How Security Guards Deal with a Difficult Guest Safely
Being a security guard is a tough job, particularly when it comes to dealing with difficult customers. It’s fundamental to both the officer’s integrity and the company image that difficult customers are dealt with respectfully and efficiently. Here are some top tips for security guards when dealing with a difficult guest.
1. Listening is key
This might seem like a challenge if a difficult customer is being loud or unreasonable, but the trick is to always treat them with respect. After all, they might feel they have every right to be acting the way they are, and you won’t know this unless you listen carefully.
A security guard should make every effort to maintain eye contact with the difficult customer, and to respond as they talk. Showing that you’re actively listening to someone’s issues is a great way to begin calming them down, and shows that you are still treating them with respect.
2. Understand their perspective
This goes hand-in-hand with listening, but a security guard should always be understanding when dealing with difficult customers. By showing empathy, you are demonstrating that this person is worth listening to, and that they have a right to voice their opinions.
Understanding a difficult guest is another great way to begin calming them down, and whether you do truly understand is essentially irrelevant. Many people calm down after having a chance to vent their feelings, and offering them an understanding ear allows them to talk out their problems, which might also help them see their error.
3. Don’t get emotionally involved
As a security guard, it’s not your place to become emotionally invested in a situation. This lowers your professionalism, and is only inviting more trouble from the difficult customers. Shouting at someone, or even offering a shoulder to cry on, isn’t part of the job description. Your job is to de-escalate the situation enough for the customer to leave, or to resolve it amicably.
4. Don’t become forceful if possible
Whether it’s in your job description or not, becoming forceful or physical when dealing with difficult customers is a sure way to make a situation worse. People can become very threatened if someone starts throwing their weight around, particularly if you’re much bigger than them.
Do everything in your power to diffuse a situation before it gets to this stage. If this is impossible, and you’re able to, call for backup to help ease tensions. Difficult customers are best dealt with using compassion and empathy rather than physical size and intimidation.
Difficult customers are arguably the bane of many security guards, but also one of the main reasons they’re around. A security officer should approach any situation in a calm and collected manner, both for the difficult customer, and to maintain their employer’s credibility. The last thing a security guard wants is to compromise their job by dealing with a difficult customer in a bad way.