Services That Make the Customer Smile: How systems integrators can use technology to win over clients

By Deborah L. O’Mara | Mar 15, 2022
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Being a systems integrator offering physical security, fire and integrated solutions is rewarding, but this field can be crowded and competitive.

So how do you distinguish yourself, even if you are a smaller company with 1–10 workers, as dominates our readership?

The answer: With services that make the customer smile.

Get close to clients: Delivering the highest level of care means getting to know your client and their market, security challenges and pain points. Bringing appropriate solutions to the table goes far in creating a happier customer.

As a fledgling reporter in the security industry, I visited job sites with systems integrators. These integrators learned as much as they could about each customer’s specific vertical market, whether commercial, residential, critical infrastructure, education, healthcare or other. Their interactions became more than transactional—it was a close relationship. With the level of trust they gained, the integrators were quite successful delivering the right technology and keeping the customer on the books.

Attaining the highest levels of customer satisfaction isn’t difficult when you focus on solutions first. Here’s how your company can stand out in the eyes of the customer.

Remote system monitoring and proactive management: With work from home dominating 2020–21 and creeping into 2022, customers require better control of their security. Currently, around 24% of workers in management, business and financial occupations telework, according to the World Economic Forum. Some companies such as Reddit and Microsoft plan to remain 100% remote, while others will take a hybrid office-home approach.

During the pandemic, being able to remotely access, manage and control security and integrated systems has offered service continuity when buildings were closed or otherwise inaccessible.

With security management software platforms, remote users can log into interfaces to open office doors, set access control permissions, lock down areas, look into alerts from video surveillance, turn lights on or off and initiate other commands. This type of control alleviates the need for driving on-site for troubleshooting.

Tip: Before you engage with a specific management platform, inquire about remote administration capabilities and ask if you can test-drive the program on your tablet, smartphone or other connected device. Many manufacturers have interactive sales tools to provide this detailed look before you buy. Remember to consider the customer and what will be the best (and easiest to manage) solution for their business.

Mobile credentials and touchless access control: Since we’re all glued to our phones, why not use them for access control? Systems integrators can offer secure, intuitive mobile credentials for access control. Best of all, they help promote a cleaner, more efficient workplace and are part of the ongoing trend to embrace touchless or hands-free access control that also emerged as part of the pandemic.

A mobile credential is a digital access accreditation on an Apple iOS or Android-based smartphone that can replace a traditional, physical credential such as an access control card to gain entry to a secured area. Mobile credentials are ultra-secure, and in most cases can’t be compromised, as they leverage a trusted identity and two-factor authentication—in this case a unique identification number and facial recognition technology—kept safe within the user’s device. Mobile credentials are now supported by many different access control system manufacturers.

Tip: Ask your access control provider about smartphone control and credentialing. You’ll want an open platform that can be scaled up as the customer grows and needs to add devices or doors in the future.

Cybersecurity as a core part of your business: Users are increasingly concerned about cybersecurity, bad actors infiltrating their network with costly ransomware and the compromise of sensitive customer information and data.

Your customers may be required to carry insurance policies asking that the vendors they do business with have proper cybersecurity programs, training and assessments in place. Systems integrators need to address customers’ fears regarding potential cyber- attacks and establish in-house, continuous cybersecurity processes so customers feel comfortable engaging your services.

Tip: Don’t wait to start a cybersecurity program in-house or outsource this capability. Your customers are increasingly tasked with ensuring everyone they do business with up and down the supply chain—even your vendors—has initiated cyber safeguards.

For more on this subject, see "Keeping Customers Cyber-Safe" and "Safer Return to the Office" in this issue.

About The Author

O’MARA writes about security, life safety and systems integration and is managing director of DLO Communications. She can be reached at [email protected] or 773.414.3573.





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