4 Ways to Prevent Shoplifting
1. Increase attention to customer service
Many potential thefts are prevented by a simple hello. Criminals do not like attention. Saying hello is a polite way of saying “I see you”. Customers see it as welcoming. Criminals see it as unwelcomed attention. After the initial greeting it is important to frequently ask the customer if they need assistance. Identify specific things that you see them watching. Example: I see you were looking at those boot-cut jeans did you see the other colors? Or I see you were looking at my favorite bracelets, did you see the matching bracelet? To some these may seem like sales tactics. They actually are theft prevention tactics that help increase sales and prevent shoplifting.
2. Hire a uniformed security officer to greet customers
When operating in an environment with high thefts it is often necessary to establish a contract with a security company to provide a uniformed security officer to greet customers and monitor activity. Security guards can serve many functions in a retail environment. In this case the officer serves as a visible deterrent. The uniformed greeter fulfills the customer service function while providing a stronger crime deterrent than a sales associate or employee. Security guard greeters also allow for sales staff to focus on their core tasks of helping customers.
3. Install a camera with a monitor allowing people to see themselves
Many retailers do not have room in their budget to install camera systems that view every section of their store. Installing a single security camera that is connecting to a monitor that is attached to the ceiling allowing people to see themselves as they enter is a small step that works wonders. Shoplifters see themselves on camera and become uncomfortable. Remember…criminals do not like being seen. (Note: This is even better when combined with camera domes that have no cameras underneath.)
4. Hire a uniformed security guard to patrol the sales floor
Many retailers find that allowing the security officer greeter to periodically walk the sales floor increases the effect the security guard has on shrinkage numbers. The security guard stands at the entrance and walks the sales floor every 10 to 15 minutes. While walking the sales floor the officer periodically stops and stands in certain sections around the store. It is important for the officer to say greet customers that they pass while walking the sales floor. This greeting serves as a continuation of the initial greeting and provides a reminder to would be shoplifters that the security guard is there. Rather than saying hello, the officer should ask customer service related questions.
Examples: Do you need any help? Did you find everything that you were looking for? Do you need me to send an associate to help you?
If yes, The officer should request assistance and continue with their patrol.
If no, continue patrolling as usual.
It is important the security guard does not provide assistance beyond connecting them to a sales associate or customer service representative. Security officers use customer service up to the point that it helps prevent thefts. Further customers service duties should be handled by sales reps or floor staff who is more skilled in those areas. Time spent helping customers find things could serve as a distraction preventing the officer from noticing a theft that may be occurring.
There are many ways to prevent shoplifting. Businesses that are want to review diferent approaches etail security should consult a security professional. If you would like advice from a security company in Washington DC you should go here