Being a Hero to Your Customers

Relationships are precious. Whether they are between a couple, parent/child, friends, political allies, professional alliances, co-workers or a business and its customer, relationships are fragile, mutually beneficial connections predicated on achieving a delicate balance of trust. And the quality of the relationship determines the level of satisfaction each party experiences. The most critical ingredient: clear and open communication.  

Has yours truly turned into a Dr. Phil wannabe? Hardly. This concept is at the core of achieving any degree of personal or professional success. For representatives of installing electronic security companies, that means establishing strong relationships with associates, colleagues, suppliers, professional service providers, members and officials of the communities served, and clientele. That last one is the point of my column this month.

Now in its fifth year, one of SSI‘s most anticipated research projects has become our annual Corporate End-User Study (see page 48), which was conducted this year with the cooperation of Reed Exhibitions (ISC West/East) and Campus Safety magazine. As you will see, there is a boatload of fantastic data to sink your teeth into – key intelligence to help you better understand and build stronger relationships with those kinds of customers.

An additional question not included in the article was asked that lends even further insight: “What specifically makes a commercial systems integrator a hero in your eyes?” The top 10 defined responses in order were:

1t. Excellent customer service

1t. Knowledgeable/Competent

3.  On time with projects/deadlines

4.  Reliable/Dependable

5.  Responds in timely manner

6t. Meets my needs/requirements

6t. Experience

8.  Readily avaialble

9t. Can-do attitude

9t. Easy to work with

However, the most revealing answer and the choice that received the highest response was “Other.” The following list of verbatim comments offers some highlights.

  • “Does not focus only on limited brand distributorships; is open-minded when proposing projects; keeps the client involved in projects; and is inventive to come up with the most effective solutions within any budgetary or environmental restriction.”
  • “Does not install cheap products to make more money for themselves; coordinates with the end user to make sure they have what they want in the end.”
  • “Finding a way to make things work the way I want them to and providing me with the functions I want by customizing the system.”
  • “Not nickel-and-diming for each call (telephone or site visit) made to ask for their assistance, which they provide on a timely basis and with a solution-oriented approach.”
  • “Someone who can interface directly with the network we already have established and provide meaningful training on how to maximize the potential of the system and make my job that much easier to do.”
  • “Taking a design with too many holes and finding a way to make it work. They are the X factor between the customer and the engineer, and often have to bridge a large gap to reach a solution.”
  • “Truthfulness; willing to back his product and admit when he has made a mistake.”

Now ask yourself, “Am I truly doing all I can to nurture my customer relationships?”

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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is the marketing director for Elite Interactive Solutions. He is the former editor-in-chief and associate publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He can be reached at [email protected].

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