A Customer-Centric Approach to Physical Security
When organizations choose to invest in physical security as a service, they reap the benefit of not having to self-manage a security team while keeping their people, assets, and premises protected. However, it could be said that proper security protocols hinder customer service at times and an organization’s ability to create a positive experience for visitors. Stringent policies around entry or access can have customers feeling distrusted and uneasy.
So how can security firms find the right balance between keeping up with proper physical security measures while still providing the best possible customer experience? The answer lies in taking a client-centric approach to security strategies that leave customers feeling heard and appreciated. Let’s dive into what those strategies could look like and why finding that balance is so important.
The Importance of Balancing Security and Customer Service
Both physical security services and customer experience are top priorities for successful businesses. Physical security ensures employee safety, compliance, as well as protecting all assets from external threats while mitigating potential risks. Good customer service on the other hand helps build brand loyalty and gives organizations a competitive advantage when resolving customer issues quickly and efficiently.
But what happens if you can’t do both well? A failure to balance physical security with customer service can lead to negative consequences for security firms, including reputational damage, potential lost revenue, and customer churn. It requires forward-thinking and extending opportunities for feedback, but security firms can enhance overall physical security and customer convenience with the right client-centric strategies.
The Four Cornerstones of Customer Service in Security
As the security industry continues to grow, so do the expectations of security guards. Comprehensive customer service training for security guards is often a requirement now as security plays a major role in customer experience. But is the physical security workforce ready and able to deliver on daily customer service challenges? Security guards need to be well-versed in the four cornerstones of effective customer service.
Preparing for the Physical Security Assessment
When it comes to deciding how to do a physical security assessment, shortcuts are the enemy. Though you can streamline efforts, each assessment requires time and attention. To maximize the impact of a physical security assessment, it’s best to take a mindful approach. Consider the following tips:
- Adopt a personable, approachable attitude
Security guards have tons of interaction with visitors. Whether it’s explaining security procedures upon entry to event guests or providing directions to visitors, security guards are asked to step into several customer service scenarios. If an interaction with security goes negatively, often customers will associate that with the business and may not be likely to return. When taking over greeting and visitor management services, security guards become a part of the brand experience and need to keep that in mind when dealing with the public. A customer-centric approach means guards should project a professional image, be proactive in managing customer concerns, and remain helpful to leave a lasting positive impression.
- Keep a watchful eye
As the eyes and ears for managing the property, security guards need to stay vigilant in spotting people in need as well as any potential threats. This could include identifying areas that need repairs to prevent any accidents or keeping a lookout for suspicious behavior. Attention to detail is key to providing a positive customer experience as well as being able to give an accurate description of any incidents to law enforcement. This helps customers feel secure on the premises knowing that security guards have their back.
- Communicate openly
Creating strong lines of communication with customers is another key element to keeping them safe. It’s important to listen, understand, and respond thoughtfully to customers when interacting with them. Strong interpersonal skills help customers feel relaxed even in tense situations. Security guards should be able to communicate clearly what customers need to do in every situation and set the tone with professionalism.
- Know your surroundings
Not only should security guards be keeping their heads on a swivel for potential incidents, but they also need to have great situational awareness. That comes from knowing the premises like the back of their hand. This helps security guards respond to incidents faster while projecting confidence to customers. With full training on the property’s grounds, systems, and procedures, guards can help put customers at ease while adhering to all security regulations and access restrictions.
Developing a set of principles like the ones outlined above will go a long way in ensuring guards are up to the task of providing excellent customer service while still prioritizing security needs. These four cornerstones of customer service will help guards adapt to shifting customer scenarios and prepare them to go the extra mile to delight customers.
Gathering and Implementing Customer Feedback to Enhance Security Services
Customers should be the top priority for any organization and meeting their needs is the greatest measure of success. So, what’s the best way to find out if your business is delivering a positive customer experience? Simply ask them.
When running a security firm, you need to know if your guards live up to the customer service expectations of your clients. Gathering customer feedback is a surefire way to gauge how well guards are performing. That feedback is key in helping to identify areas where security protocols can be improved without sacrificing customer experience or convenience.
Perhaps entry checkpoint lines are too long or the entry rules to a facility are unclear. This can lead to a negative customer experience and unfavorable reviews. These regulations could be changed based on customer feedback to ensure expedited safe entry while clearing up any miscommunication. This demonstrates a willingness to adapt and refocus security protocols with the customer top of mind.
Educating Customers and Employees on Security Best Practices
Another additional element to a great customer-centric security approach is level-setting during your client onboarding. Having security best practices shared from the onset means all employees will understand the importance of security awareness. In addition to physical security guards, other employees play a pivotal role in maintaining security for an organization and it’s in the best interest of any of your clients looking to shore up their security efforts to explain these practices during employee security awareness training.
Educated employees partnered with skilled physical security guards can play a huge part in creating better customer experiences while bolstering overall security. A good client onboarding process could include training employees on how to spot, avoid, and report security threats to work hand in hand with security guards and develop security best practices for an improved customer experience.
A Winning Combination
Finding ways to incorporate the customer into your security strategies is a recipe for organizational success. Both areas are critically important to any business. Your clients must find a way to strike the right balance to ensure security measures do not interfere with the customer experience and instead have security guards working to enhance it. By incorporating some of these customer-centric approaches to improve their security services, your clients will reap the benefit of happier, safer customers.
Watch our webinar with global security thought leader Carlos Francisco to explore customer-centric security.