Monitoring Stations: A Critical Component
Monitoring stations are the “brains” of many electronic detection and security systems. When a disturbance or intrusion triggers an alert within your security system, it’s up to the monitoring station to observe, assess, and report the alert to the proper authorities. Maybe your business has a small complement of security cameras monitored by a single station, or perhaps your business has a complete and detailed security system monitored by a large corporate monitoring service. In either case, an effective monitoring station is a key hub in any security plan. What do you do, then, when you have concerns that a monitoring station isn’t offering the effective and professional security service you require?
Monitoring Station Outsourcing
A major (and more recent) problem being experienced within security programs is a lack of quality control within monitoring stations. One of the biggest causes of this failing quality is outsourcing. “Outsourcing” is a term meant to indicate that a domestic, American-based business is paying to have some of its services provided by labor outside of the United States. In 2013, U.S. business interests overseas employed 14 million workers, and that number is only increasing with time.
As technology makes the world an increasingly connected place, it is more and more tempting for American companies to attempt to save a dollar by paying for cheaper labor abroad. This is a money-saving tactic, and many businesses outsource in an honest attempt to pass savings on to their loyal customers. Unfortunately, there are many negative consequences involved in outsourcing that can result in a loss of quality in the customer service provided.
If that customer service is just meant to be a ten-minute call to your internet company for tech support, you might be able to live with a slight loss of quality. But if you rely on the outsourced service to protect your valuable investments and businesses, you don’t want outsourcing to result in a loss of the effectiveness and professionality that you demand.
Benefits of Us-Based Monitoring
There are many benefits to making sure that your security plan is being monitored by a US-based monitoring service. Here are just a few:
No Language Barrier: A US-based monitoring station will be employing individuals who are either native-US English speakers, or who have been interviewed locally and had a chance to demonstrate their ability to communicate quickly and clearly in the English language. This communication is critical both in assessing alerts, communicating with local authorities, and communicating with you. In any security program, connection and communication is key, so being able to rely on native-speaking English personnel is important.
Knowledge of Local Emergency Protocol: One of the most critical benefits of going with a US-based monitoring station is that the personnel operating the monitoring service will have a comprehensive understanding of US, State, and local emergency responder protocol. Whether it’s the fire department or the police, a US-based monitoring station will have an understanding of how these departments respond and operate on a national, state, and local level. This gives the monitoring personnel the ability to engage emergency responders in the most effective way, ensuring that your security emergency gets a priority response. A non-native English speaker a thousand miles away may not be able to explain the alert and get the same response as a local security expert.
Better Customer Service Communication: The above note speaks to the ability of the monitoring station to contact emergency responders to achieve the most effective result. But what if you need to contact your monitoring station? Anyone who’s dealt with a telecommunication company that’s outsourced its customer service to another continent knows the frustration of trying to handle complicated and important business over the phone with non-native English speakers. When you reach out to your monitoring station, you want to be sure that you’ll be able to contact them at your convenience, in your own time zone, and speak to someone who you can understand.
A Physical Location: When you work with a US-based monitoring service, you can rest assured that the physical location of your monitoring service is stateside. While you may never have a reason or cause to physically visit your monitoring station, it is comforting to know that if you would like to speak with someone in person, it is possible. Most US-based monitoring stations will have local offices that make it easy for you to go in and talk with a human being in person, rather than an automated robot call center or an operator you can’t understand. A “virtual” monitoring station just isn’t as reliable and effective as a brick-and-mortar operation.