This article originally appeared in the December 2022 issue of Security Business magazine. When sharing, don’t forget to mention Security Business magazine on LinkedIn and @SecBusinessMag on Twitter.
Wireless network issues that affect the smart security owner also affect residential security integrators, who are increasingly called upon to resolve issues related to network performance and stability.
According to Parks Associates research, these integrators report that on average, 35% of residential system installations include interactive services and smart home devices, including IP cameras, video doorbells, smart door locks, smart garage door openers, and smart lighting is the most popular. integrated devices. Integrators also report incorporating many of these devices into consumers’ existing security systems. This integration process needs simplification. Nearly 75% of integrators say that integrating these consumer-owned smart home devices into security systems is somewhat difficult, and nearly half find it very difficult. More training, more tools to help, and simplification are needed to optimize sales opportunities.
After installation, integrators must support an increasing number of smart home devices that are integrated with security systems. The impact on demand for support is significant. In 2021, 54% of security integrators who installed interactive systems with smart home devices said that smart home devices had a significant impact on support costs. This is a significant increase from the previous year – 27% in 2020, according to the research firm.
Truck Rolls vs Virtual Support
While most of these issues can be resolved with remote diagnostics, 9% said they often roll a truck – which is expensive and even more so with rising inflation leading to all-time high fuel prices. Labor costs are also rising due to staff shortages and new training required for more complex smart home and security installations.
The average cost of a truck roll is well over $350. According to the Technology & Industry Services Association (TIA), the actual cost of a field visit can exceed $1,000, including administrative expenses, repeated field visits, and equipment needed to diagnose and resolve problems.
A single virtual appointment costs about a quarter of what it does to send a technician into the field, due to savings in labor, fuel and truck maintenance costs. In addition, if the technician gets “ported” (a customer is not home or does not answer the door), it still costs time, fuel and wages. On the other hand, when a customer does not keep a virtual appointment, the agent can move on to the next customer in a matter of seconds.
Companies like ADT are finding that remote and automated support solutions can greatly help reduce the number of truck rolls and associated costs. In Q1 2022, ADT reported net income of $52M in Q1 2022 vs. a loss of $48M in Q1 2021. The smart home and security company pointed to its remote support program – which made more than 200,000 virtual service visits during Q1 2022 – as one of the factors contributing to its success. This has resulted in an 80% truck roll avoidance rate and consistently high customer satisfaction scores.
Integrators who take advantage of remote diagnostics and virtual support benefit from more than hard cost savings, such as achieving material cost efficiencies, increasing customer satisfaction and stickiness, retaining technicians with flexible work, and improving impact environmental