It’s a compelling time to be in the security industry. As the interactive security market continues to grow, consumers are becoming a driving force for change.
Traditionally, dealers have focused their revenue models on security services, offered as a subscription once the system is installed. And while this generated stable, recurring revenue, it wasn’t fitting into consumers lives, creating a gap between the needs of consumers and what was available in the market.
Now consumers expect ease of use, flexibility and customization, 24/7 access, and as always, great customer service. And while these may seem like high expectations, they’re achievable if the security industry recognizes the power of the consumer’s voice.
Let’s take a look at a few consumer trends currently inspiring change in the security markets:
1. Easy installation
Installing a security system used to be a major undertaking. Traditional systems involve complex installations, often requiring electrical work to bring power to access panels and expensive cellular connections. Security system installation may not have been a consideration when a house was constructed, and every home will be different, adding to the time and expense to install.
Consumers live in real time and have come to expect near immediate results. A quote of up to one week wait, and several hours to install a traditional system may discourage a consumer from purchasing a system. That puts consumers’ motivation at risk and impacts the security industry as well.
The industry is hungry for a more streamlined, scalable, and easy-to-install system (see this 3 min. Helix time-lapse installation video – security for an entire house in less than 13 mins). Wireless technology has given the industry the ability to outfit any structure with a system relatively quickly. Sensors can be placed almost anywhere… no wiring required.
2. Intuitive interfaces
The interfaces on traditional systems present a notoriously difficult learning curve for users. The screens and logic were created with the system in mind rather than the user. A side effect of these challenging interfaces is again, consumer non-compliance and apathy. And once again, we find ourselves in a situation where consumers are at risk and the industry suffers.
We only need to look to the interfaces consumers can’t put down to know what trends we should be following. Simplified, intuitive, haptic interfaces are in two-thirds of the population’s hands every day. Why should a security system’s interface stray from this dynamic?
3. Flexibility and customization
The one-size-fits-all approach hasn’t appealed to consumers for a while now and the security industry is no exception. Every system will have unique needs and constraints which means consumers want flexibility and customization. Whether that means the ability to integrate with legacy systems or hardware or flexibility with the placement of sensors and panels, consumers want solutions that will adapt to their lives, not the other way around.
The future is with the consumer
For the industry to continue to meet the needs of consumers, we need to keep the end user at the center of our designs, service, and revenue models. If the systems we’re developing and selling aren’t anticipating consumers’ evolving needs and expectations, they’ll find ones that do.