4 Critical Questions Most Risk Reports Don’t Answer

2018-08-22T14:21:15+00:00 August 22nd, 2018|Blog, Business Development, Risk|

As a security consultant, how do you know if you’ve provided value to your customers? More importantly, how do your customers know if you’ve delivered value? Some security professionals measure value by the depth of their expertise. Others emphasize their efficiency. Maybe for you, it’s your unique process or customer service standards. Or, you’re the cheapest consultant in town.

At Circadian Risk, we believe the value of a physical risk assessment lies in the ability of the report to help companies reduce their risk. Anything less, and the report has fallen short of its purpose.

To help companies reduce risk, assessment reports have to answer four critical questions that customers are asking. At best, most risk assessments only answer one of those questions—usually, poorly. Let’s explore those questions, and how to answer them.

How Bad Is Our Situation?

This is the number one question that most security consultants focus on in their risk assessment reports. Oddly enough, they don’t actually answer it. Why is that?

Even though your risk assessment report contains all the right information about a facility’s strengths and vulnerabilities, it needs to be clear, concise and easy to read. It’s not enough to be thorough—if it’s onerous to read the report, your customers won’t get the information they need. The question goes unanswered.

As a result, your customers may have fulfilled their insurance requirements, but they’re left wondering about the value of the money they spent. And there’s still the question of unknown vulnerabilities that could bite them in the butt one day.  

Traditional risk assessment reporting is broken. Your reports need to include a truckload of information, and it’s nearly impossible to distill it meaningfully into an easy-to-read format. No matter how well you write, text-based reporting just can’t deliver a data dump in a meaningful way.

Companies that collect and analyze big data know how to make an overwhelming amount of information easy to digest and understand. The key is to provide data in a visual way, through graphs, plots, heatmaps and other images. Interactive, visual displays make it easy to take in the data and drill down for more specific information.

Paper-based reporting can’t do that, but digital reporting software can do it in a snap. With risk analysis software, you can deliver interactive, visual data that gives your customers a complete answer to their question, in just a glance.

What Do We Fix First?

It’s one thing for your clients to know what all their risks and vulnerabilities are. It’s an entirely different thing to know which of those issues should be their top priority. Should they upgrade their security cameras or reinforce the facility and outbuildings for tornadoes? Are biometrics or bullet-resistant barriers more important?

Your clients are depending on the risk assessment report to give them guidance for prioritizing their top remediations.

Make these decisions easy for your clients by prioritizing the issues in an easy-to-read way. The report should list the problems by priority, with color coding, so that it’s immediately clear how severe each issue is.

How Do We Fix It?

So your client knows what’s wrong, and they understand which problems are the top priorities to resolve. Your reports are already miles ahead of many other risk assessments! But if your reports don’t tell your clients how to fix those high-priority issues, you’re leaving them in the lurch.

Yep, that’s right—your risk assessment reports need to tell customers how to fix every single issue you find. High-priority, medium-priority and low-priority issues. Otherwise, you’re just telling them what’s wrong, wishing them luck and walking away. Your clients aren’t any better off than if they never knew what their issues are.

Sound impossible? Risk assessment software can do the work for you. That means you can provide detailed corrective action plans to each of your customers, without adding to your workload.

My Budget Is Limited. How Do I Get the Biggest Bang for My Buck?

Often, companies are bound by budget restrictions. They only have so much money available to spend on physical security improvements and upgrades. What if their high-priority issues are more expensive than their medium- or low-priority problems?

In this case, your clients will need to balance priorities with budget constraints, so that they can get the biggest bang for their buck.

You can equip them to do that by providing cost estimates with each corrective action. Itemize the costs for each issue, including hardware and software components, and service costs. Highlight the items they can hire you to solve.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be as time intensive as it sounds. Digital risk assessment software can automatically generate cost estimates, which you can review and tweak as needed.

Handpicked related content: 5 Customer Questions Your Marketing Content Needs to Answer

Guarantee the Value of Your Risk Assessment Reports

Physical risk assessment reports don’t provide any value if they don’t answer your clients’ critical questions. A risk assessment should clearly communicate the company’s problems, the priority of each problem, the corrective actions to take for resolution, and estimated costs. Risk assessments that answer each of those questions equip companies to improve their security, reduce their risk, and protect their assets with confidence.

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Daniel Young
Daniel Young is the Founder and CEO at Circadian Risk Inc. He was a Regional Bioterrorism Coordinator, Security Account Manager, and has been a security and risk expert for over 10 years.