Value Addition through Customer Service

Integrated facilities management

With everything around, turning in to a challenge, should we give up on customer service due to COVID-19? Not at all. While there could be changes in the way we should approach customer service in the current business climate, but the bottom line is that outstanding customer service remains viable. To update our customer service efforts, we can opt strategies to channel our efforts towards outstanding customer services.

1. Customer perspective is the priority

Our professionals are so consumed by daily problem solving that they tend to forget that their customers are people too — people who feel and care like any other human being. For people handling customer service interaction, it is important to remember that , while talking to a customer, the customer’s perspective needs to be put in the forefront of the discussion, rather than analysing how it may affect the facility management service system. With the customer perspective in the forefront, it is easier for staff to cross-reference customer needs with our ability to satisfy those needs. Usage of empathetic responses like “I understand how you must be feeling,” and “We are here to assist you to solve your problem,” go a long way to reinforce a positive relationship.For facility management organizations that rely heavily on chatbots or Automated response systems, it is more important than ever to adopt human qualities. Instead of having an automated response say, “Thank you for contacting customer support,” experts suggest giving the bot a name that customers can relate to and have the bot ask how it can be helpful. A more meaningful way to design an automated customer service response mechanism is keep it as close to how an actual face-to-face conversation would be dealt with.

2. Not “customer service” But “customer delight strategy.”

Many a times customers think that all members of the facility management carry answers to all questions with regard to facility management and end up asking the wrong staff member about a problem. For instance , an employee might run into a facility management team member in a lift and bring to their attention the fact that the air conditioning in his floor isn’t cool enough. When the staff member responds that he/she isn’t the right person to answer , or that a different unit within the facility management handles air conditioning , the employee is left with dissatisfaction. It is highly important for all facility management staff to understand and realize that customer satisfaction and delight is everyone’s business.

3. Focus should be on hospitality too, not just service

In recent years, talk shows similar TED talks have provided a treasure of information from speakers on the new term of art in the world of customer service: HOSPITALITY. Facility management organizations can learn from the lessons that are on offer from hotel and restaurant industries. Facility management organizations that utilize the team concept may want to think about creating a hospitality center for new company employees in the physical facility management space, rather than conventional set-ups of seating staff in cubicles/offices.

4. Develop a marketing model strategy to emphasize on brand and focus on value proposition.

This one key area of customer service has not changed dramatically for facility managers. It is critical for facility managers to develop an appropriate marketing models for facility management services that outlines strategies to interact with all stakeholders up the “marketing chain” — from staff of other departments to senior management and leadership in the C-suite. Such interactions can be a variety of things like weekly blogs , presentations, seminars, e-newsletters, website articles, or even one-on-one meetings with senior-level manager, constantly reinforcing the value proposition, which states why customers should be doing business with the organisation.

5. Make interaction a memorable experience and identify touch points

A touch point is any time a customer or potential customer meets the facility management brand — before, during, or after they interact with the organization. Memorable experiences are what customers are looking for when they work with facility management organisations , and so we need to leave them with that positive feeling at the end of the interaction and continue to maintain the feeling consistently into the future.


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