How to Be More Efficient on Your Next Service Call

    [fa icon="calendar"] Oct 31, 2017 12:57:52 PM / by John Gallagher

    Who wants more time spent on service calls? Don’t be shy…

    The fact is, no one wants to spend more time on service calls. Everyone (customers, integrators, vendors) have more important things to do, especially with growing cyber-criminal activities and new compliance requirements. Service calls are a necessary evil that come along with every security system. Periodic service calls are often in order for scheduled maintenance and to be sure that your system is in full working order – that’s just the nature of things. But most other service calls start with an unknown root cause to the problem (e.g. video is not recording), which then leads to a service call to diagnose the problem, another call to try out potential fixes, and possible another service call to make sure the problem is fixed everywhere in the system. That’s if everything goes right. No wonder minimizing or eliminating service calls is important to everyone.

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    Today’s surveillance and security systems are complex, involving many components, software, and connections. A problem with one system device can compromise the entire system. It’s therefore necessary to make sure that service calls are accurate and effective to avoid system downtime, and to minimize costs. In other words, service calls should be done with as much knowledge as possible of what the problem is, how long it’s been a problem, and what the best way to fix it is. If you’re thinking that’s not how most of your service calls start you’re right.

    For the most part, service calls are initiated by system operators, who discover an issue when it interferes with their ability to use a part of the system—for example, a camera is not recording properly. This means the problem has existed for some time, just undiscovered. This can lead to video evidence not being recorded, and only found to be missing when they are needed to investigate an incident. The issue could stem from a number of different problems. Without knowing the source of the problem, it can take several days to diagnose and fix, which translates into more downtime. In addition to compromising overall security, downtime can also lead to compliance issues depending on where and how the malfunctioning camera is being used.

    Clearly the current approach to service can be improved. The key is to use automation and analytics to fill in the “knowledge gap” most service technicians face with a failed physical security system. By using such solutions failures can be detected instantly, not when it’s too late to prevent missing video evidence. An automated verification solution can provide accurate system diagnostics before the service call is issued (meaning the technician arrives on the scene already knowing what is wrong and how to fix it). Analytics applied across the entire physical security system means that problems that span across multiple components can be discovered and solved automatically.

    In our prior camera issue example, an automated notification would be sent out to appropriate users detailing the source of the issue (say the lack of power at the device), allowing the service technician to focus directly on power distribution. This greatly reduces system downtime with surety that the issue was resolved, with a lot less time and cost involved.

    Automated system verification solutions will streamline service calls, ensure that your security system performs as expected with less system down, alert you of preemptive service actions to avoid downtime, and most importantly reduce overall service costs.Ready to take action?Download the Viakoo app from the Apple App Store or Google Play, or sign up for a free demo account at www.viakoo.com/start.

    Topics: service calls

    John Gallagher

    Written by John Gallagher