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Facilities management has seen a shift in recent years from a trade-centric function to a customer-centric function. While excellence in the field used to be more about being able to perform maintenance works, the role now demands more soft skills, such as collaboration and communication.
This shift has been driven, in part, by a spotlight on how the built environment affects factors like employee productivity and happiness. High performing teams now need to be able to understand of the experiences and expectations of facilities users.
Improving the satisfaction of facilities users starts with considering their use of the facilities, and interactions with the facilities team. Often, their experience is centred around the requests they submit.
How easy was it to submit a request? Was the request acknowledged? How quickly was it completed, and to what standard?
The expectations of facilities users are influenced by outside factors and experiences. For example, thanks to online shopping, users expect easy-to-navigate websites, a simple checkout process, and notifications for progress updates.
In the post pandemic world, facilities users are more adept at using mobile technologies than ever, and expect to be able to do almost anything on their phones or other smart devices.
Not all facilities users will be submitting work requests on a regular basis. Key to ensuring that users comply with processes is ensuring those processes are accessible and easy to follow.
From a facilities user’s perspective, submitting a request should be a frictionless experience. Facilities users should be able to submit requests from any device, with simple, customisable templates ensuring they know what information is required.
As users improve their compliance with the work request process, the facilities team can reap the benefits of better requests. When the right information is received, it supports faster time to resolution and reduces the back and forth with the requester.
Automation is commonplace in the digital experience for many facilities users. For example, when buying something online, they expect to see a confirmation screen, and then receive confirmation emails and updates allowing them to track their package.
Facilities teams who have made a commitment to customer service use this shared experience to support the work request process.
Automating request acknowledgements is a simple automation that facilities teams can use to provide validation for facility users. At the other end of the work request process, facility users should be able to receive an automated update that their request has been completed.
These simple communication automations help to support exceptional service delivery, and improve collaboration between the facilities team and broader business.
Putting requesters first means improving your understanding of their expectations and experiences with the facilities team. Typically, facilities teams don’t hear much from facility users in the way of feedback, until there is a complaint.
Building an active feedback loop, which encourages consistent feedback from facilities users, can provide valuable insight into the perceived level of service delivery. Feedback from requesters provides qualitative data into the needs and expectations of users, and can uncover otherwise unseen opportunities for improvement.
One of the easiest ways to start building an effective feedback loop is sending feedback surveys to facilities users upon completion of a requested job. Within FMI, these quick and easy surveys can be automated based on completion of the job. Include a survey link in automated status updates to improve your chances of a response.
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