Element 2 – Deliver Service to Clients
Delivering great customer service is easy. You just need to get back to the basics – the tried and true methods.
- This simple act will set the tone for the entire conversation. ‘How may I help you?’ You’re asking their permission to assist them.
- Use a proper salutation when talking to a customer, unless permission is given otherwise, i.e. Mrs., Mr., Ms., Sir, etc. Listen to their concerns. No one likes to be ignored. Everyone wants to know that not only are they being heard, but that they’re being understood as well.
- Repeat back to the customer what it is you heard them say.
- Be genuine. A lack of sincerity comes across easier than you think.
- Care for your customer. If you don’t believe your customer needs you, you won’t be in business long.
- Put yourself in your customer’s shoes – What are their concerns? Are these legitimate concerns? Do you have a plan to assist them? Customers are looking to you to help them put to rest any fears, doubts or apprehension they may have regarding a recommended repair, service, etc. Do you possess the knowledge or skill to assist them? Often people will try to guess at an answer rather than appear less knowledgeable, when in all actuality, the customer would prefer honesty.
- Be honest and sincere in your deliberations with a customer. This one simple act will be welcomed like a breath of fresh air. You have got to know that by the time a customer has reached you, they may be upset and feel that nobody really cares and that they are being lied to.
- Never promise the customer anything you can’t deliver. That goes equally for a follow up. If you tell your customer you will call – do it! Even if it’s to tell them you have nothing to report.
- Never forget what it’s like to be a customer! We are all customers in one way or another and deserve the same respect we demand from others.
By doing these things you will inspire a customer base that is loyal and will return to you again and again. These customers will also provide the best free advertising imaginable – word of mouth! In the same manner, one bad customer recommendation can cost you a large number of potential sales.
Additionally, today’s consumer has the advantage of the internet to not only entertain, but to educate them as well. Basic common sense and treating people the way you would like to be treated will ensure revenue, repeat business, your initial customer base and free advertising, which equals more contracts for the organisation and more work for the security officer’s.
The types of security services that could be delivered to clients by the organisation you work for may include the following:
- Control room monitoring
- Controlling exit from and access to premises
- Crowd control
- Escorting people or property
- Monitoring centre operations
- Routine security monitoring of premises or property
- Screening of property or people
The individual services you may deliver to the client may relate to dealing with conflict, the efficient use of resources, handling and recording complaints, meeting agreed timeframes, professionalism and conduct. At some stage when delivering service to customers, you will have to deal with conflict situations, the conflict can be caused by a variety of ways:
- Cash flow
- Insurance, time penalties, disputes
- Limited access to assistance and resources
- Own skills and knowledge
- Problems with security or communication equipment
- Restricted site access
- Risks and hazards
- Weather and environment conditions
As we know, conflict is a disagreement between two or more persons, whereby one person perceives a threat to their needs, values, interests or concerns. Communication takes place on two levels, rational and emotional. The rational level consists of all facts, while the emotional level is comprised of our values, needs, interests and concerns underlying the surface. Everyone interprets messages differently and sends messages differently; therefore the potential for misunderstanding and confusion is high.
Often arguments start because we haven’t begun stating our own interests or values. This is also often the case when we are asked to define the issues. In order to prevent conflicts, it is important that we understand our own responses and are aware of our values, interests, needs and concerns. If we are able to clearly communicate these needs, we are likely to be able to prevent conflicts. It is also important to ensure that we address our issues with the person whom it concerns. If we are able to use even just one of these strategies, we will be better able to prevent conflict and resolve the issues with the person in question.
- Recognise your own behavioural style
- Recognise your upcoming feelings
- Remind yourself it comes from your perception and be prepared that other people probably do not see an issue
- Know about your hot buttons and warnings signs
- Acknowledge your judgements and separate them from the other person you are in conflict with
- Keep working to improve your communication and conflict resolution skills
- Take your time to respond. Have one sleep overnight or buy time to prepare yourself
- Do not wait for too long before you address your concerns
- It is both your right and responsibility to have your say
- Respect other’s right to have their say
- Treat each other with respect and respect confidentiality
The above tips are just a guide that may assist in conflict situations. When dealing with conflict situations, you should identify the situation and take action to minimise the impact on client satisfaction. If there is a conflict situation, the client should be informed of all relevant security matters in a timely manner.
When you report situations, make sure the report instructions have all relevant details, which may include the following:
- Adherence to organisational requirements
- Areas of conflict
- Completion of work activities or milestones
- Compliance with legislative requirements
- Existence of security incidents, risks or hazards
- Need for resources or assistance
- Variance to agreed assignment
- Verbal reporting
- Written reporting using electronic equipment or standard documentation
Security officers working in organisations will be given tasks that they may not have carried out before or are unsure of. It is important that all security officers unsure of the tasks they are about to carry out ask for assistance, they can gain assistance from clients, colleagues, supervisors, emergency services or technical security specialists.