Customer Service in Corporate Facilities Management (FM)

With the proliferation of technology, social media, internet and thousands of websites reviewing and rating you, customer service have become a very critical aspect of today’s world. Customer service has become so vital and plays an integral part of any business. Jan Carlzon a Swedish businessman and noted for being the CEO of SAS group says “If you’re not serving the customer, your job is to be serving someone who is.” So in your business or line of work, how is your customer service rated today?

Talking about Customer service in Corporate Facility Management, over the years of experience in this field, I have resolved to the fact that the internal services provided by the FM department definitely contributes to the organization’s overall success. This is purely achieved by diligently serving the internal and external customers whether they are tenants, occupants or colleagues. So as part of the FM team, how can we increase our contribution to the organization’s success ? The answer is very simple. Know your customers, understand your corporation’s priorities and goals and very importantly be consistent with an excellent customer service delivery.

Now a meaningful customer service requires a sustained effort. Sir Colin Marshall says “The Customer doesn’t expect everything will go right all the time; the big test is what you do when things go wrong.” With a large number of internal and external resources providing services, developing an appropriate customer service culture and the mechanisms necessary to ensure everyone is doing their part to deliver consistently is even more important than ever. Simply understanding why customer service matters and measuring the results isn’t enough – you need to deliver!

Now, one of the key ingredients to be excellent in your service is good and true feedback from trusted sources. Daniel Kahneman says, “True intuitive expertise is learned from prolonged experience with good feedback on mistakes.” Also Ken Blanchard says “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” We build on good feedback only to make ourselves better than what we were yesterday!

The state of a facility speaks a lot about the FM division managing the premises and importantly speaks volumes about the approach of the entity occupying it. There is a very common saying which i come across regularly, especially within the many facility management groups i have interacted with. It is said that “As long as there are buildings, there will be FM Department.” But i would like to reiterate that and say that “As long as there is an excellent customer focused FM Department, there will be safe, well maintained and sustainable buildings and more importantly Customers!

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