Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if everyone just stayed law abiding? Painfully, we don’t live in such a world. People break the law and will do things to hurt you and yours if you don’t protect yourself.
This also applies to your business. Therefore, no serious business person jokes with the security of their business place. So since you can’t provide your own security, how do you choose from the many commercial security services out there?
We can help. Here are questions to ask before you choose a commercial security service provider if you want to get the best…
- What’s the commercial security service’s knowledge of your locality?
While there are general security problems you’d expect in any location, there are some that are more widespread in certain locations. For example, if you have a business in an area that is prone to car thefts, your security needs will differ from an area that rarely experiences such.
So before you settle for a security outfit, you need to find out how conversant they are with your locality. Test their knowledge of the major security challenges businesses like yours are most likely to face in that area.
- What’s their general track record/experience?
While it’s a great idea to hire a security provider that understands your locality, it’s also important to check their general experience and track record.
There’s one thing no one can dispute: We live in changing times. So the more experienced an outfit is, the more prepared they’d be to cope with sudden changes in security needs in your neighborhood.
That’s one major reason to go for experience and an awesome track record. The other one is that they have a reputation to protect. It would be a bad mark on their great record to have certain security breaches on any property or business they secure. So while they work tirelessly to maintain their reputation, you reap the benefits.
- How do they ensure accountability among their personnel?
A company might tell you that their security guards will patrol your premises round the clock. But since neither you nor their boss would be on site to monitor compliance, how do they make their employees accountable?
Find out what systems they have put in place to ensure that guards are always stationed at the right places at the right time.
Would they provide a website or something else for you to monitor what the guards are doing and where they are at all times if you want to?
If they don’t have a good system for holding their team accountable, give them a pass.
- What’s the quality of personnel training?
Every company will tell you that they train their guards and other security personnel. But what quality of training do they get? What are they trained in?
It’s a good idea to know the details as that would give you a clearer idea of what to expect when they guard your business premises.
For example, do you want guards who are skilled in de-escalating tension? Then ensure that your chosen provider gives its personnel the right training in conflict de-escalation.
- Who plans your security strategy?
Well, unless you are a former security professional (in any capacity), you probably don’t know what’s the best security strategy for your business place.
So who would be responsible for planning the security strategy for your business place? Would it be just up to you to tell the security company what you want?
While your input and concerns must be addressed by a security provider, it’s their work to develop a formidable strategy that gives you the quality of protection you need.
It’s their duty to explain to you why certain things have to be handled in certain ways. They should explain to you how everything should be set up for the best results.
If it’s all down to what you can think up, then you just have guards and NOT a security service.
- How good is their customer service?
This is time-tested. If you want to know how much any company or service cares about its clients, just check the quality of their customer service.
Don’t expect to be treated better as a client than you were treated by the customer service while making enquiries.
So call the various customer services of your short-listed candidates and see how they handle your concerns; how they treat you in general. You’ll quickly get a feel of whether they are good or bad for you.
- What business security systems do they use?
There are many security systems out there. Some might be overkill for your business while some will be essential. Find out the systems they already use and those they have competent personnel to deploy even if they don’t already use them.
It’s also a good idea to ask them why a particular system is essential and why they think you shouldn’t be without any. This is to ensure they don’t just make you incur unnecessary expenses.
- Can they give you references?
How satisfied were their previous clients? How satisfied are their existing clients?
How can anyone tell?
Well, for starters, ask them for references. If they’ve been doing a great job, many of their clients will be quite happy to help them out. While any reference is better than none at all, it’s best to get references that fit your business’s profile.
If you want to take this to the next level, call some of those references and get their opinion of the service provider. If the references’ businesses aren’t too far away, make out time to visit them and get a feel of the quality of security they have (Of course, that would be if you/they are in a business that you can visit as a “mystery” customer).
Let professionals help you…
Protecting your business premises and valuable assets isn’t something that you can treat lightly. The quality of security service you engage can be the difference between having a thriving business and one that’s struggling (Think theft, vandalization of property, customer safety, etc).