Security Guarding: The ‘Customer First’ Approach

Security officers are often the most visible individuals in your building and likely to be the first point of contact for clients when visiting your organisation. Here, Amanda McCloskey explains why the customer experience offered by today’s security professionals really matters.

CIS Security is an award-winning independent security company based in London. We adopt a partnership approach towards our clients. Our success within corporate, public and cultural contracts nationwide has galvanised our reputation as ‘the best in the business’.

Only the really outstanding security guarding companies have the quality credentials to back up their sales messages and CIS Security is in the top tier with an NSI Gold accreditation (among many others).

The security industry is undergoing a phase of change. Looking at the privilege that Front of House security staff hold as the custodians of ‘the building experience’, it becomes clear that officers are a key touchpoint in the customer journey in most organisations.

As they walk into the building, your visitors are multisensory radars, absorbing information from all around them. Officers are handed a split-second performance opportunity to display a number of key indicators that will be processed by the visitor and used to decide things like the quality of the institution, how it treat its staff, how safe the building is and how they will be valued as a visitor.

Business improvement

At CIS Security, we recognise that there’s a huge opportunity to stand out from our peers by developing our customer experience to an outstanding level. The rationale for a customer-centric approach is clear – investing in the customer experience will improve our business and our clients’ businesses.

Our clients tell us that happy staff are more productive, while visitors who feel welcome and attended to will come back and do more business with them in the future.

Some time ago, we set ourselves the challenge of raising customer service standards, adding further value through innovation to ensure that what’s being offered on site is a truly professional service underpinned by a culture of continuous improvement that makes end users notice the security team for all of the right reasons.

Gone are the days of a security officer being seen and not heard. We encourage positive engagement in our staff through a number of internal initiatives aimed at raising confidence levels and bringing out personalities. We also nurture the ambition of our staff by offering succession opportunities with flexibility and control over work and workspaces.

We stimulate innovation, organising feedback surveys, focus groups and Think Tanks that provide space for reflection and planning. Our overall objective is to be a force for good in society and our strategies and tactics as a business focus on that very cause.

All of this goes hand in hand with a specially devised training programme aimed at delivering world-class customer service. This customer-centric approach has the elegant, yet far-reaching ripple effect of impacting positively on security perceptions. Proactive efforts towards improved customer experience in our industry are one of the best tools we have for deterring crime and terrorism at clients’ premises.

Robust culture plan

Amanda McCloskey

Amanda McCloskey

Our aim is to deliver enhanced customer service for our clients and end users in order to position CIS Security as a sector leader in customer experience with a security focus.

We traced visitor journeys to identify areas where security personnel can make a difference. The outcome achieved was a robust customer service culture plan which was implemented from Board level outwards. Staff told us that they appreciated the investment we were making in them and gained confidence by dint of sharing their own ideas on how they can make a difference in their roles.

We’ve flexed our methods as we progress through ‘The Information Age’. It’s a time when the opportunities we can create for our customers become greater. Outstanding customer experience is the backbone of our aspirations for the security profession.

Amanda McCloskey is Sales and Marketing Director at CIS Security

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 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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