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March 14, 2023


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How installers can protect themselves and their customers during the cost-of-living crisis

Nick Whiting, Head of BT Redcare, discusses how installers can find productive ways to approach customers during the current challenging climate. 

Nick Whiting, Head of BT Redcare

Installers are feeling the effects of the cost-of-living crisis.

As an industry centred around engineers in vans, petrol prices alone are enough to cause concern. With rising inflation leading to greater scrutiny being placed on budgets across the board, it’s not surprising that many installers have stopped to take stock, with some also hesitant to approach customers. Add to that the PSTN switch-off by 2025, and businesses facing cybersecurity risks every day.

Anxiety during this period is warranted, but there are a few things installers can embrace, if they are not already doing so, that may help them react to it in the best possible manner. Installers should also find some solace in the fact that this industry is relatively recession-proof; proper installation of alarms is a vital service, and its guaranteed functioning is crucial to people’s need to protect their homes and businesses.


Flexibility can enable you to provide brilliant customer service and retain loyalty during tough times. Communicating a range of solutions to your customers will ensure that they know they can rely on you while we navigate this tricky period. Assuring them of the support that is available, and how it can be tailored to each customer’s respective needs could make the crucial difference.

Highlighting you and your partners’ price points and showing customers that you have put them first instead of increasing rates goes a long way towards building trust especially with respect to the move to all-IP. Balancing how you articulate these prices is difficult, since some customers may be resistant to upgrading their alarm signalling given the current climate.  Explaining the benefits of a monitored system should be done in a way that acknowledges the climate but emphasises the importance of embracing this new technology so that the customer is prepared for the future.

Back ending the required upgrade will lead to problems further down the line; spreading out the all-IP rollout gives you, suppliers, and customers enough time to have systems properly installed and ensures that customers’ homes and businesses are properly protected before the switch-off. Therefore, communicating this message with the promise of affordability and expert installation can motivate people to upgrade without inducing concerns over its essentialness.

A hybrid approach to service and maintenance

Online services are a fantastic way to mitigate the costs of mobile visits. As well as the minimum  requirement to visit at least once per year, installers can also offer remote services. Connectivity to remote panels is an increasingly common feature used by the industry. Utilising this function allows you to minimise costly and time-consuming in-person visits, and provides the customer with the services they need, when they need them, irrespective of where they are located.

Lean on your partners

Working with partners to find out what resources and initiatives they offer can be an effective way to offset your workload and optimise your opportunities for growth. This might include calling on and making use of your trusted partners’ resources in light of the ongoing move to all-IP, which in turn alleviates strain and allows you to focus on what you do best.

Increasing your visibility and demonstrating your brand value through effective campaigns can be achieved by proliferating key information to your target market. For example, getting across the urgency of upgrading to future proofed monitored alarm systems given the incoming switch-off could constitute the central theme of your campaign. Educating customers about the switch-off, and how older systems that rely on PSTN networks will not be able to protect them, which might be at any point between now and  2025, could be the catalyst that encourages the adoption of future-proofed solutions.

Accentuating the additional benefits of these systems, such as their cybersecurity credentials, and more broadly attending to wider public concerns over these systems, can help alleviate any uncertainty surrounding their value and why retaining a remotely monitored system, with police response, is far better than any bells only or app based self-monitored system. Weaving in pieces of information like this increases the likelihood of a customer gravitating toward these products.

Harnessing the different tools that partners offer correctly may well be the key to turning a bad economic situation into an opportunity. All-IP devices are invigorating the fire and security industry, awarding end-users better protection, and potentially allowing you to expand your customer base.

Support, resilience, and reassurance

The fundamental issues impacting vendors and installers are no different to normal. The cost-of-living crisis, however, has added fuel to the fire. Embracing the approaches listed above by no means guarantees that you will navigate this economic downturn with ease; but offering your customer additional support, information, and simpler ways of receiving services might just add that extra layer of protection your business needs right now. Tough times require us to all come together and support one another, so resilience and reassurance can go a long way.

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