Saturday, November 05, 2005

Interviewing a Customer for Documentation


Paraverbal (how you speak to someone) skills are very important in the questioning aspect of dealing with an intoxicated patron. When interviewing, or speaking to an unruly patron, remember to use the Art of Persuasion. Your goal is to get the situation resolved with the customer’s understanding and no one being injured.

Some simple tips to accomplishing the Art of Persuasion:

1 Security’s body language should be secure and respectful. Do not look away or pay attention to other situations happening around the establishment. This will only prolong the situation. Security wants the person to understand the reason they are being spoken to, and then end the situation.

2 Your tone of voice should be rational and respectful, but firm. A good technique to use when speaking with a patron is to repeat everything they say. This proves to them that you are paying attention and allows you to remember what was said when later documenting the incident.

3 Always maintain a good interview stance (45 degree angle with respect to the patron and hands freely and readily available). Do not place your hands in your pockets, or occupy them with anything while applying the Art of Persuasion. Your hands are your primary defense weapons in preventing an attack from an aggressive patron. Never begin to write the person’s information while the patron is still upset. If the patron does not slow down after speaking with them, have the assisting security personnel write down their information.

4 When interviewing someone, never back a person “into a corner.” Backing a person into a corner can be done physically or mentally. Mentally backing a person into a corner is done by such things as treating someone rudely or disrespectfully. For example, if a group of gentlemen are being a little loud and security decides to go over and inform them of the establishment rules they shouldn’t say, “you need to keep it down or your leaving.” Mentally, security just put them in a corner. They could be quiet and not say a word, or they could become offended and retaliate. Being that they have been drinking alcohol (an aggressive drug), a confrontation is likely to occur. By informing the gentlemen of the establishment’s policy in a proper way, such as, “Good evening, gentlemen. I’m Joe Smith and I’m the manager of this establishment. I realize you’re having a good time tonight, but could you do me a favor and tone it down a bit. We would appreciate it.” By approaching a person this way, security is not placing them “into a corner,” and you’re more likely to receive a positive response.

5 Don’t forget to have the person sign the document!

(c) 2005 Excelsior Entertainment