Today small security dealers are not just facing the traditional battle of David versus Goliath but David versus Goliath versus the Internet. In addition to multi system operators (MSO) like Xfinity and nationwide security system companies, small security dealers are also competing against internet connected devices that have changed the DIY market.
Consumers with an internet connection and a smartphone can install cameras, doorbells and even sensors that they “monitor” from their phone. DIY is nothing new, but automation has added a dimension that makes it appear to compete with traditional monitoring services. While it may seem that small security dealers have a shrinking place in the new market, there has never been more opportunity for the ‘David’s” of the security industry.
Listed below are 5 of the advantages that small security dealers have in today’s market.
- It used to be true that good service was expected and not a significant differentiation in business. However, today more than ever, great service makes a big impact. Smaller dealers are better poised to deliver service that is personalized. Many customers appreciate calling a company and not being lost in a maze of voice prompts and having their issues addressed by a team member that is not reading from a script. Small dealers can maximize the service advantage by being proactive in customer outreach. Be a source of information for your customers, Make proactive customer calls. Conduct occasional surveys to stay ahead of potential problems and look for opportunities. Your size allows you pay attention to small touches that are often lost with larger competitors.
- Technology enables a smaller dealer to offer the sophistication and benefits of larger corporations. For example, a CRM system like Cornerstone that integrates with other back office services, allows you to book service appointments and ensure that techs will have all the needed parts. Your staff always has access to customer info whether in or out of the office and you eliminate entering information in multiple systems. You look and feel like a big business with a slick operation with the added benefit of being a personal company.
- DIY may be appealing but there is a big difference between watching a YouTube video to install equipment and having a security expert consult with you on your personalized needs. Small dealers have an opportunity to stand out by educating prospective consumers and demonstrating the value of monitoring. You can share that expertise with videos, blog posts and or on your social media channels. You will not win every DIY customer, but you can personalize the security process and win customers who trust you as an expert.
- Smaller dealers are more agile than larger competitors. You do not have to go through complex corporate channels to implement new ideas or changes that benefit your subscribers. Leverage that agility by building innovation into your company’s DNA. Pay attention to customer feedback and learn from the wins and losses. Get your team involved in bringing new ideas forward that improve a process, or service. Solicit and be open to spotting trends and implement those that make sense to your company.
- Small security dealers can specialize far easier than large competitors. Differentiate your brand with a specialty focus. This may mean carving out your own niche within a specialty. It may seem counterintuitive to specialize but you can gain more business by being specific about who you are in the market.
Small dealers should not fear competition. Competition is healthy and can be an advantage. Larger companies and DIY solutions can drive awareness for the entire security industry. Competition also keeps you sharp and ensures that you are always giving your best to the market and your customers.