When an organization recognizes a need for improved security at its facility, decision makers at the company want to find a specialist who knows access control inside and out (that’s you!). Today’s technologies are becoming increasingly complex, and the stakes for effective physical security are higher than ever. It’s no wonder then that customers seek access control specialists who truly know the industry.
Let’s take a look at five qualities that customers look for in you as an access control provider:
1. Technology savvy.
Of course, the No. 1 requirement is a deep understanding of access control technology. It’s important to develop and maintain your knowledge of the products and systems that work best for each type of facility and the various security challenges they face. In addition, as networked access control becomes increasingly popular, an understanding of IT networking is also becoming a must-have.
2. Knowledge of trends and innovations.
Much like the rest of the physical security industry, access control is evolving rapidly. For example, only a few years ago, networked access control and access control as a service were rarely used. Today, they are both on the rise; IT-based access control in particular is growing at an incredible rate of 30 percent a year.
In the face of such rapid innovation, it’s important for access control specialists to have a firm understanding of the latest and greatest technologies. Be sure you are keeping yourself apprised of the newest trends and innovations by reading industry publications, networking with other security professionals, and continuing your education efforts.
3. Integration expertise.
The demand for comprehensive, fully integrated security systems is growing every year. Access control customers want a specialist who has experience integrating these devices with video surveillance, video management software, visitor management, and, in many cases, even building systems such as HVAC and lighting.
As customers realize the potential benefits of end-to-end security systems, integration expertise will only become more important. Now is the time to fully incorporate it into your service offering.
4. Attention to detail—and patience.
No two access control installations are going to be exactly the same, and each of your customers will be at least somewhat different from the others. Clients want to feel that their needs and concerns are really being heard and that you are designing a solution specifically for them.
With each new project, start with an open mind and truly listen to the customer’s needs. Identify their end goal and work from there, rather than coming into the project with a solution in mind. In the end, your attention to detail and patience will pay off with happier customers and a higher level of trust.
5. An eye on the horizon.
Access control technology is advancing with every passing year, and it’s important for value-added resellers to keep a customer’s future needs in mind. As you design and install each system, remember to allow for future growth and upgrades. By using open-architecture technologies as often as possible, you’ll not only save your customer money in the long run, but you’ll also make future installations a lot easier on yourself.
In your experience, what other traits are important to the access control customer? What are some of the things that differentiate you in your own market?