Marcus Sheridan’s book, They Ask You Answer, inspired me to reevaluate the way we address customer questions online. Needless to say, I figured last week’s dustup around the compromised Ring video camera feed in an 8-year-old’s bedroom would be a great pain point to address proactively with our clients.
If you haven’t started getting questions from your clients already about Ring cameras or your own camera lines, get ready. First, let’s recap what happened. In short, a bad actor stole a Ring subscriber’s username/password from a third-party website and accessed a camera installed in an 8-year-old’s bedroom. Even though what actually happened wasn’t a case of actual hacking, it definitely took advantage of consumer habits around complacency, and Ring could’ve done a better job enforcing two-factor authentication. [See note from Ring below.]
As I’m sure you’re well aware, whether what took place was hacking or not, it gets egg on the face of our industry. This is where having quick replies to customer questions come in handy, particularly when it’s around the difference between DIY and professionally installed solutions.
Nothing is hack proof. Nothing. If it’s connected to the internet, it can be compromised. Products like Ring, Arlo, and others are often self-installed. As with any security product, you’re only as strong as the weakest link. Without the necessary expertise on both the hardware and software sides of the product, it’s a sure-fire way to invite bad guys to exploit security weaknesses.
Here’s an example of how we might interact with an actual customer concern:
Concerned Customer: “I saw the Ring camera issue on the news and I wanted to ask about the solution you’re proposing for us. What’s to keep the same thing happening to us?”
Professional Integrator: “I’m with you and I understand your concern. While it’s always possible for anyone with the time, inclination, and money to steal what they want, we focus on detecting criminals by hardening your network and making sure all your passwords for sites like Alarm.com are backed up by two-factor authentication. That means that even if someone gets hold of your password, Alarm.com will send you a text message with a code asking you to verify the login attempt. That’s why we use professional-grade products and professional installation practices.”
Is that a perfect answer to a customer question? Of course not. Does it position you as a trusted advisor without trashing the competition? Absolutely.
How are you tackling customer questions like this?
Stay frosty, and see you in the field.
[Editor’s Note: A representative from Ring responded to this article with the following statement:
Customer trust is important to us and we take the security of our devices seriously. Our security team has investigated these incidents and we have no evidence of an unauthorized intrusion or compromise of Ring’s systems or network.
Recently, we were made aware of incidents where malicious actors obtained some Ring users’ account credentials (e.g., username and password) from a separate, external, non-Ring service and reused them to log in to some Ring accounts. Unfortunately, when the same username and password is reused on multiple services, it’s possible for bad actors to gain access to many accounts.
Upon learning of these incidents, we took appropriate actions to promptly block bad actors from known affected Ring accounts and affected users have been contacted. Consumers should always practice good password hygiene and we encourage Ring customers to change their passwords and enable two-factor authentication.]