In high school, I took a delivery job working for a national pizza company to make some extra cash. They had done a great job of matching up delivery with customer desire and expectation. All across America, people knew (and still know) that if you order from Company X, your pizza will arrive within a set amount of time; it will be hot, and will look largely like every other pizza you’ve purchased from them, or seen on their ads. The expectations and desires of their customers line up with what the company did, in reality.
But, let’s be honest; consumers’ desires and expectations don’t always match up with a company’s delivery. It’s amazing what a bad experience will do. And by bad experience, I don’t mean that the company spit in your face and told you to get lost while taking your money; I mean a situation in which you expected something and what you received from a company didn’t match that expectation. I’ll give you a practical example from my own life (exciting, I know). For me, every workday starts with a cup of coffee from a great coffee shop in town; the prices are great, the atmosphere is nice, and the staff is very helpful. And I know that they always open fairly early (but I don’t know the exact time). They’ve always been open early, and they are my first stop after I groggily drop my laptop at my desk. From there, I walk, cup in hand, down to the coffee shop and get a hot, black, cup of coffee. It’s great. However, this past week, my expectations as a customer didn’t match their delivery as a company.
We’ve had some snow in the Midwest lately and everything has slowed down a bit. For those of you in the Northeast, not everyone really does know how to plow a road properly. So, combined with the snow was the fact that I had to do a series of trainings last week at…well, it was early enough. My only consolation as I dragged myself through getting ready that first morning of training was the thought of a cup of coffee from this shop. So, I pulled up to the office, dropped off my bag and walked over to find my favorite shop was …closed. Light out. No one home. It wasn’t a fun experience. Next day…same issue. And the next day. It stunk. Though a relatively minor experience, I was disappointed. The company dropped a notch in my expectation. Why? Because I think it’s legitimate for most people to believe that a coffee shop will open very early in the morning. When they don’t, you begin to think: Is there somewhere else I should get my coffee? Is that a crazy person’s thought? Maybe, but it doesn’t matter; I had certain expectations that weren’t met and I was frustrated; disappointed or not.
So, why mention this at all? I talk to a lot of people in the security industry. I see customer reviews, comments, emails; you name it, I’ve seen it. And one of the underlying issues is that customer expectations rarely line up with a company’s delivery in this industry. There are a few notable exceptions, and I think we’ve done a really good job of making sure we fall into that “exceptional” category. But not everyone does.
Some companies run ads that make you think the very instant your alarm goes off, you will receive a call from them. Reality? Most systems have a dialer delay to avoid false alarms. Other companies give you the impression of saving big, because you have little to no up-front cost. When you actually look more closely, you’ve paid for your equipment over and over and over again. It’s not a good experience. And yet, because “everyone” does it this way, you, the customer have come to expect it. And I’m telling you now, you should stop.
If your alarm company is charging you upwards of $40 per month, you’re overpaying; time to adjust your situation to a company that will meet your legitimate expectations of saving money. If your company has hidden clauses in your contract that aren’t fair, it’s time to adjust to a new company. That is, unless you like either lowering your expectations or having your legitimate expectations shattered. If you are that type of person, give me a call and I’ll tell you what companies you should go with.
If not, then find a company that will meet your expectations, and hopefully exceed them. Your security is far too important to leave to the hands of companies that really don’t care what you want.