As a business owner, you’re responsible for the safety of your employees and patrons. Ask yourself: Do your customers and workers feel physically secure when they’re in your store? Do your patrons feel confident using their credit cards? To run a successful business, you need to be able to answer “yes” to these questions without hesitation.
If you think your store could use some help in these areas, consider implementing the ideas below.
In an interview with PYMNTS.com, architectural expert Andrew McQuilken explains that people change their shopping habits based on their state of mind and if they feel safe or not. Especially with the popularity of online shopping, people have plenty of alternatives to going to a brick-and-mortar store. By making stores more attractive, shoppers are more likely to enter your store and stay there longer.
One of McQuilken’s tips includes making your store more open, airy and bright. For example, gas stations that are better lit and have windows instead of walls are more likely to attract women because they feel safer knowing that passersby would be able to see a potential problem. Even if you’re in a well-lit neighborhood or shopping center, you can take this concept further by adding more lights to the inside of your store, having clear and open pathways where customers can see the exit and setting up landmarks or signage to help customers orient themselves inside your store.
Your customers need to know that their credit card, debit card, mobile and online payments are safe with your company. For in-store payments, you need to keep up with Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance to protect your customers’ identities. For online and mobile payments, make sure your site is secure and your customers’ personal information is encrypted and safely stored. You don’t want to be caught up in a lawsuit because of a hacking scandal.
To help both your customers and employees feel more secure, install a security camera system around your store. If you are open at night, make sure the cameras are set up near your doors, lobby, garage, etc. to deter criminals from entering through any access points. Invest in an HD security camera system that is weatherproof and has night vision so you have quality footage in case a break in occurs.
Culture of Trust
Your employees need more than just physical safety. They should know that they can report any type of problem to your HR department without fear of retaliation and that they are working in a trustworthy environment. As part of your company’s culture, have an open communication policy that empowers your employees to speak their mind, offer suggestions and discuss problems without being afraid of losing their job or being punished. You also should have an HR representative that is responsible for taking and addressing complaints anonymously.