Element 3 – Respond to Client Complaints or Special Requirements
When customer’s complaints are not handled properly, you risk losing business because they are likely to tell their friends and neighbours about a bad experience. Handle the complaint properly, and you turn the situation around and make a customer for life who will sing your praises to others. The below information will assist you with your client response.
- Stay calm. Always remember that the customer is angry about something, but not angry at you. When you remember this and don’t get angry, you won’t make a difficult situation worse.
- Ask the customer to tell you what the problem is. Listen without interrupting them. Ask questions to make sure you understand what they are saying. Take notes to refer back to and show that you are listening.
- Apologise for the situation. Often a customer feels much better when you say, “I am sorry this happened to you.” You are not saying that you did anything wrong, you are acknowledging that they are upset.
- Summarise how you think the customer sees the situation. This does not mean that you are admitting that you or the company did something wrong. “I see you are disappointed that the shipment did not arrive in time.”
- Ask the customer how they would like the problem resolved and tell them what choices you can offer. Be realistic; don’t make promises you can’t keep.
- Agree on a solution that will satisfy the customer. It may take some discussion of alternatives before a solution is agreed upon.
- Thank the customer for their patience and tell them that you are looking forward to providing service that meets their expectations in the future.
When you are carrying out tasks for the client, remember your clients may require special needs. They may consist of; control of exit from and access to premises, crowd control, escort of people and property, non-routine information or service provision, screening of property and people, urgent requirements, victims of trauma or torture and young people. If your client requests a change or adjustment to a service, it is important that you let the client know that you will pass the information on to your supervisor.
There will be times you will deal with client dissatisfaction, the possible cause of this dissatisfaction could be:
- Tasks not being completed in a timely manner
- Poor communication with clients
- Not starting at the correct times
- Unprofessional appearance
- Not following company policy
To handle client dissatisfaction, once it has been identified, follow the organisational procedures and use appropriate communication skills. You must ensure that all further complaints are resolved with professionalism and courtesy, with assistance from relevant persons. Unresolved complaints of client dissatisfaction should be reported in order to be followed up in the future, and the organisation may learn from the client dissatisfactions to reduce them from occurring and better their service.
The types of reporting that a security officer may complete includes:
- Completing documentation, such as logs, journals and activity reports
- Completing police reports
- Completing written and computer reports
- Contacting designated personnel
- Recording security risk and incident details
- Requesting security assistance
- Verbal reporting to client or supervisor
When writing a report, you must plan. Good planning will allow you to write a good report. The six steps for planning your report are:
- Define the purpose
- Consider the reader
- Determine what issues are involved
- Collect the information
- Sort and evaluate the information
- Prepare the outline
If you are writing an incident report, it must give management a clear, factual account of an incident that is non-routine. It is primarily an information report, offering the receiver objective, factual details rather than a full analysis or justification of the incident. The incident report could be written on:
- Incidents involving client / staff interactions
- Unusual delays in normal procedures
- Special events