The security world may run on technical innovation, but the need to provide solutions that focus on people, whether as employees or customers, is still paramount.
Gemma Quirke, Managing Director Security for Wilson James explains how these skills these can be developed.
In an increasingly technology driven security industry, ‘softer skills’ that focus on the customer experience and journey may not grab big headlines, but they are the key to winning and keeping new business.
Customer service skills are not ‘nice to haves’, they are talents that set any service provider apart, no matter what field or industry. An employee who knows how to engage with members of the public, visitors and clients in a professional manner is an asset to any organisation. In the security sector, this aptitude can be the difference between a ‘job’ and a long-term career.
The difficulty can be in providing training often considered ‘superfluous’ to many traditional manned guarding contracts.
Training for technical requirements is typically folded into service delivery, but for ‘soft skills’, especially in contracts where there is no Front of House or traditional visitor-facing role, there is often a dearth of development options. For individuals looking to build long-term careers in the security industry, this lack of opportunity to develop customer-facing skills can be the difference between career advancement and stagnation.
Security providers who fail to address this skills gap are missing an opportunity to set themselves apart, both as a desirable employer and to potential clients.
Wilson James has two internal programmes designed specifically to provide employees with accredited training opportunities with a customer service element. A key element of both these programmes is that they have been designed to be broadly accessible to participants.
This accessibility means that learning doesn’t just take place in the classroom. It can be via online e-learning portals, it can be via coaching and mentoring identified talent, webinars, action learning sets amongst peers, gaining qualifications up to Degree and Master’s level through practical on-the-job learning.
As a security provider it is vital that we are creating careers for our employees, with clearly identified pathways; professionalising our security workforce, supported by learning and development interventions.
Clients should care about this level of training. As the saying goes, you may only get one chance at a first impression and security personnel are often the first faces a customer will see in your business or building. Ensuring they are welcomed with a professional and customer-focused manner is key to protecting not only your people and assets, but also your reputation. Security providers who fail to consider this are missing a big element of the job in the 21st century.
Managing Director Security