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The Zero Moment of Truth
October 2012, Security Services & Risk Management

What is this Zero Moment Of Truth (ZMOT)? ZMOT is that split second when you decide whether or not to buy a specific product or service. The Zero Moment of Truth with respect to Security in South Africa can be explained as follows:

In the old days your decision to buy an alarm system or sign up with a security service provider was influenced by three important factors:

A) The client saw an advertisement or heard someone talk about a specific alarm system/service provider and their desire for that alarm system/service was created.

B) The client then went to that security company or had a salesperson come to their home or business, and driven by their desire and the information gained from the sales pitch given to them, they ended up buying that alarm system or signing a contract with that security service provider.

C) Only once the client was back home or at the office and started using that alarm system/service provider, was their opinion formed about that product/service.

In times past there were few installed alarm systems and the response time of the armed reaction was much faster. Information regarding the various alarm systems available at that time was not easily accessible, which also meant that the criminals were not well informed. Keep in mind that only a select few households and businesses could afford an alarm system.

This then had the following results in regards to crime: A criminal would break into premises, trigger the alarm unknowingly, the armed response would respond, and the criminals would be caught in most cases.

Today, many people in South Africa are unemployed and have had some sort of disciplinary training, and these individuals can then provide leadership and training to groups of criminals which leads to crime syndicates being formed. Greed is also a big factor at play with these syndicates.

Later on the insurance companies came into play and then it was made mandatory to have an alarm system installed when you wanted to take out insurance on your home or business. This in turn opened the door for security service providers to come up with the idea of selling these cheap and basically useless alarm systems and link-ups which resulted in almost every second home or business having one of these cheap alarm systems installed and linked to a service provider without ever knowing what their security vulnerabilities were before the installations was done.

In these modern times the new Zero Moment of Truth of having a security risk assessment can change the whole process of the client’s ability to obtain the much needed information before making the decision to buy an alarm system or sign up with a security service provider. This ZMOT is achieved through obtaining an independent security risk assessment beforehand. Then, based on the truth revealed in the process, the client can then make an informed decision.

Informed choice is secure

Today, information on alarm systems is freely available to anyone with access to the Internet, including the criminal elements who use this technology, be it PCs, laptops, tablets, or cellphones to access and gather this information to educate themselves.

One big mistake most home and business owners still make today is that they are still under the impression that criminals are as ignorant today as they were previously.

Now if the criminal has more information regarding your alarm system than you do, what is the deciding factor on decisions regarding security? When the criminals have more knowledge about alarm systems, reaction times, protocols being followed by the various security service providers on an alarm activation than most home or business owners, how does one secure yourself?

If a client buys an alarm system and signs up with a service provider based solely on the information available on the Internet and that provided by the salesperson, while not knowing the risks/vulnerabilities present in their environment, they will only find out that their security is insufficient when a break-in occurs at their premises or they and their family or staff become victims of an armed robbery or hijacking. By then it may be too late as lives may be lost in the process.

The crux of the matter is to first discover the truth regarding your security requirements.

The answer then is to have an independent security risk assessment done on your home or business. The security risk assessment will identify the actual risks/vulnerabilities in your current security, and the security plan that is provided from the risk assessment will show you exactly what solutions you need to put in place to eliminate those risks. This then puts you in control of your security, and you can then approach your security service provider and tell them exactly what you want.

For more information contact Alwinco, +27 (0)71 319 4735,,

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