Security With A Smile

Importance of a security officer can’t be overshadowed by technology advances

The role of security is constantly evolving. Advanced monitoring technology and automated detection devices have helped secure sensitive, at-risk sites. Computer and network security help eliminate potential online threats. CCTVs, metal detectors and liquid scanners are commonplace at the entrances to banks, corporate offices and governmental facilities. While all of these advancements have made positive contributions to the security industry, one constant remains -- the importance of the security officer.

However, as security measures increase, it has become all too commonplace to find customer service fall by the wayside.

The Importance of Impressions
Often times, patrons enter an establishment and are greeted by a cold, metallic wand waved in front of them, or a rubber box in which to discard their belongings before proceeding. Unfortunately, today’s society requires such procedures to ensure the safety of the public. However, security doesn’t have to replace hospitality.

When someone walks into an establishment, everyone -- from the secretary to the CEO -- is a representative of that company. It’s why valuable resources are allocated toward ensuring employees understand that their actions are all someone has to form an opinion on that business. And in an economy where the slightest variation can mean the difference between a healthy relationship and losing a customer to the competition, it’s important to ensure everyone is on board with company policy. This holds true with security officers hired to protect that company as well.

Many times, the first person to greet a customer is a private security officer. These highly trained men and women physically monitor front lobbies, pedestrian and vehicle entrances of office buildings, corporate facilities, banks, industrial plants and even gated communities. They, more than anyone else, provide the initial -- and arguably most important -- impression of the corporation or organization that hired their services. It’s a detail that is often overlooked when analyzing the responsibilities of a private security officer, one that can be unknowingly affecting a company’s bottom line.

A Demanding Role
When security officers are hired, the primary objective is clear -- protect a company’s assets. A person’s success is achieved with strong integrity, drive, and high ethical and moral standards. A great security officer takes pride in not only the company he or she works for, but in the company he or she protects. An invaluable security officer is attentive and thorough, yet at the same time calming and friendly.

Customer service should not be sacrificed with the addition of private security. A company should demand a high level of customer responsiveness from the officer on duty and hold the private security company accountable for providing appropriate customer service training. Personality and character traits may not seem like a company’s top priorities when selecting a security officer or security company, but they certainly are at the top of the customers’ list.

About the Author

Prentice Robertson is executive vice president of Whelan Security Co.

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