Communications (Lesson 7 of 9)
Most security officers are required to answer the telephone for a certain amount of time on a daily basis. In some cases, the security officer may be required to simply answer telephone calls which come into the security post from another interior telephone. At other times, security personnel may be required to act as the main telephone operator during evening and weekend hours. No matter the level of telephone service provided by security, it is critical that all security personnel answer the telephone in a professional manner.
People make assumptions and reach conclusions about a person based upon their tone of voice and the way in which they speak on the telephone. A person’s mood and mental outlook are expressed through the voice. A person who is tired, angry, happy, frustrated, etc., often conveys these feelings through their tone of voice. Therefore, if a security officer is not very happy with having to answer the telephone, this resentment is often transferred through his/ her tone of voice and their unfriendliness towards and unwillingness to help the caller is demonstrated.
The way workers and executives may view an entire security operation is directly related to image and perception. The way a security officer presents him/herself goes hand-in-hand with how the entire organization is perceived. Security officers who are required to answer the telephone may accept a call from the President or Chief Executive Officer of the corporation. If an executive of the corporation encounters a rude, angry, or uncaring security officer on the phone, the reputation of the security department as a whole can be damaged. Security officers should accept the responsibility of answering the telephone and perform this task to the best of their abilities in a professional manner.
Suggestions for Answering The Telephone:
- Always answer the phone within three rings and have a pen or pencil ready to take notes.
- Answer the phone by saying, “Good morning/ (afternoon/evening), ABC Company, Security Officer Jones speaking. How may I help you?”
- Try to help the caller. If they ask for someone who is not currently at work, don’t just say, “They are not in.” Help the caller by saying, “Is there someone else who can help you?”
- If the caller has a problem or complaint, listen to him/her and attempt to offer a suggestion or alternative.
- If the caller asks for the home phone number of anyone, do not give it out. If the caller persists that he/she must talk to the person, ask the caller for his/her name and phone number. Advise the caller that you will call the employee at home and give him/her the caller’s name and phone number.
- If the caller is a customer or client, be certain to obtain specific information regarding their questions or problems and then attempt to contact the appropriate executive at home.
- If the caller states that he/she must speak to someone because of an emergency, take notes of his/her statements and be certain to notify the appropriate employee, or supervisor, if required, as soon as possible.
- Security personnel must not convey their emotions in their voice. If the security officer is tired, or angry at someone, he/she must remember that in all likelihood, the caller is not responsible for his/her mood. Therefore, don’t take out your aggression on the caller.
- When answering the telephone, security personnel should always assume their boss is the person calling. Never think that you can play jokes or games on the phone because you know the person calling. You might think you know the identity of the caller, but you may be mistaken.
- Smile on the telephone. Project a positive image. If you cannot understand the person or their message, ask them to repeat their message.