Tips on getting new or upgrading your CCTV (Closed Circuit TV)

Doug Fearing Security, Video

Do you love acronyms?  How about TCP/IP, CPA, DC, DVR, CTS, IR, AI, or even NVR?  If you knew that five out of the eight listed acronyms all have to do with video surveillance, then you’re on the ball.  Way to go!  Is it important to know all those? Probably not.  Is it important to work with a business partner that knows those? I would say definitely.

When looking for a new video surveillance system, many people don’t ask the right questions.  You might be one of them if you ask things like, “Can I get license plates?” or “How much does a camera cost?” or maybe even “Do I have to be a rocket scientist to operate this system?” While all of these questions may need to get answered at some point, I would contend that there are more important questions when considering either a new video system or upgrading your existing system.

Let’s take a quick look at some key points I think you should consider:

  1. CCTV_cameraDoes the business partner you’re considering understand your business?
  2. Do they understand your concerns, risks and needs?
  3. Have they installed systems similar to what you’ll be looking for?
  4. Have they provided you a list of references?
  5. Can you get a “live-working” demo at an existing site?
  6. How many full-time technicians/installers does this company employ?
  7. How many years have they been there?
  8. Has the Sales Engineer you’re working with been with this company long?
  9. Does this business partner have solid manufacturer’s relationships?
  10. Are they factory-trained?  How long ago?
  11. Who is their largest client?

As you can see from the above ten questions, I feel the most important questions are those that get you aligned with the “right” business partner.  One that you can trust to not only install a good working system, but also one that can support and service you and your system after the installation is complete.  The idea of working with a company that provides a 30/30 warranty is not a good one.  You know, 30 minutes or 30 miles, whichever comes first?

What are two words that will become increasingly important to customers over the next decade? The answer, according to marketing guru Frank Luntz, is “hassle free”. Customers are fed up with being forced to jump through hoops. Yet isn’t it bizarre that, even in a slow economy, companies are actually becoming more difficult for customers to do business with – before, during and after purchases?  Is your company easy to do business with?  I hope so, and if not, I’m sure it is or will be a goal moving forward.  It should be a great experience!  You’re spending the hardest money you’ve ever earned and deserve for it to be well spent.

L.L.Bean’s condensed and slightly edited timeless manifesto reads;

Who are Customers?

  • Customers are the most important people ever on these premises.
  • Customers are not dependent on us.  We are dependent on them.
  • Customers are not interruptions to our work.  They are the purpose of it.
  • Customers are not people to argue with, match wits with, or insult behind their backs.
  • Nobody ever won an argument with a customer.
  • Customers bring us their needs.  It is our job to handle them profitably for them and for ourselves.

L.L. Bean’s words continue to remind me that you, the customer, are important.  Do you always feel this way when working with your business partners?  Do you deserve anything less?  Don’t sell yourself or your business short-certainly you deserve the best available service you can get.

Now, let’s get back to those acronyms.  My kids are using acronyms like LOL, BTW or TTYL.  How about CRM, CSAT or FAQ?  These are used by AT&T and others for ways to better serve you.  Those are the acronyms and others like it that I think you should consider important when looking to upgrade your existing video system or any other service for your business.

You might think, “Heh, I thought this article was going to be about getting a new CCTV system.  What about that?”  Alright, here’s a little information to tease you until my next article.  DVR stands for Digital Video Recorder, IR stands for InfraRed, NVR stands for Network Video Recorder, AI stands for Auto Iris and TCPIP stands for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol.

Yes, I know, boring right? Yep!  Stay away from the acronyms and focus on working with someone who really knows what they’re doing and cares more about serving you more than selling their product or service.  It is my desire that you understand how important it is to serve.  Here are a couple of famous quotes for you to ponder.

“A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.”    Henry Ford

“Always do more than is required of you”  George S. Patton