Great Customer Service...The Holy Grail
The biggest differentiator in the market place today is Great Customer Service.
We all know that bad news travels faster and further than good news so we need to create positive client responses as a constant in our business offer, whether to internal clients/colleagues or external clients.
Customer service excellence is the critical stone in the pond, creating powerful ripples which reach discerning companies with specific requirements around quality.
Nowhere is this more relevant than the Facilities/Estates/Facilities Service Provider arenas.
Delivering a good customer experience plays a key part in securing new and repeat business. Word of mouth recommendations are known to be the most productive referral an organisation can receive, whether this is to increase visibility of an Internal Facilities Department, or grow revenue and client base in a commercial Facilities provider. Either way, CAFM tools can provide a cost effective way to help support great customer service initiatives.
Through CAFM Technology, utilising web based tools and mobile extensions; you can achieve two key things:
- Provide a professional and global window into operations
- Streamline internal operations for improved performance
Providing your clients, or contractors, with relevant access to your operations via a professional web based portal, offers self-service tools to perform an array of tasks at a time that is convenient. TABS Systems offer a 24/7 self-service tool that enables users to complete tasks such as, request a room booking, log a maintenance issue, book a visitor etc. Advanced functionality is also available for users to review updates on maintenance tasks, or perhaps download corporate documentation etc., providing a complete customer focused tool.
CAFM Web portals such as these are important for three reasons.
- Accessibility: Providing a method for users to perform tasks at a time to suit them.
- Time: Dramatically cuts down on the time back-office administrators would spend co-ordinating such tasks.
- Flow: Streamlines communication between operations and customers.
In addition to the increased service offering and visibility web based CAFM systems can offer, there are also great internal resource savings to be made. Self-service CAFM systems alleviate strain placed on back office administration teams, freeing time for administrators to focus on other operational issues to continue to improve customer service.
Mobile CAFM extensions also provide an excellent tool to further enhance customer service. Initially, there are three benefits clients may experience through the use of mobile devices for engineers:
- Improved response times as engineers don’t need to return to base to collect the next task.
- Professional client experience presented by mobile opportunities such as image capture signatures etc.
- Accurate and consistent data collection vital for customer reporting.
Back office administration will also benefit through mobile device utilisation, as tasks can be delivered, confirmed, completed and returned direct from the device meaning very little intervention from back office teams.
Workflows are greatly improved by CAFM technology. The example below shows the communication relationship between customer, back office and site engineers for reactive maintenance tasks.
So far the focus has been on technological platforms from which CAFM systems can be delivered. Each platform comprises an abundance of functionality designed to enhance customer experience. The list here would be endless, so a brief introduction to some key functionality and client benefits would include:
- Digital Dashboard Reporting - for depth fact base performance and resource analysis
- Document Downloads - streamlines document transfer between operations and customers
- Automatic Email Updates and Notifications - provides constant and consistent communication
- Data Search and Retrieval – customers can perform their own tasks
- Customer Interface Branding - personalise interfaces for customers
- Questionnaires- enable accurate data collect for analytical review
- Mobile Signature Capture- confirm approval and acceptance
As you would expect, there are areas of investment required when improving customer experience through technology, through Implementation and Training. Inevitably, moving to a more technologically advanced process will require some hardware infrastructure, software and human resources. Change Management is critical to the success of any solution.
Initial outlay should be factored in and Team "buy in" should be sought and worked through, possibly with a coaching approach. However, there are also considerable cost savings to be made. For example, reduced resources through self-service customer service tool, or perhaps reduction paper consumption through mobile technology. Combining the cost saving and potential repeat/new business benefits together, and then weighing these against cost and resources, there is still a great case for employing technology to enhance customer experience.
Our experience and client feedback suggest that a robust and intuitive CAFM Software System will provide significant and constant support for your Service Effort. Not only will clients benefit but also user teams will find many of the stresses borne of disparate process will dissipate along with customer gripes.