Security and Front of House specialist Axis Group joins Institute of Customer Service

Jonathan Levine: CEO at the Axis Group

Jonathan Levine: CEO at the Axis Group

The Axis Group – one of the UK’s fastest-growing security, Front of House and support services organisations – has become a member of the Institute of Customer Service. The move is part of a Group-wide commitment to delivering ‘Best in Class’ customer experience at every step of the customer journey.

As part of its membership, the Axis Group will gain access to the Institute’s bi-annual UK Customer Satisfaction Index, as well as annual research on key topics, strategies and challenges relating to customer service.

Practical training, benchmarking and measurement tools are also part of the membership, in turn supporting the Group’s people and organisational development strategies.

Jonathan Levine, CEO at Axis Group, suggests that customer expectations have evolved quite rapidly in recent times. “Transactional relationships have become a thing of the past, with customers now expecting the utmost in communication, convenience, speed and value throughout the customer journey,” stated Levine.

Levine continued: “Dedication to customer service from senior management through to security officers, cleaning staff and Front of House employees is a key business strategy for the Group. The resources and strategic support this new membership provides will help us to stay ahead of the curve in an environment wherein a given business’ success is determined by customer experience more than ever before.”

Founded back in 1996, the Institute of Customer Service is the specialist independent body for customer service with the primary purpose of helping members improve service performance and professionalism.

Thirteen organisations from a variety of UK industries were unveiled as the country’s best for customer service at the 2017 UK Customer Satisfaction Awards Ceremony, held last month at the Hilton Hotel on London’s Park Lane.

The 2017 winners are Morrison Utility Services Customer Focus Award (SME)
Adestra, TLF Research Best Return on Customer Service Investment Essilor, Customer Focus Award (Large Enterprise) Mitie Client Services, Customer Satisfaction Innovation Award Claims Consortium Group, Oracle Quality Service Provider of the Year Award Pension Insurance Corporation, The NEC Customer Feedback Strategy Award Cabot Credit Management, Hitachi Capital (UK) Best Customer Service Co-Creation/Collaboration Award Legal & General Retail Investments, Callcredit Employee Engagement Strategy Award Carillion Customer Experience Centre, Grass Roots Best Use of Customer Insight Award Virgin Money, InMoment Customer Commitment Award Bupa, Rant & Rave Best Customer Satisfaction Strategy Award Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance, Auto Windscreens Customer Service Strategic Leadership Award Kathryn O’Brien (Customer Experience Director, TransPennine Express), VocaLink Best Application of Technology Award Nationwide Building Society, ABa Quality Monitoring Best Customer Experience Award Pension Protection Fund

Need for increased vigilance

David Mundell, managing director of Axis Security, has warned that, following last month’s terror attack in Westminster, and given that the terrorism threat level remains at ‘Severe’ on the UK mainland, we cannot afford for one moment to drop our guard or become complacent about national security.

David Mundell

David Mundell

Arrests for terrorism-related offences fell by 8% in the year to 31 December 2016 (from 282 down to 260), but the levels are still unacceptably high and, of course, recent events give real pause for thought.

“All of us should be wondering if there’s more we could be doing to keep our country safe,” urged Mundell. “While those of us employed in the security industry are ideally placed and trained to recognise what’s ‘normal’ and what isn’t, we must continue to ensure that our concerns are acted upon and reported. The willingness of officers to do more has been especially evident following the rise of terrorist activity around the world since 2015.”

Mundell continued: “We all feel the need to play our part in protecting people. In central London, private security firms are increasingly engaged with law enforcement agencies in ways that extend far beyond the view of what security officers are employed to do. For example, one of our security managers, Matthew Hollick, and his officers actively carry out joint patrols with City of London Police officers during Project Servator deployments. Furthermore, the Paternoster Square Security Forum brings together all of the security managers in the area who collaboratively help to keep the City safe.”

Only recently, the police service launched ACT: Action Counters Terrorism and, if you’ve not already done so, Mundell urges the readers of Risk UK to take a look at the website (www.gov.uk/ACT) and listen to the Code Severe podcasts which are both very interesting and informative. “In their own way,” said Mundell, “they’re also somehow reassuring, as they affirm the commitment and dedication of the police service and other related agencies when it comes to preventing certain factions from doing us harm.”

Last year, the Anti-Terrorist Hotline received over 22,000 calls from members of the public, all of whom afforded information that has directly assisted in over a third of the most high-risk investigations.

In conclusion, Mundell stated: “What I would urge you to do now is spread the word: tell your friends and families about what you do and the role you play as part of the wider security ‘network’. Explain to them how your vigilance and, indeed, their own can make a difference and even save lives.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014.

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