Recessions affect all industries, but it seems like the physical security sector is affected from two sides. On the one side, supply chain disruptions (a leading cause of the current economic situation) have limited companies’ abilities to procure equipment and supplies. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports an 8.3% price increase on all goods compared to last year. On the other side, security companies’ clients are hurting, and security is typically one of the first expenses cut from the budget.
Since business owners can’t control supply chain issues or the rising cost of goods, the key to survival is client retention and developing a stable customer base. According to research, a simple 5% increase in customer retention can cause a 25% increase in profit — exactly what businesses need during an economic turndown. Follow these tips to build a customer retention strategy that’ll help your security business survive the recession.
Build Deeper Relationships with Your Clients
Customers tend to stick with vendors they like. And making your customers like you is more than just low prices and quality service; it’s about how they personally feel about you and your business.
For example, you might have the lowest prices on the market, but if your customers don’t trust you or even like working with you, do you think they’ll stick around? The answer is, likely not. If you want your security business to become recession-proof, take the time to build your customer relationships.
One of the best ways to increase customer loyalty and develop stronger relationships is to become invested in your clients’ businesses and lives. Communicate with your customers, ask them how their business is going, and talk about what improvements they’d like to see — both with your service and with their industry as a whole. Not only will this grow your relationship, but you might also be surprised by what you learn. You could find a way to make your contract security services even better and more desirable.
Since communication is the cornerstone of any relationship (business or personal), being transparent with your clients is a pillar of a good client retention strategy and another way to deepen your business relationships. Maintain constant lines of communication with your clients and share reporting information from your workforce management software. That way, your clients know exactly what they’re paying for, which increases your trustworthiness and strengthens your relationship even further.
Improve the Quality of Your Service by Investing in Your Guards
You’re not the only person interacting with your clients. Clients will see and talk to your guards more than they’ll talk to you, so it’s important to focus on your employees and improve the quality of your service as a major part of your customer retention strategy.
Quality of service is arguably the most important KPI for customer retention. According to research, 89% of businesses compete on customer service. If you want to beat the competition and retain customers, it’s not about pricing at all; it’s about the quality of service.
In the private security industry, you can’t simply improve your manufacturing processes or use higher quality materials. Your “product” is the security and services you provide. The only way to improve the quality of your services is to invest in your guards.
One of the simplest ways to provide better customer service is to use the same guards for each client. This builds familiarity between your team and the client, improving the quality of the services and building a stronger relationship. This is also when guard retention and investing in your team pays off.
Sharing relevant information is an important part of good security guard management. Before you send your team to a job site, it’s also beneficial to brief them about the client. Let your guards know about the customer’s specific expectations and goals. Guards who understand the customer are more invested in providing quality service. The more personal, the better.
Not only does providing higher quality services increase your customer retention, but it may also bring in more business through word of mouth. If your clients are happy with your service, they may tell others in their industry. It never hurts to have a waiting list of customers during a recession.
Focus on Reputation Management
Your reputation precedes you. This isn’t just something villains say in the movies; it’s true in the business world, too. The better your business reputation, the higher your existing customers will think of you and (perhaps just as importantly) the more clients who will want to work with you — both of which are incredibly important for surviving a recession.
In addition to improving your quality of service and training your guards, there are other backend processes that you can use to manage your reputation. Processes like being reliable with invoices along with reporting and contract management are important aspects to any business relationship.
For example, you could provide the best physical security services in the industry, but if you’re inconsistent with invoicing and difficult to contact, clients won’t want to work with you. Then, they’ll tell others in the industry about the difficulties of working with you, and your business will struggle.
One of the most effective ways to build your business reputation is to focus on contract obligations. Since you can’t always be on site to manage your team, use workforce management software like TrackTik. It can connect frontline operations to your back-office management to ensure client expectations are met (or exceeded) and contract requirements are fulfilled.
Work with your Clients to Work Through the Recession
Inconsistency is the enemy of modern business. Between the varying cost of goods and the economy as a whole, the best way to make your security business recession-proof is to create stability within your client base.
By focusing on your customers and solidifying your relationships with quality service, you can develop a strong customer retention strategy that’ll ensure positive cashflow and get your business through the recession. In the end, your customers are going through hard times, too. Work with them and get through it together.
When everyone on your team has the right information at their fingertips, your business can run more efficiently and provide higher quality services to get you and your clients through these difficult economic times. If you want to see how TrackTik security workforce management software can help your business provide a better customer experience and retain clients, sign up for a demo today.