Do retail security guards need to be good with people?

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The stereotype of retail security staff can often paint them as aggressive hardmen who stand aloof at entrances and exits.

But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Although retail security staff need to be confident and ready to handle difficult and potentially violent situations, customer service skills are essential for all retail security officers.

Why is this?

The job role of retail security

While the main duties of retail security staff can differ depending on which shop environment they work in, most instances will include:

  • Monitoring CCTV
  • Watching customers that enter and leave the premises
  • Looking for suspicious behaviour, including loitering and attempted entry into restricted areas
  • Patrolling internal and external areas
  • Communicating with other staff, including other retail security and in-store colleagues
  • Stepping in when suspicious or anti-social behaviour is observed or reported
  • Liaising with emergency services and writing reports, when needed
  • Handling situations calmly and professionally within industry-approved parameters

They will also be expected to work with the general public, advising them if they have any problems and noting if they have any concerns about other shoppers.

For this reason, their customer service skills also need to be good.

Common ways retail security work with the general public

1.     Giving directions or advice

Depending on where you work in the country, you may regularly see an influx of visiting tourists who find themselves lost.

As uniformed staff, retail security are often viewed as a safe person to approach if external help is needed, which can include offering directions both inside and outside of the shop.

The general public may also approach you if they need advice or help, for example, if they have misplaced something or security tags have not been removed. While this is not really your job, you can quickly and easily point them in the direction of in-store staff who can help them – which improves their impression of the store and makes them more likely to return!

2.     Taking tip-offs from concerned shoppers

While shopping, the general public may see things that you miss while patrolling, including suspicious and confrontational or aggressive behaviour.

If you are approachable and helpful, these members of the public can come to you if they see something that worries them – helping you to nip potential issues in the bud and stop shoplifting while it is occurring.

This creates a safer shopping environment for all, increases the profits of your employer, and can help improve satisfaction with your performance.

3.     Liaising with the emergency services

If things do turn sour and the emergency services need to be called, the general public can panic, leading to mass confusion.

In situations like this, you and your retail security colleagues may be needed to keep the public away, advise on who and how they can leave, and even pass on messages.

Helping to keep the scene secure and calm.

You may also be needed to make statements about what has happened and give first aid if you are confident or qualified.

Find well-trained, personable retail security with Double Check Security

Double Check Security provides a range of security options for premises of all kinds, including retail security that have excellent customer service skills.

Each SIA-licensed retail security staff member will represent your business impeccably and interact with the public in a professional and approachable manner –  without compromising the security of your store.

If you need store security, you can call us on 020 3794 8182 or email us and someone will be in touch to discuss your needs and put your bespoke security package together.