Growing gap between alarm response expectations vs. reality

Addison, Tx

New Parks Associates research finds expectations among security system owners regarding emergency response to an alarm diverge significantly from reality. The firm’s new white paper, "Expectations vs. Reality: Enhancing Alarm Monitoring Response", developed in partnership with RSPNDR, reveals 86% of security system owners expect a police response to an alarm within 30 minutes, including 42% within 10 minutes, while in many municipalities, actual response times can be upwards of 146 minutes.

The white paper highlights the threat this gap poses to the security industry, strategies for professionally monitored security to better align with customer expectations, and revenue opportunities emerging from these new and expanded solutions.

“Security system owners expect a rapid, reliable response, should the need arise,” said Daniel Holcomb, Senior Analyst, Smart Home Research, Parks Associates. “Among security owners with professional monitoring, 83% say reliable and fast response to security events was ‘highly important’ to their system purchase decision. Even among security owners without pro-monitoring, the majority — 59% — still report that the promise of a fast police response was a very important factor in choosing their security system.”

Widening gap between expectations and reality

“The widening gap between what security customers expect and what the police can deliver is seen by many as an existential threat to our industry,” said Mark Zimmerman, CEO, RSPNDR. “We see an opportunity. An opportunity for the industry to deliver a better customer experience and grow RMR significantly by providing on demand private guard service.”

The value consumers place on their security services comes through in their likelihood to recommend their service providers to others, measured by Net Promoter Score (NPS). Security service providers consistently score higher NPS than other home services, such as internet service, mobile service, and video services. Security companies risk this prime position if their customers receive a delayed response or poor experience from an alarm event.

Remote guarding an option

To protect their reputation, and open avenues to new revenues, security companies can explore new business models that could include services like private guard and remote guarding. These services could be marketed as an added layer of protection and reassurance, potentially reducing the need for immediate police response and alleviating the burden on local first responders.

“By integrating private guard solutions and other innovative services, security providers can differentiate themselves in a competitive market while addressing the evolving needs and concerns of their customers,” Holcomb said.


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