properly verified. Then there is the problem with the subscriber exiting the premise before the callback. When two-way voice is supported properly, a callback to the premise is eliminated. Monitoring personnel are able to employ the same communication path used to send the alarm for verification purposes.

Using a direct connection of on-site speakers and microphones to the central station, two-way voice communication is well-suited for both residential and commercial applications. Select wholesale monitoring stations have also adopted bi-directional Short Message Service (SMS) in which subscribers are sent a text message from the central station they can respond to. This allows people who, for instance, may be in a meeting or otherwise not free to speak to monitoring personnel to cancel a dispatch.

Group chat is also available. Rapid Response Monitoring released this feature recently to provide real-time communication between responsible parties upon receipt of an alarm at the central station. All responsible parties receive a SMS or email notification containing a link that brings them into a secure chat in which they can discuss the alarm event. They also have the option to communicate with the central station to request a dispatch, request to cancel the alarm, report that they are responding, schedule a no-action on the account, and access the alarm history for the account. All responsible parties are therefore instantly informed and updated.

Mobile phone apps are also available that support push notifications, allowing subscribers to communicate with the monitoring center and cancel or request dispatches. Video can also be incorporated so subscribers can view associated video as part of the decision-making process.

Security dealer and integrators should contact their central station to better understand how two-way audio verification can be a great addition to their portfolio of services. Identifying the right central station partner to provide these services hinges on essential technological components.

Click here to learn how Rapid Response can help you offer two-way voice verification, as well as their many other advanced monitoring technologies.

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