Security officers are the “brand ambassadors” of any security guard company, since they visually represent the firm the entire time they are on post or at the client’s site. As such, they need occasional reminders about their visibility and accessibility to employees working at the client site who want information, access, support, and protection.
Can you actually train security officers to provide better customer service, or is it something you must assume they already know during the interview process? It’s both; it’s important to hire a potential officer with the experience and capacity to provide good service to the company’s clients who will be willing to listen to new suggestions for better service through training classes or orientation sessions.
Here are five key customer service training points that can serve as useful reminders for new or current security officers as they consider how to do their jobs with both a service orientation and a policy-and-procedure perspective. Note the interconnected nature of these concepts.
1. Be the client’s problem solver.
“Your job is not just to ‘observe and report’ but to ‘think and respond.’ We want you to follow the laws of our state, our policies and procedures, the posted orders at each site, and the client’s site rules. But we also want you to solve each client’s presenting issue, quickly and effectively, by asking questions when you need more information, or taking the right action when you know what needs to be done.”
2. Use your common sense.
“You don’t need permission to do the right thing, like call the police, fire department, or paramedics in an emergency situation where their presence is needed. Think on your feet as you follow our policies and the client’s rules. Make good decisions and be ready to explain why you did what you did what, to the client or your site supervisor.”
3. Bend the rules when the situation calls for it.
“Don’t break the law or violate your posted orders or company policy, but like thinking on your feet, know when to solve problems on behalf of the client, so that you can handle their issue and get them on their way with a minimum of hassle. Don’t do anything illegal or unethical, but know when and how to accommodate our clients’ or customers’ needs.”
4. Make the first and last 30 seconds count during the beginning and end of any interaction.
“Pay close attention to the immediate needs of the clients or customers you serve, as well as your coworkers, right from the start. Studies of customer satisfaction suggest people tend to focus on how they were treated, helped, and served in the beginning of the transaction and at the end. While the ‘middle’ portion is certainly important, make sure you greet people with appropriate eye contact, help them all the way through the encounter, and thank them for their patience, cooperation, compliance, or just as a way to politely wrap up your time with them.”
5. Take good care of yourself.
“Security jobs can be tough, with factors like boredom, bad weather, repetition, solitary work, and graveyards shift hours. It’s important you come to the client’s site looking neat, clean, and professional and ready to do professional work, even if you never see anyone during your shift. Use your vacation days, holidays, sick days, and any other paid time off as an opportunity to rest up and get ready to go back to work refreshed and motivated.”