Security & Client Service: The Challenges Faced by Front-Line Security Personnel
MARCH 10, 2016 BY ROB BAYLEY, PSP, TRAINING MANAGER AT CONDOR SECURITY INC., TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA
Professionals in the security field understand that customer service for security personnel is different from standard customer service positions for a number of important reasons:
Client Relations vs Customer Service
Security personnel interact with the same individuals whom reside and/or work at the property on a regular basis. As a result, positive customer experiences are necessary to maintain relationships and a cooperative environment. A poor customer service experience is detrimental and leads to ongoing stress for both parties. Unlike other customer service positions, clients will have to return to their home or workplace regularly despite having a poor experience. If good relations are maintained, it makes day-to-day life easier and more comfortable for both parties. Security personnel must continuously work to create a positive environment and maintain professional relations with clients.
For Times When The Customer Is Not Always Right
The majority of people do not like being told what to do. Most people do not like to hear the words, "no," or, "you can't," or, "stop." We like to hear "yes," "sure," "no problem," "of course," and "please go right ahead." In most customer service roles, if an employee encounters a customer who breaches company policy, the employee redirects the customer to a manager. Security guards, however, have the duty and responsibility to enforce rules, policies, and procedures when clients and customers breach them. Invariably, you face resistance during this task. Tactical communication systems such as Verbal Judo and Condor's unique CSCR approach provides Condor Staff a guide for how to manage resistive behaviour through empathy, emotional regulation, and positivity.
Security Guard Code of Conduct
Licenced Security Guards in Ontario have a mandatory code of conduct required by the government. One of the elements of this code is to refrain from using profane, abusive, or insulting language or actions that are otherwise uncivil to any member of the public. If the average customer service employee loses his or her temper and insults a client, the employee risks disciplinary action from his or her employer. If a licenced Security Guard in the province of Ontario insults a client, he or she has the additional risk of losing her or her licence to work as a Security Guard.
To Serve & Protect
Security does not only deal with typical customer service situations. Security is called upon to respond to emergency situations like fires and floods and also deal with trespassers and criminals. Therefore, the need for a SAFETY FIRST approach to situations is paramount. The CSCR provides the foundation for eliminating liability by ensuring a calm, considered, polite, and respectful approach to situations. If security deems it appropriate to escalate their actions to the next level, all reasonable options would have been taken first, prior to escalating, and thereby reducing liability and increasing safety.