Key Drivers Of Customer Value In Business-to-business Security Guard Services
Free (open access)
137 - 148
The private security industry has witnessed dramatic growth during the past few decades, but despite the remarkable growth, there is a lack of empirical studies focusing on the customer value of private security services. Much of the existing literature on private security focuses on the causes of its growth and on good governance practices, while very little attention has been paid to the actual process of value creation. The aim of this study is to deepen the understanding of private security services by exploring value creation of security guarding from the customer’s perspective, i.e., the actual benefits and sacrifices as well as the customer-relationship aspects perceived by the customer. The study is based on open-ended interviews (n=15) with business-to-business customers of three security service providers. The study follows the paradigm of social constructionism and an active interview approach. The key drivers of customer value are presented as a result of a qualitative thematic analysis. The findings of the study reveal that customer value is centred on two main themes: guarding services as a guarantee for security and guarding services as professional business-to-business services. In total, nine value drivers that influence customer value are identified. In the first theme, they are reactivity, reliability, presence and personal characteristics. In the second theme, they are balance between duties, communication, relationship management practices, and time and effort. As a conclusion, the study argues that security guard services should not only be evaluated in relation to crime prevention and security provision but take into consideration all the security guards’ duties, including, e.g., customer service and housekeeping. A new term security-service dilemma is also introduced to describe the difficulties of combining security-related duties with non-security duties in one service concept. Keywords: customer value, private security, security guarding, services.
customer value, private security, security guarding, services