Good information flow leads to happier customers

Communication is key in facility management. It’s surprisingly easy to get information flowing, here is how.

We have all been there, experiencing a problem and wanting it to be solved as soon as possible. We send a request to the service company, and wait for something to happen. And when that something seems to be nothing, we get annoyed. We blame the technical staff for being ineffective or just plain lazy, when the problem might actually just be a lack of communication tools. 

Creating a good information flow is not rocket science – nothing in facility management is. Great communication is simply about keeping customers on the loop by providing them with the information they need. It is key to creating a great customer experience. 

Here is an example: when a customer sends in a request for some maintenance work, they should receive a confirmation with information on when they can expect the task to be completed. If any issues or delays occur, those should be communicated. And when the job is done, the customer should be informed – otherwise they might now know, which could result in unnecessary irritation. 

The main thing is to react 

Communication should always be two ways. The customer communicates by letting the maintenance company know that there is an issue that needs resolving, and by replying to their request, the company lets them know that things are taken care of. 

Information can be provided via email, or by allowing the end-user to log into the system to view the current status of their request. Whatever method is being used, the key is in providing the customer with the information they need and want without them having to chase after it. 

Communication should always be two ways.

Anonymous contact forms on websites can be problematic if there is no follow-up, or any additional information. Sending a request this way can feel like sending it to a black hole without any knowledge whether it has been received or not. 

The solution is to send an automated email stating that the request has been received, and is now being processed, or by allowing the customer to follow up the request by giving them a tracking number or a link. The main thing is to react in one way or another. 

Everyone benefits from information flow 

Investing in software that creates an automated information flow saves everybody’s time.  

The maintenance staff is happy because they receive all requests on the app on their phone, and communication is done automatically when they accept or update the request. This means that they no longer have to spend time sending emails or making phone calls – they may not be the best writers anyway. 

Investing in software that creates an automated information flow saves everybody’s time.

The end-customer is happy because they are constantly aware of what is going on with their request, and the property owner is satisfied because things are flowing, which can save a lot of money. 

A great app is almost like an advanced to do list. Everyone can see it, and everyone knows what is happening. Nothing gets forgotten and nothing is hidden. It makes communication not only easier but transparent too. 

To get started I would give this advice: if you are a tenant, demand a system where you can send your requests, and receive adequate information. It is in everyone’s interest to get faster and better service. 

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