The Silvertrac Extra: A Blog & Podcast for the Security Guard Industry

Customer Selection – Bad Fit vs. Stretch

Oct 31, 2016 9:00:00 AM / by Chris Anderson

62354136_s.jpgWhen you decided to start your own security company, you probably never imagined you would one day need to turn away a potential customer. Every single day companies pick up accounts with customers that simply are not a good fit for their company, which is not only bad for their customers but bad for their business.

Whether this means the customer has unrealistic expectations about your level of service or that you simply do not have the personnel available to meet their needs, it is up to you to know which customers you can work with and which ones you need to walk away from. 

Stretching Versus Bad Fit

In some cases, a customer may require the use of additional resources on your end but within reason. A high value account that requires a little extra work, which for example can be achieved by offering additional high value services, is worth keeping. These are called stretch customers because they force you to extend yourself a little further than normal to meet their needs, but they typically pay out in a positive fashion.

On the other hand, customers who operate in difficult environments or have high demands for little money, could be a bad fit. If you choose to go ahead with the account, you will inevitably end up with an unhappy customer who feels as though you cut corners because you couldn’t meet their demands.  

Cloning Your Best Customers

In the security industry, not all accounts are of equal value. If a potential customer will simply take up too many resources, it is okay to decline the account and look for better opportunities. Ideally you want a handful of high value accounts that you have worked into a specialized, streamlined service. Your goal should be to seek out new customers who operate in environments similar to your existing clients.

By finding clones of your best accounts, it’s easier to offer a high level of service while keeping your revenue high and avoiding bad performance reviews. Advertise your specialty and the range of services you already provide to similar clients as a way to find customers with similar needs.

It is never too late to begin evaluating your customer relationships and determining which ones are toxic to your business. Accounts that are a bad fit leave you with unhappy customers and bad reviews. You can avoid all of this by paying attention to the small details before you sign a new account.

Did you know that an advanced security management system like Silvertrac can help give you these critical details to make decisions like these easier? See our guide for finding the right guard management software to learn more.

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Chris Anderson

Written by Chris Anderson

Chris is the Founder of Silvertrac Software and has been working in the security industry for more than 25 years. He enjoys working with our clients everyday to help them grow their businesses and really enjoy what they are doing.

Chris currently lives and works in Seal Beach, CA.

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