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Reference v. retention rates - what do they say about your business? by Scott Gough

Updated: Mar 9, 2023

Scott Gough, Managing Director of Unitrust shares his thoughts on what new clients should consider when deciding if your business would be a good service provider for them.

"When we tender for new business, it is usual for clients to ask about our experience as a security guarding company within their business sector. Like most long established companies we can always find clients to provide a good testimony on our behalf. However, I doubt if this alone is really the best measure of proving a company’s capabilities or if they are a good fit to be a delivery partner for your business.

Personally, I have always felt retention rates are a better way to assess a company’s work ethic and a more useful approach to starting a dialogue with new clients. For me, a high client retention rate should reflect high satisfaction with our service and equally high employee retention rates demonstrate a happy motivated team. This second point is quite key for me, in an industry where employee turnover can be as high as 35% our low staff turnover of 2.15% is something that we are justifiable proud of and to my mind, should provide a confidence that if we are your security provider, we can guarantee continuity of the team delivering your service.

How have we achieved this within our business? From talking to our staff and getting their regular feedback we know financial remuneration is only one reason why people cho0se to stay. Similarly, benefits linked to service milestones, access to our employee assistance programmes and wellness action plans may help too. However, we believe it is our ongoing investment in the individuals career pathway and the opportunities that we provide to facilitate career progression that contribute to our retention success.

We also listen to our employees, get to know them, find out what makes them tick, what it is about their day they enjoy and what is important to them. Taking the time to establish why they trust us. For me, trust in your employer to do what they say and say what they do is a huge part of being a good employer. For example, we had a huge response to calls for people join our volunteering days, to get involved with fundraising and to help recruit people to new roles, which again reflects our collaborative approach with our team.

So, while client retention rates indicate service levels I would say digging deeper into the people behind the delivery is the best indicator that your business is a good one to do business with."

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