Hotel security: an extension of your brand
Whether you’re running a large city-centre hotel or a boutique establishment in a remote rural district, your customers will expect to be safe, secure and treated with the utmost respect. Your own staff will, of course, be trained to be attentive and courteous, but those qualities need to be displayed consistently. It only takes one failure for the customer experience to be spoiled, so if you’re planning to appoint outsourced security staff, it’s essential that their training extends beyond the basics. Approachability and customer care are also vital skills for a good security professional.
In the hospitality business, there’s a balance to be struck between unobtrusiveness and reassurance. No one wants a hotel environment to have the atmosphere of an airport security check but, equally, customers also like to feel that the establishment is a safe haven where they can relax; where they and their possessions are safe. A good security company can do a lot to reinforce this impression without becoming an overbearing presence.
Security and first impressions
First impressions count, and that’s as true of hotel security as anything else. Visibility matters because it’s the presence of features such as parking barriers, security signage, CCTV and external lighting that will help to shape customers’ impressions when they first arrive on site. Measures should be robust but not inconvenient for guests. If you can achieve that, then you’ll already be sending subtle signals to your customers that they can expect excellent care.
Flexible security packages
A good hotel security company should be able to offer a comprehensive suite of services, but your business won’t necessarily need to take advantage of all of them. Packages should be tailored to account for factors such as your hotel’s location, size, amenities and footfall. When considering what sort of support you may need, it’s helpful to consider the services that could potentially make up your ideal package. The following are examples, but other services are available to suit different markets and conditions.
External security patrols are essential for ensuring that a hotel’s grounds and any parking facilities are secure and well maintained. The mere presence of uniformed staff helps reassure customers that they are in safe hands and also offers a visible deterrent.
A welcoming service
Security staff can readily play a part in welcoming visitors to the establishment. Often, to help make their roles as cost-effective as possible, they will multi-task, working seamlessly with hotel staff at the reception desk or as part of the concierge service. Hotel security professionals typically provide a less obviously visible role than ‘door staff’ in other sectors because clients are seeking to convey a different image; one of calm sophistication.
An experienced security specialist will stay alert for a range of potential problems and warning signs. Identifying intruders, unauthorised guests or people under the influence of drink or drugs is all part of the job.
Floor walks are a routine and important element of a hotel security service. Staff who make regular patrols around the interior of the premises can look out for a number of important issues and potential risks. Security staff can act as the eyes and ears of the hotel’s management, alert to any issues that could compromise security or the visitor experience.
Hoteliers will be well aware of the risks and nuisance associated with unauthorised visitors gaining access to guest rooms or other areas such as kitchens and meeting rooms. A routine room check can be conducted as part of an interior patrol.
Event logging and response
Keeping an accurate record of patrols, incidents and the condition of the premises can be an important role of security staff. This provides useful management information for the purposes of staff training, maintenance and planning. It can also prove invaluable in the event of a contested insurance claim or customer complaint.
In cases where CCTV monitoring is not carried out by a specialist off-site agency, security staff can provide an on-site monitoring service as part of their roles.
For many city-centre hotels, business continues 24 hours a day. However, for smaller establishments, night-times can be quiet. This is another example where security staff can provide a cost-effective service by multi-tasking; providing a presence at reception to deal with any customer enquiries, but also monitoring CCTV systems and controlling access to the premises.
Not all hotels have on-site security personnel, but those that don’t often like to be able to call on a security team to help them respond to an incident. Good security companies will offer an ‘accompanied attendance’ service, whereby security staff can be sent to accompany the hotel’s representative in order to respond quickly to an incident.
Sometimes hotels will encounter guests who make themselves a nuisance and risk undermining other customers’ enjoyment of the establishment. These situations demand a firm but courteous response, and this is a role best assigned to a trained security professional. Security staff will have the skills to defuse a potentially confrontational situation and should be able to secure a positive outcome very quickly.
Tony Hill, Director, Leisure Guard Security
Find out more about how Leisure Guard Security can safeguard your business: 0800 035 6607 leisureguardsecurity.co.uk
Leisure Guard (UK) Ltd holds SIA approved contractor status for the provision of Security Guarding, Door Supervision and CCTV services.