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.
- 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?
- 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