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Month: February, 2016

Endorsements to avoid, hopefully, another Husston Kansas

Here are a few endorsements that I have collected in the past few years on my expertise in workplace violence (WPV) and training people in the areas necessary to protect themselves and employees. Of course these are the best of the best, but… Yes, there are some negative comments, as usual for all speakers & consultants. And if you wish to see those I can post later.

The reason for this post should be abundantly clear to everyone. I wish to train your employees, supervisors, managers, & even the C-suiters. This reason should also be crystal clear as well. I don’t want any more businesses to end up like excel industries in Husston Kansas. As Sheriff T. Walton said “If you think it can’t happen here, then it will happen here”.

 

An excellent presentation, fast paced, and thorough. The instructor is very knowledgeable about this subject on workplace violence. I highly recommend this class to anyone working in a large or small business.

  1. Spindell

 

A solid presentation that opened my eyes in how to recognize the behaviors to watch for in advance of a workplace violence incident. The instructor is very well versed in how to prevent this problem from escalating out of control. I strongly encourage all business owners to attend this class.

  1. Ingram

Robert uses the Socratic training method to provide a fun, informative, and effective sessions on a variety of security related topics. After attending several of his classes, I would recommend him as an asset to any company looking to provide training that will engage your employees and increase their retention for information learned.

  1. Mitzner

 

I wanted to share with you that I am not only aware of Bob’s skills as a consultant, but also his expertise in the workplace violence arena. Bob has written about workplace violence and consulted with companies for many years now and has been a student of ever changing workplace violence issues throughout his entire career. I would not hesitate to recommend that you consider his expertise in workplace violence and his passion for assisting others on this issue.

  1. A. Ramos Sr., CABR, CRM

 

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many. Here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear

The Journey never ends

Despite what most people, accountants, c-suite, & many security people, believe, providing exceptional customer service isn’t expensive or impossible, nor does it have to be, in order to be better than your competitors. And the labor part of customer service is in the training and the field supervisory follow-up, which is, by its nature, mandatory.

The biggest part of teaching customer service to your security staff is this; ‘Customer service is not a destination but a journey. And the journey is never completed’. You are always on that road to improving your customer service skills. And the road blocks and obstacles to overcome are never ending, which is what makes the journey so difficult to stay on course and accomplish.

Once you’ve decided to undertake this journey, then it is the officers who have to buy into the idea of providing exceptional customer service which includes their security duties. But, believe it or not, and most people won’t, providing excellent security service and customer service go hand-in-hand. It falls within the purview of providing great service to the customers.

It doesn’t matter whether you get it, whatever it may be, right the 2nd time or not, what’s important, especially in security, is to do it right the first time. The second time may be too late to save someone’s life or the property, & yourself from humiliation and embarrassment.

One item that people are surprised at is when I talk about their internal customers and the 5 sets of customers they serve on a daily basis. Security officers are often surprised that they have to deal with 5 different sets every day. When I ask this question, I rarely get more than 2 or 3 answers that are right, and never all of the5. And when I do tell them, the light bulb goes on and they say ah!-ha. Those customers are:

  1. The client/company
  2. . Their employees
  3. . co-workers
  4. . Vendors/visitors
  5. . Yourself

Another item that I’ve utilized is the clock. I show them, figuratively, a clock face. I start by telling them that customer service is at noon. But then as they  get disgruntled, upset, things are not fixed, the company cuts costs, get a little lax,  & etc. the clock winds down to the bottom. The employee then starts complaining, sometimes rightfully so, as the clock winds back to the top, and it all starts all over again! The purpose of this clock is to show them how they are dependent on each other, and themselves, for customer service & their own performance.

The final aspect of the clock is that it should constantly be at a quarter till phase. This means that customer service isn’t perfect, which it never will be, and they still have to improve on their performance.

A comment  I frequently get, “I’m there to protect the client/company’s assets, not to be liked or treat employees with kid gloves”. My answer is what does it hurt to treat them with exceptional customer service? If you’ve done your job, they won’t try to get anything over on you and they’ll respect you even more even if they didn’t before.

Unfortunately, except for the ones who are willing to change, I usually only get a guffaw. But I can guarantee you that utilizing exceptional customer service within your security duties works in your favor, if not immediately then eventually as long as you stay on target and don’t slide into ‘just this once’. Once you do that, you’re done for.

By staying on target and utilizing customer service you can learn many things about what happens within the facility that you probably wouldn’t otherwise. Until it was too late to do anything about it. And the feeling that will come over you for being trusted enough…

Customer service is one of those aspects of security that is rarely trained, unless you’re a ‘receptionist or window dressing. ALL officers need to know the finer points of customer service, no matter where they are posted. Then it is up to them to learn the selective judgement in when to use a gruff authoritative tone or a much lower key approach. And that is the management role to instruct selective judgement to their officers.

I’ve had officers use customer service to their advantage and others who quit shortly after they were taught, because they didn’t want anything extra added to their already ‘overwhelming’ duties. But is usually their loss of a job not the company’s loss of the account.

Remember what I said above and take it to heart. Customer service is not a destination but a journey. And the journey is never completed. You are always on the path to improve your skills, it’s never perfect. And from a pervious post I will remind you that The best isn’t and good enough never is.

 

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many. Here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

                                      I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear

Pertinent Workplace Violence articles

At Many Workplaces, Training For A New Threat: Active Shooters
From “At Many Workplaces, Training For A New Threat: Active Shooters”
National Public Radio (NPR) (02/12/16) Noguchi, Yuki

Workplace security used to focus mostly on preventing theft, but following recent attacks, many workplaces are implementing active-shooter training for their employees. Roughly three-quarters of businesses are investing in some form of armed intruder policy procedure and training, said James McGinty of Covenant Security Services. Videos produced by the Department of Homeland Security and local police forces include the slogan “Run, Hide, Fight.” The plan suggests running to safety, or if hiding, to turn off lights and cellphone ringers. As a last resort, they suggest fighting the assailant. Laurence Barton, a threat consultant and trainer who works with the FBI, says that type of training at work is difficult. “How do you create awareness, without creating paranoia?” he asks.

 

Safety in the Sanctuary: Teaching Churches How to Handle Mass Shootings
From “Safety in the Sanctuary: Teaching Churches How to Handle Mass Shootings”
Security InfoWatch (02/08/16) Edwards, Lynda

On June 22, 1980, a gunman entered a church in Daingerfield, TX, and killed five patrons while wounding 10 more. Now, with that massacre in mind, some churches are taking action to prevent future tragedies. Texas police officer and minister Jimmy Meeks uses the shooting as a personal landmark, marrying his wife at the church and using the incident as fuel for his Sheepdog Seminars, which teaches churches how they can protect themselves from violence of all kinds. He studies the incidents to figure out ways in which the killings or assaults might have been prevented. He has recruited Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a former West point psychology professor and Army Ranger, to direct the international Sheepdog Seminars group. In addition, Meeks allows Carl Chinn to speak regularly. Chin was one of four hostages when a man entered the Colorado Springs Focus on the Family center in 1996 and threatened to blow it up. Meeks’ seminars serve to teach churches to examine how their buildings are laid out, note all exits, determine which rooms can be locked from the inside, identify blind spots in stairwells, and more. Meeks says he’s happy to see churches feeding the homeless and collecting blankets for the needy, but he would also like to see churches hire an off-duty police officer for certain events. In addition, he wants some church members trained to spot potentially unstable visitors.

 

Random Act or Islamist Terrorism? Questions Linger as Ohio Restaurant Reopens After Machete Attack
From “Random Act or Islamist Terrorism? Questions Linger as Ohio Restaurant Reopens After Machete Attack”
Washington Post (02/16/16) Miller, Michael E.

An Ohio restaurant reopened for business Monday, just four days after a man wielding a machete suddenly began attacking patrons. Nazareth Mediterranean Cuisine has an Israeli owner who believes his business was targeted. Some politicians agree, calling it a “terrorist attack.” The 30-year old attacker, Mohamed Barry, hails from Guinea and had previously been investigated by the FBI for allegedly making radical Islam threats four years ago. Despite that connection, authorities say the attack does not fit a recognizable mold. Barry was considered by friends to be a well-meaning, low-key immigrant and was just three weeks away from getting married before launching his attack. The only clue could be owner Hany Baransi, who identifies as a an Israeli Arab Christian and whose multiculturalism could have spurred the onslaught. An Israeli flag hangs in the window, as does an Arabic greeting. A painting inside shows a Muslim, a Christian and a Jew in polite conversation. Motive or not, four people were injured, including a couple who incurred severe cuts to their hands and a performing musician who “aggressively attempted to subdue” the attacker. The attack ended when an employee chased Barry outside with a baseball bat. In the getaway, Barry evaded police for five miles before engaging them. He was shot and killed.

 

Pottstown Police Discuss Workplace Violence With Chamber Members
From “Pottstown Police Discuss Workplace Violence With Chamber Members”
The Mercury (02/16/16) Dennis, Marian

Police in Pottstown, PA met with the TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce Tuesday to discuss workplace safety. The presentation focused on the steps businesses can take to keep their employees safe from workplace violence, which affects more than two million Americans each year. Police Sgt. Edward Kropp and Officer Gregory Fritz led the presentation, a first for the chamber on this particular topic. There have been sessions in the past concerning workplace injuries, but never violence. According to statistics given by the officers, there have been 160 incidents involving active shooters over the past 13 years in the United States. Sixty percent of those incidents ended before police arrived, which is why knowing how to respond proved an essential part of the presentation. Police discussed how to catch potential violence ahead of time and how to respond when law enforcement arrives. They also went over when victims should run, hide, and fight.

 

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many. Here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear

Whatever it takes to get the job done – right

This is a phrase I use on a consistent basis when I either I’m teaching a customer service class or when talking to people outside those classes about customer service. And I usually get the question. What does that mean, whatever it takes? People are confused about the phrase and, unknowingly, have some trepidation.

Literally, the phrase means that you have to do whatever it will take to accomplish the job or assignment. You must be willing to go above and beyond the normal protocol of your position. If you have to break a few rules or do something that’s not considered best or standard practice, then you must be willing to do it, for the betterment of the customer.

The idea is to satisfy the customer (which can be a client or the company you work for) with a job that is well done. And doing it right the first time. That way it doesn’t have to be revisited and have a ‘do over’. This is the difference in getting the job done right and just getting it done.

Have you heard these phrases before?

  • Good enough for government work
  • The best isn’t and good enough never is

Do you know what these phrases mean to you and your officers and how they affect the service you give to your customers? Let me try to elaborate on these phrases that have been around since, at the very least, I’ve been in the field, nearly 33 years.

If you allow your officers, supervisors, managers, & office staff to do a job and say good enough for government work, then you are doing a great disservice to them. And it’s not only a disservice to the external customer but to all of your internal customers as well.

And why is it such a disservice to them? The joke in that phrase is that the government doesn’t really give a s*** about you or your problems. That means if you only do a job and finish by saying, not in a joking manner, then you could care less about what the customer wanted. And that can put you out of business.

And then we come to one of my all-time favorite quotes, and I’ve guided my career by it since I adopted it 30 years ago. ‘The best isn’t and good enough never is’. You should, always, strive to be your best and never settle for simply doing the job and only what is required to get it done.

No matter how good you are, or think you are, you’re not the best. That’s why, even when promoting myself I never say I’m the best, because there is always someone else better than me. And there is always someone else better than you. Just like I’m better than you with some things than others and you’re better than me at still others.

The title of this post means that no matter how long you have to work, you have to work to get it done right. And you can’t be scared to go above, around, or through, standard practice, or those nasty policies and rules, to get things done. And get them done the right way for everyone’s satisfaction.

That means you may have to violate, or bend out of shape, company policies, procedures, rules, and regulations. It could mean finding a unique solution that may not have been thought of before, even if it is old school. Can you say out-of-the-box thinking? It also means taking the industry best practices and turning them on their head to get done what needs to get done.

I’ve turned my employers, and clients, on their heads on more than one occasion during my career doing things this way. I tried to follow the corporate line but… I’ve never been good at following the lead drummer. I’ve been fired and disciplined for doing things my way more than once.

I’ve cut corners, bent rules, and gotten rid of sacred cows as a way of solving problems. Most of the time it has worked to the advantage of my officers, and the customers, both internal & external. I’m proud of what I did to the chagrin of my employer at the time.

So the obvious conclusion, for me and everyone else I believe, is Do whatever it takes to get the job done – right. As long as it’s not illegal, immoral, or unethical then it shouldn’t be an issue. You can’t be afraid to take a leap of faith based on what needs to be done & what you believe is the right thing.

If you’re scared to jump, then you’ll never accomplish anything for your customers. You need to keep solving problems for the internal & external customers. If you do, you will be recognized as someone who isn’t scared to take risks and will do whatever has to be done to get the job done – right!

Decide what’s right, and then do it!

Shawn Upchurch

Waiting gives the devil time. If you have a good idea, believe in yourself and are prepared, you should take the leap

Unknown

 

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many. Here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

                  I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear

What is Your Perceived Value?

How many companies do you know teach customer and quality service to their employees? The most common answer I get is what is the difference, they’re both the same thing, so every company gets the training, or at least reminders. But this isn’t so true. Customer and quality service are 2 different things and on the other hand, they do go together. Am I confusing you yet? Good, let me take a supposedly complicated problem and break it down simply, because it really isn’t that difficult to understand.

It is amazing how many companies purport to train their employees in customer and/or quality service and yet their employees have no clue what these 2 very common or should be items actually are. And even after I explain it, people look at me quizzically. They don’t think that these 2 things should be included because that part of customer/quality service is just too complicated and hard to implement.

So what is Perceived value? Let me tell you in a few short paragraphs. It’s really not that hard to either understand or implement. AND it can help your company in every single transaction you conduct with customers, be they internal or external.

Perceived Value

I use that one phrase a lot and it’s intentional. Perception or perceived is a word that you have to realize is even more important in this economy than at any other time since the dawn of science.

To state it succinctly, you are only as valuable to the customer as they perceive you to be. If the customer/client/supervisor doesn’t perceive you to be worth what they are paying you and their perception is that you’re lazy and that you’re incompetent, then you are exactly that. It doesn’t matter what you do on the job or how much you do. If they don’t see it and perceive that you are a bum, then you might be on your way out the door!

To put it another way, in security terms, what is a ‘rent-a-cop’. We are perceived as lowly paid incompetent and lazy rent-a-cops or wanna-be-cops. For 99% of the security officers and professionals out there, this is the farthest thing from the truth! Yet that is the perception and therefore the reality for many people.

To go a step further can you agree that security is generally considered a cost center and doesn’t contribute anything to the bottom line? I think we can all agree on that point. But our clients or contacts don’t necessarily realize that we DO contribute to the bottom line, just not in a definitive demonstrable way. We prevent loss which DOES add to the company/clients bottom line.

As unfair as that may be its true. Go to a restaurant and evaluate the wait staff. Does your server treat you like a child and sounds mad or upset with you? Your perception of them is that they are just and a**h*** and won’t have that job long. And on top of that, the restaurant isn’t worth going back to if they hire people like that to serve customers. Am I correct?

The only issue is that the server may be having a bad day for some reason. Should they have come to work that day in that mood? Probably not. Personal problems need to be left at the employee entrance and not carried into work. But it doesn’t work like that and your perception is that it’s a worthless place to eat – no matter how the food tastes.

That is the dangerous part of perceived value. One thing I’ve trumpeted for years, at least 25, is that Perception is Reality! That is the succinct definition of perceived value. What someone thinks, or perceives, of you is their reality.

That perception can lead to a myriad of problems, in both security as well as other businesses as well. It’s one of the issues involving workplace violence (WPV). The perception that someone is or doing them wrong.

So I will ask you succinctly; what is YOUR or your company’s, perceived value? To either your employees or customers/clients? If you study hard enough you may find at the perception is good among some and bad amongst others. So, like the restaurant server we must do what we can to improve the perception of security.

 

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many. Here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

          I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear

If I was more psychologically unstable than I already am…”

Smirking & smiling pleasantly “…Then I might just get a firearm and take out my frustrations on them (the property management company).” So said a person I know well over a cup of coffee. So what was the source of his frustration?

They, he & his wife, had a property inspection that was coming up in a week Or so. “The implication is that they are getting ready to sell the house we’re renting. The e-mail said it was routine, but we’ve never had one before and the letter was by a realtor not the property manager.”

So why would this make my friend so upset? things hadn’t been going well for them for a few years, but his health was finally stabilizing. And being disabled and not being able to work… He was normally a positive person but this was truly wearing on them. Not to mention emotionally transferring to their pets.

The wife had been handed several health setbacks recently as well and wasn’t working either. Therefore the financial stress was also beginning to build up for them. Combine the personal and financial stresses along with struggles to find a job for him and her doing everything she could to go back to work…

Add to this that the house they previously rented was sold out from underneath them by the owners. They had promised 5 years earlier that my friends could buy the house by a lease-to-own agreement. They were also promised at that time they could live there as long as they wanted. Add to that, that they never signed an agreement for that because the owner and the wife were co-workers and friends, supposedly, they were trusted.

I talk about personal, financial, & work related stress as warning indicators of workplace violence (WPV). This is the kind of stress I am talking about. The husband actually said the beginning words to me after finding out about the inspection notice.

It doesn’t matter how good of a person they are or how well they’ve held up in the past against overwhelming odds. Unless something breaks then they can, and usually do, break themselves. Whether that is in a psychotic episode or something else, who knows until it happens.

Many of the other friends and acquaintances of my friends know about some of their issues, but none of them would even suspect them of perpetrating such an incident. And the incident could take place at the hospital where she work, the disabled center he attends, or the property management company. Or it could result in a domestic violence (DV) which could leave them injured or dead, and where would that leave their beloved pets?

Not trying to make a political statement, but it needs to be said as a possible answer for these potential incidents. The economy is in no means as good as the politicians are trying to make it seem. Disabled people are being shoved aside and told to “Go sit on the corner with your little tin cup. Or worse,  just shut the hell up and sit at home and twiddle your thumbs because no one wants you to work for them, because of the liability!” according to my friend.

Add to that fact that while the unemployment rate is down it’s only down among those who are actually counted in the statistics. There is triple the number of recorded unemployed who are either under-employed or have dropped off the roles because they haven’t been able to find work.

And there are other innumerable potential answers as to why these things happen to people. It all depends as to who you’re talking to. Amongst Christians it’s because we’ve moved away from God, if we were ever close. To politicians it’s because of the policies or stubbornness of the _____(place a political party name here). And still others will say it’s their own damned fault for being so anti_____ (place your own whatever here).

The real issue is training people in spotting the warning signs and then teaching them how to tell someone, making them aware of the potential problem. Or even if they aren’t getting close, they need to know where to tell someone what’s potentially happening to their friends or co-workers.

And as you undoubtedly know, if someone would have said something about someone to someone then any number of WPV, not to mention school violence, DV, and other terroristic incidents, may not have occurred. And then after the fact it comes down to “I didn’t think they could do that!” or worse “I didn’t think it could actually happen here (or to them).”

Take the time to tell someone if you know something about someone. It may be totally un-PC, but it could save lives . And the lives it saves could be the ones who are on the edge, co-workers, associated people, or even yourself.

The sad reality of WPV is that it is all too often true what happened to the people above. And all because someone didn’t want to be considered un-PC. And those people above, my friends? They are doing fine at this point she got the news she could go back to work so at least some of the stress will be relieved. Not all but some.

 

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many. Here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

          I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear

Let’s grill some Sirloin!

One of the biggest things that any security company, and their officers, has to overcome, whether you are a small local business or a large national corporation is getting rid of the sacred cows. If you can’t get rid of that way of thinking, you’ll never get out of your own way to be successful, especially if you’re a small business.

Part of this is the customer ‘no’ service attitude that is so prevalent in the world today. “I can’t do that, but I’ll transfer you to???? And maybe they can help you.” After waiting for an eternity on hold or in a cyber waiting room, you still haven’t gotten a resolution or even found someone who can take responsibility for helping you solve the problem!

Part of this attitude is that many security companies don’t trust their officers to make an arrangement with customers, or clients, without giving up their integrity. I agree that trusting a security officer to make a good decision may not be the smartest thing to do, but how do you know until you try. That is a sacred cow that everyone can do without.

Sacred Cows, if you don’t know, are those things that every business absolutely states that they can’t do without. This despite that it we’ve always done it that way and it works – never mind that it works against the customer and not for them. Or the all too famous ‘If we do that, then someone might get into trouble!’

Don’t just think of a good idea or procedure, run it through with your own analysis to see if it will work. Don’t over analyze, but give it a thorough and efficient going over in your mind. Or write it all out on paper and see if it can be worked out easily. If it’s feasible and more effective/efficient then do it.

Nothing in the business world is ever 100% guaranteed to be successful. Heaven knows, I’ve made my share of bad mistakes and decisions. But if you are afraid to take the risk and get rid of those sacred cows then you’ll never be successful. And this also means that you can’t necessarily follow what others have done or even your industry association or organization says are best practices. What works for one may not work for you.  Be prepared to plow your own field.

In security there are innumerable sets of guidelines, policies, procedures, rules, & regulations on which you’re supposed to follow thru with. There is no latitude when it comes to changing something because it won’t work for your site, post or what you need to get accomplished.

As an officer or manager of a security business, you have to convince yourself AND your upper management/ownership, that the sacred cows need to be shot, butchered, and grilled for the next holiday your company celebrates. Think out-of-the-box and be creative and take away the top down way of both managing and customer service. They aren’t working the front lines.

I’m not saying that issuing guidelines and regulations are not good. The problem is companies that can’t see the problem with changing something that isn’t working. Clients, officers, & managers all were set in their ways like an old person or socialist. They refused to change anything in their way of thinking because they ideas were their sacred cows. And then someone would get into trouble for going against corporate dogma.

I’ve discovered what works in New York City doesn’t necessarily work in Kansas City. And the prevalent attitude is that ‘so what if we lose an account, we’ll pick up a new one shortly’. To hell with customer service, it’s the way the business is, lose one get one.

What the company, managers, and officers need to do is change the way they look at things and slaughter the sacred cows. Just because it didn’t work before, doesn’t mean it won’t work now. The world changes too fast and we have to change with it or fail. And the only way to do that is transform the operations to make it better, by analyzing every aspect and I mean everything. From the hiring, training, selecting the right person for the right site, discipline, & termination.

Look at your policy and procedures manual. Anything that hasn’t been updated for at least 5 years needs to be updated. When I worked for Allied Security in the mid 90’s, our policy & procedures manual, unfortunately, was 15 -20 years old! And when asked why they weren’t updated or tossed out? The answer astounded me.

The exact quote from my branch manager was ‘Because we haven’t been told to. And besides they still work and apply, why re-write them?’ I then loaned him by book ‘If it ain’t Broke, Break It’. Shortly after that I began receiving bad assignments. But I didn’t stop trying. And then I was fired. Eh, So much for trying to change them.

So my advice to you? Throw out the Conventional Wisdom. Toss those old tired ideas out the window & into the dumpster. Try something new, and possibly more exciting. What’s the worst that can happen? You fail. So you fail or you get fired. So what! It happens to everyone and trying to change tired, old, worn-out ineffective & inefficient sacred cows.

 

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many. Here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear

5 Killer sins of Customer Service

In any field where you have to provide customer service to your customers you can also force them away from you, company, location, & etc. And it’s usually because of 5 sins of customer service that you or your officers may be committing.

While these sins won’t get you consigned to eternal hellfire they may well force the company to go belly-up. And that would allow for lost jobs and reputation for both you and the company.

Is it impossible to recover from these sins? It’s never impossible, but it could be more than just an uphill battle. In some respects it may be like ascending Mt. Everest.

And it will certainly feel like it if you lost customers in the process of bad customer service and committing these sins.  But without any further ado, let’s get on with it:

 

While it is not an excuse, we are all human and therefore we will have a bad day once in a while. But having a bad day is no excuse or reason for continually providing poor service.

No one can change your delivery of service (attitude) but yourself. We need to ensure that we start the shift with a positive attitude and maintain it throughout the day, no matter how long it lasts. And some shifts, whether security, hospitals, retail during Christmas, or law enforcement can work interminable hours.

  1. Do I Look Like I Care?
    • Lint on the Shoulder  they portray this by looks, attitude, and actions. Simply put, you brush off a client/customer/visitor by telling them something like ‘That’s not my job’, and then turning away to tend to other duties or ‘busy work’.
    • South Pole This can be defined more by body language than words.
  2. Doh!    Do you like being talked to like an idiot or an uninformed dolt? Of course not. Customers/clients/visitors don’t like it either. Take care that you don’t talk down to the patients, visitors, and employees because it will be remembered.
  3. I, Robot You greet all visitors the same, you tell all visitors the same, and give them all the same smile.
  4. By The Book This is where what the company or officer wants takes precedence over what the visitor/patient wants. Is by the book necessarily bad? No, but provide quality service when you do.
  5. Exercise Time Everyone has had this experience either with a bank or some level of government. No one can or is willing to give you an answer for anything and they keep passing you around to another department or person or department or person or department or person or department or person or……………………………

Now the question becomes; how can you recover and become a customer service superstar in your field? That answer may be both hard and easy. It may be hard because you have to a concerted effort from everyone.

And by everyone I mean from the C-suite on down to the people at the ground level. And easy because you may need to hire a consultant or hire a specialist to monitor your progress.

And another surgical maneuver to use is to hire ‘secret shoppers’ to go around and grade your people. Yes this seems like a cliché’ to use secret shoppers but it can and will work.

Lastly, are you committing sins of customer service? Do you have the processes in place to discover and rectify them? Let’s hope so.

 

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many. Here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear

Do you provide value added service?

While customer service has been a buzzword, and supposedly a way of conducting business, for corporate America for the past 30 years or more, this is one term that is virtually ignored in any training. Having an excellent customer service training plan is vital. You have to train & know what value added service is and how it affects you. As well as how it affects the company or client.

I believe that everyone has heard the phrase ‘Going above and beyond the call…’ That’s what the phrase, value added service means. In order to cultivate the favor of your company/client you need to add value to the service you provide. That means, basically, go the extra mile to make them, and their employees, happy.

 

  1. If an employee, or someone you know, comes to the security station/desk and asks you if you can keep a package for a few minutes while they return to their vehicle, what do you do? If you know the person and the risk of something untoward is low, then why not hold onto it?
  2. If an employee asks you for something that you don’t have while on patrol, what do you do? Do you walk back to the station to get what they wanted immediately or do you get it when you are done with the patrol? Being smart, if you’re in the area, and it doesn’t take away from your route, you can stop at the station and get whatever it is. If not, then you do it when you get back.

The questions here for both examples are these;

  • Why not do them?
  • Does it take that much time or effort?
  • Are you ignoring your duties so you can do a favor?
  • Would it be worth it to the employee/tenant/visitor to have you help them?
  • Is it worth getting a thank you or future politeness/cooperation from the ones you helped?
  • Is it worth it for the security department to receive consideration later on as not just being in the way?
  • Will the company/client appreciate it, if not now then later?
  • Does it make you look like a customer service superstar without compromising your integrity?

For all of these questions the answer is YES.

It doesn’t matter whether you are in a service industry. In retail you could take an extra few seconds to look up where an item may be found, if you don’t have it in stock. And then you could offer to have it shipped to your store, if your company offers that service (and if not, why?), if the location where there is one is too far for the customer to travel, or they are disabled, or elderly.

In the service industry, do you have to charge a client every time you answer a question for them? While doctors will make you come to their office before answering any questions, the reasoning being liability, the answer would be no. If the customer or client is constantly calling and picking your brain, then yes, but for only a couple of questions, & only once in a while,  then, again, why not?

We’ve all heard of the good Samaritans who go out and fix a home for an elderly person or buys toys and food for the family who lost everything to a burglar or fire. Or maybe the nurse who allowed an elderly man to get into bed with his dying wife on her last night on earth. These things didn’t have to be done. In fact they may be against the rules.

In the security field, we can, potentially, prevent a criminal incident if we provide value added service to our customers/client’s. Nothing can ever be guaranteed in security. And hoping that there is a magical potion will prevent criminal activity is wishful thinking.

However, it is possible, that we might make the individual who wants to commit a crime to stop and think about what they are about to do. And if they stop and think, they may decide that they shouldn’t do this crime or that it’s not worth it. Can you say security officers making a Difference?

Think about your internal & external customers; yes your customers not the company’s or clients, on your post. How many ways can you add value to them and their experience with you? If you look hard, then I’m sure you can come up with a few that won’t cost much, if anything, to accomplish. And if you break a couple of rules, or bend them out of shape to do it, and you are not doing anything illegal, unethical, or immoral, why shouldn’t you to increase your appeal to the customer?

I have many examples where adding value added service to the client, in several ways, made a difference for the company and the officers. On several occasions, it saved the client account because we did something they didn’t expect but appreciated. It garnered praise and recognition for my officers and it helped secure other clients for us.

And while some companies won’t like it when you do these little extras for the employees (they are not billing for it or the officers getting paid), it’s okay. The employees and the client certainly will. And that should be good enough for anyone.

 

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many. Here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear

Do you know who your external & internal customers are?

The basic precept of customer service is acknowledging who your customers actually are. The question now is do you know who your internal & external customers may be?  Then the question turns to can you define who they are and why they’re important, especially the internal customers?

Most everyone, whether you’re in a service or retail business, know for a fact who the external customer may be. That is elementary, except knowing them by that designation. But let me give a little list.

The client in which you work for. If you’re in security, then it’s obvious if it’s 1 location. But every single location managed by a different person is a separate customer

Client employees. Yes the client’s employees become another set of customers that are external that must be serviced

Vendors. Any vendors that work at the client site are also customers such as copier people, forklift mechanics, & so on

Delivery/pick-up people. UPS, FedEx, USPS, & etc. are also your customers

Visitors. Yes the visitors who come into the facility are also customers and deserve to be treated that way

 

Internal

Now the hard part starts. Who are your internal customers? This may be a little harder to delineate and figure out who they actually are. But they are just as important to your success as the external. And again this is just as critical for customer service as any other. To start you out here is another short list, because I’m sure you can figure out many others;

The company. The company you work is one of your customers. Their success becomes yours as well

Company employees. Of course they are who else are you servicing if not for these people? If you’re a contract worker i.e. security they also depend on you to be successful. And the main question is how many departments are there within the company – because they are all independent customers

Your own vendors, delivery, & pick-up people

Visitors. Yes visitors, whether they are applicants, interviewees, students, or regulatory personnel they also should, and need to be, treated as if they are customers, which of course they are

 

With the above lists, can you add any more to it? Depending on whom you work for you could be making a lot of lists. For example with a large nationally recognized security company you’ll have the following;

  • IT support
  • Officers in the field & others that support them
  • Human Resources. Both corporate & local
  • Legal
  • Corporate support personnel i.e. administrative assistents, secretaries, payroll clerks & etc.
  • Again, both corporate & local

Every single department, whether locally, regionally, or nationally is your customer.

In a hospital you also have many departments that can be your customers. Admitting, security, housekeeping, radiology, surgery, food service, pharmacy…

It doesn’t matter how big your company is, or small, you have to worry about both sets of customers at all times. And even a one person company has internal customers. It may be a surprise but they do.

The one person enterprise has the owner. The owner serves as CEO, COO, CFO, IT, & operations. Therefore the biggest customer that they have is themselves. They have to take care of themselves, and their families who should be treated as customers, as best as the external ones who buy the product.

 

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many. Here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear