Rethinking customer experience and how FMs can succeed in the new reality
Prabhu Ramachandran is Founder and CEO of Facilio
End user experiences have taken centrestage in virtually every service industry. This is especially the case in the facilities management space, where a new generation of occupants is demanding unprecedented standards in responsive services and superior outcomes.
In this new reality, FM service providers will be differentiated on the basis of their ability to successfully adopt data and tech-driven models. Economic pressures and a competitive marketplace are incentivizing innovation and FM players need to demonstrate their ability to deliver consistent quality in customer experiences.
The transformation in facilities management
Once relegated to being a secondary function in the commercial real estate industry, FM services has clearly transitioned as a crucial value multiplier today, with a defining effect on the CRE industry.
Much of this transformation can be attributed to the preference occupants are displaying for better-maintained facilities and instant service resolutions.
This customer-led FM business model is centered on resolving day-to-day operational inefficiencies and proactively identifying friction points, before end-users are impacted.
Recognizing this shift in priorities towards value-added facility services leading FM companies are focusing on digital strategies that enable streamlined routines, minimize compliance risks, and deliver real-time operational insights.
FM players looking at setting benchmarks and differentiating their brand from competitors are finding that conventional CaFM and ERP solutions are unable to deliver these consistently responsive customer experiences.
This has prompted a shift towards IoT-led connected operations, which are able to concurrently enhance sustainability, workforce productivity and building performance, while offering occupants touchless journeys and optimal comfort.
Putting customer needs first
Legacy FM operations were inherently held back by multiple clunky and bloated CaFM solutions. Given the increased focus on customer experiences, contemporary FM service providers needs agile and adaptable solutions to enhance their operations.
Integrated, platform solutions, which are able to consolidate maintenance routines, tenant’s requests, and workforce KPIs are the need of the hour. For the industry to align itself with customer expectations, it needs to empower all stakeholders to make operational decisions that deliver continuous value.
Progressive FM companies are realising the benefits of data-driven decision-making and portfolio-wide visibility that drives optimal efficiency.
Cloud-native apps and seamless mobility are another must-have aspect of this equation, which ensure fast implementation cycles - something that has proved especially critical in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leading players are harnessing technology to making informed data-led decisions and improve experience
The fundamental change that FM service providers achieve, by adopting a unified data-led approach to their business, is delivering consistent services and maintenance quality. Portfolio scale optimization, using a centralized command approach has been found to reduce service escalations by 85%.
Quality Group, one of the top facilities management service providers in the UAE and a sister entity of multi-venture enterprise Gate Holdings, has recently moved towards better aligning its services with evolving customer expectations.
In order to address this need, Quality FM partnered with Facilio Inc., the leading cloud-based property operations and maintenance platform provider, to deliver agile services and automate thousands of maintenance routines, digitize compliance and empower their workforce.
With Quality Group rolling out dedicated portals for its tenants and vendors, occupant feedback has become a means to benchmark vendor performance and also to provide on-demand access to property services.
By incorporating tenant input in real-time, Quality FM was able to consolidate service requests to gain granular insights, which drove more informed decisions. The company’s tech-led initiative also optimized the productivity of its workforces, further accelerating its strategic initiatives.
Contextual mobile work orders and real-time problem data saved workforces effort and hours of investigation time. Unified digital records also resulted in transparency into specifics such as average response time and completion rate for every technician, tracking staff productivity.
The leadership and executive teams at Quality Group are able to proactively identify SLA breaches and empower key stakeholders to resolve issues, through prompt notifications.
This series of enhancements led to a virtually immediate improvement in Quality Group’s portfolio scale KPIs. Within 4 months of Facilio Inc.
Quality FM was able to offer their tenants digitized quotation for cost transparency, as well as comprehensively reducing overall operating expenses. The company was able to fortify its entire spectrum of operational needs, including maintenance, inventory, workforce management, prioritizing optimal tenant experiences and more.
In order for FM service providers to thrive in an era of enhanced customer expectations, which has been further complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic, they need to seek out optimization across multiple parameters.
Contemporary FM business need to concurrently prioritize predictive analytics, sustainability, tenant experiences, asset health and profitability.
Implementing IoT-based connected building operations not only creates value for building owners and operators, they are an excellent means to transfer the value of operational efficiency to clients through technology-led services.