How To Make A Security Program Fit Your Brand
Have you ever thought of a security company as a brand ambassador for a building or gated community? Most people don’t. However, this can be a huge mistake. Here’s why.
First Impressions Count
When anyone enters an access controlled building or community, the security officer is usually the first person they see and interact with. This in essence makes the security officer the face of that building or community’s brand.
Tenants, visitors, employees and other stake holders will form an opinion based on what they see and how the guard interacts with them. This can have a huge impact on the perceived value of the services provided by the management team.
That’s why it is imperative for the building’s management team to work with a security company that has the flexibility to create a security program that upholds the integrity of their brand vision.
There are 3 key areas a management company needs to be concerned with in order to accomplish this.
- The image presented by the security program
- The need for custom training of Security Officers
- The security company’s administrative support
When evaluating security bids, management teams do well to consider of each of these areas to ensure the purposed security program does not stuff their brand into a box designed by the security company. Instead, they should look for a security company that is capable of developing a security program that works as an integral part of the management team’s vision.
The Image Presented By The Security Program
When the word “Branding” is mentioned, many people often think of visual cues like logos and colors. A great deal of time and effort go into creating these because visual cues give the viewer an immediate perception of what the brand stands for.
Appearance is extremely important and can covey and image of prestige, wealth and sophistication. Appearance can also convey a trendy, fun and youthful image or anything else that a brand may wish to represent.
When it comes to high-rises and gated communities, the brand needs to reflect the lifestyle or company culture of the tenants it wishes to attract. This can increase the tenants’ perceived value of the building which is why careful consideration should be given to the image presented by the building’s security program.
A few options to consider are:
- What should the security officers’ uniforms look like?
- What type of cameras should be used?
- What feeling should visitors get when they first see the property’s security features?
A good security company will work closely with property managers to ensure the band vision is maintained while ensuring the safety and protection of tenants, employees, visitors and assets.
The Need For Custom Training Of Security Officers
Most guards are trained professionals that understand general security and emergency response protocols. However, that is not enough.
Officers need customized training to understand how to represent the brand while interacting with tenants, visitors, employees and others. All the effort and hard work that goes into building a brand can be ruined when guards are not properly trained in this regard.
That’s why GSI consults with management teams to customize a training curriculum, geared specifically to meet this need. These are accredited training courses that cover various roles and duties of professional security personnel. Trainings feature scenario-based interactions and videos that are in accordance with the officer’s day-to-day responsibilities.
Guards are required to complete these courses and are tested on their understanding and retention. We have found that custom training programs, like these, go a long way toward ensuring guards understand in detail how to handle themselves in line with management’s vision for the brand.
The Security Company’s Administrative Support
Administrative support is important because high guard turn-over and unresolved issues can have a negative impact on a property’s brand. To discuss this openly, we are going to share some insider secrets that most security companies may not want you to know about.
First of all bigger does not always mean better. That’s because a large portion of the revenue from security contracts goes to pay for upper management. Middle managers who actually oversee a post are often overworked. This can result in unresolved issues, slow responses to inquiries and higher guard turnover due to employee frustration.
That doesn’t mean that small security companies are better. The problem with small security companies, is a lack of resources. Cash flow issues can also mean that guards don’t get paid on time which results in high turnover rates.
Property managers who understand this, choose to work with a well funded security company that puts a priority on administrative support. This means considering the workload of post commanders and operations managers.
At GSI we added in a customer service manager as an extra layer of support. The customer service manager’s job is to ensure that we exceed our customers’ expectations. That means protecting their brand and maintaining a guard turnover rate that is much lower than the industry average.
A New Trend In The Security Services Sector
Over the past few years, we have realized that there is a new trend where forward thinking management companies are looking to have guards present an image and provide services according the management company’s vision for the building.
That’s exactly what we do at GSI and by offering guard services which are custom tailored to the specific needs of each client we service, we have doubled in size over the last 3 years. We are especially proud of our most recent win on a bid for the security contract of Farmers Plaza in Woodland hills.
We feel that there is much more to Security than just protecting people and assets. Of course, safety and security are always a primary concern, but at the same time, we realize that our guards must present a polished image that is line with the management company’s vision.