How security companies can enhance customer relationships during the holiday season

Nov. 13, 2014
Security providers have a part to play in keeping their customers informed

As the holiday season approaches, most businesses will be looking forward to their busiest, most lucrative time of year. Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Advent, Chanukah, Kwanza, Christmas and New Year’s, all carry the promise of more shoppers, more clients, more customers and more revenue.

As an incredibly important time in the year for retailers specifically, many rely on a productive holiday season to make a major contribution to their earnings for the year. In fact, data from the National Retail Federation shows that the holiday period accounts for nearly 20 percent of total annual retail sales.

While businesses will be eagerly anticipating this busy spell, the holiday season can pose a number of security challenges.

According to data from the FBI and analysis conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, shoplifting can increase by almost nine percent during the months of November and December. Another study from the Center for Retail Research showed that retailers can lose up to $3.8 billion to shoplifting alone.

It’s no mystery as to why this occurs – with greater footfall, shoplifters also become harder to detect and monitor.

Often, businesses respond to the surge in customers by hiring temporary staff. Strategically placing staff around the shop floor is a sensible deterrent to shoplifters. However, temporary staff also carries the risk of employee theft, often even more specific to ‘sweet-hearting’. The same study from the Center for Retail Research showed that retailers can also lose up to a staggering $4.7 billion through employee theft.

In this make-or-break time for America’s businesses, a lot of responsibility falls to us, security leaders, to make sure that our customers are properly protected.

As security providers, we have the opportunity to deliver our customers well-being and peace-of-mind. And we have a big role to play in the success of America’s businesses during this festive period.

The statistics mentioned above are troubling, but we are in a fortunate position – we can do something about it.

We have a duty to make sure that our customers are properly informed about the potential threats to their businesses. Information is key. Consult with your customers on what should they be looking out for. What times or day, or days of the week, are they more susceptible to crime? How are they monitoring employee comings and goings?

Make sure they informed – if they are informed, they can act.

The next step is to make sure that our customers are aware of any vulnerability in their security procedures and equipment. Examine how their premises is effectively secured at night. Are there holes in their surveillance? Are they performing thorough background checks on their temporary staff? Do they know what to do in the event of a theft or break in?

We should then work with our customers to find solutions to address their vulnerabilities and find the best way to safeguard our customer’s takings and inventory.  This in-person, customized consultation process is an easy one and a valuable one.  

By being diligent, sensitive and engaged, security providers can earn a greater level of trust from customers. We can progress the client relationship to the point where we become partners and counselors, rather than just vendors.

Through this proactive approach, we can all forge a stronger relationship with our customers that will last well beyond the re-packing of the final bauble and the last slice of holiday pie.

It’s a season when we as security providers should be in our element – leveraging our expertise to safeguard our customer’s well-being, honoring our duty to America’s businesses this holiday season.  

About the Author

Luis Orbegoso | President, ADT Business

Luis Orbegoso is president of ADT Business.