Whenever a purchase decision is made it will have been informed by a number of factors – whether it’s cost, reliability, a recommendation or perceived quality.
One factor that can often make a positive influence on any purchasing decision is accreditation. If a customer understands a reputable authority has accredited a company it reinforces trust. And security is an industry that thrives on trust.
In the security industry, it’s widely agreed that accreditation is a positive force in building trust with customers. Yet there is always more opportunity to explain to customers exactly why they should opt for an accredited security provider.
As opposed to simply telling customers that the business is NSI, SSAIB or BSI accredited, security installers need to be explaining exactly what the benefits are.
Rogue sellers and questionable businesses once plagued the security industry. Yet the work of accrediting bodies and the vast number of reputable security installers and providers has meant that reputation has now vastly improved.
Yet we mustn’t stop communicating exactly why it’s so important security providers have accreditation, which is exactly what this blog is all about.
Below we take a look at the key messages security professionals (RVRCs like ourselves included) should be communicating to customers. At the end of the day, the least it will do is reinforce the reputation of the security industry but it could do so much more in establishing trust between suppliers and customers.
What accreditation should customers be looking for?
There are a number of assessing bodies in the security industry. The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is a Government body that oversees assessing bodies like the NSI (National Security Inspectorate) and SSAIB (Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board) whilst also providing licensing for security professionals.
At Farsight, for example, we are accredited by the SSAIB – an independent certification body for organisations providing security systems and services, fire detection and alarm systems, telecare systems and services, manned security services and monitoring services.
The above are the most respected accrediting bodies in the security industry.
However, it’s also important that customers look for security providers that comply with specific British Standards from the British Standards Institution (BSI).
Many security companies will be accredited to a BSI standard in areas specific to their provision. For example, here at Farsight we are BSI accredited as a Category II Alarm Receiving Centre and BS5979:2007 for remote centres receiving signals rom security systems.
What are the key points that your customers will want to know about?
We’ve covered what accreditations the customer should be looking for – but what does that really mean for the quality of security system they will receive?
When using a company who is accredited by an SIA assessing body for the Approved Contractor Scheme (SSAIB for example), the customer can feel reassured the company:
- uses appropriately vetted staff;
- has competent management and staff;
- has the appropriate insurance cover for the type of work they carry out;
- follows best-practice security standards along with following both British and EU codes of practice;
- has premises that are appropriate for the type of security service they provide (for example, at Farsight our RVRC, The Observatory, needs to highly secure to protect our customer’s data and CCTV footage);
- staff carry SIA identification cards, and
- that they undergo twice yearly inspections to ensure they meet the expected standards.
Altogether the above points mean that the accredited company will be:
- using only professionals who can be trusted with the handling of anything regarding security;
- installing compliant alarm and security systems that do not compromise a site’s security or contradict British and EU codes of practice,
- and able to complete work to a standard that meets the customer’s expectations and needs.
Look to communicate these benefits at every possible opportunity to your customers. Many security installers are familiar with including an NSI or SSAIB logo on their website and marketing literature but these can go unnoticed by customers – and if they don’t understand the importance of such accreditation they can lack meaning.
Instead, make sure all of your customer facing staff are familiar with the benefits of accreditation and make sure they are confident in communicating these to the customer. That often means that they need to be confident in cutting out any security jargon to explain to the customer, in simple, layman’s terms, how accreditation directly affects the quality of security they will receive.
Beyond accreditation – what else can reinforce trust with your customers?
Of course, accreditation isn’t the be-all-and-end-all in establishing trust with your customers. It’s a piece of the puzzle and many other factors reinforce a positive message.
Alongside accreditation, use social proof – reviews, testimonials and case studies – to reinforce your reputation. Such proof can also prove useful in demonstrating your experience in providing security solutions similar to that which your current customer requires. For example, you may have recently installed an IP CCTV system for a customer in a similar scenario to a prospective customer – use that as an example of your experience in that particular field.
As with any area of business, recommendations and positive word of mouth go a long way. After all, happy customers share their recommendations and perhaps that’s the best way to encourage trust after all!