Many telecommunications and cable providers are entering the home security market, prompting homeowners to bundle security into existing phone, wireless or cable service packages. AT&T announced an aggressive move into the space in late-April.
While the draw of one monthly bill and provider may be enticing for some, we encourage you to do your homework, and to select a provider that offers the technology, service and support required to satisify your unique security needs.
Below are a few reasons why a traditional, yet innovative, security company may take the cake in a side-by-side comparison.
History of Success + Innovation
One of the best ways to evaluate a security company is by looking at its track record for success and customer satisfaction.
- Does the company have a loyal, happy client base?
- What's the company's service retention rate among those up for renewal?
- Has the provider evolved its security service offerings to meet changing consumers needs (i.e. mobile and home automation), or remained stagnant?
- Is the company financially sound and run on good business practices? Tip: Check out recent news coverage, stock prices, company history, etc.
- Does the company have your current and future interests in mind?
Often times, the most reliable picks will be organizations that pair a longstanding history with a commitment to innovation.
Traditional security companies, unwilling to evolve, are destined to become obsolete. Yet, new emergents to the security space are a gamble for consumers, as they have yet to prove their market viability. For example, AT&T (then Cingular) also released home automation/security services in 2006, which were later shut down after not gaining enough traction. Look for those that balance industry experience with new, advanced thinking to get the best of both worlds.
Be sure whatever provider you select has your future interests at heart, and is in it for the long haul. Also, steer clear of proprietary technology that is hard to transition from, should you change your mind down the road.
A longstanding investment in the security industry brings with it experience and value-adds that can be parlayed to the consumer. Think in-depth market knowledge, implementation best practices, past successes and failures, vendor relationships, and more. These aren't built overnight; they're perfected and enhanced over time.
Commitment to Customer Service
Lastly, a Security Info Watch article questions whether telecommunications and cable providers "will have the level of service that independents in the security industry thrive and survive on." Only time will tell, but the predication is that security companies are better equipped to offer ongoing service.
When evaluating your options, make support a critical factor. The best providers:
- Base recommendations on an understanding of your security needs.
- Grow with you post-sale, adjusting your system as your lifestyle changes.
- Provide quality work, support and technology that drive value.
- Offer professional installation and excellent monitoring services.
By tailoring products and services to your own goals and objectives, you get the most appropriate level of security for your needs, solutions that are not overly intrusive on your lifestyle and a maximized security investment.
What pros and cons have you identified when comparing security companies to telecommunications providers? Share your thoughts below.
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