While there are changes to the way facility management organizations should approach customer service in the current business climate, the bottom line is that outstanding customer service remains viable. If people are handling customer service interaction, it is important to remind them frequently that, when they are talking with a customer, they need to put the customer’s perspective in the forefront of the discussion, rather than how it will affect the facility management service system. With the customer perspective in the forefront, it is easier for staff to cross-reference customer needs with the facility management organization’s ability to satisfy those needs. Jim Sullivan, author of multiple books on customer service, has a masterful way of describing the difference between service and hospitality: Service fulfills a need; hospitality fulfills people. A facility management organization might state as its value proposition that it “Provides mission-driven service that has been rated number one in customer satisfaction out of all the other service components in the company.” If this is a true value proposition, it must be backed up by testimonials and case studies to give customers proof of the accuracy of the service statement. Facility managers should stop and consider how they can add value to their customers in a unique and unexpected way and craft a value proposition statement to support it. There is no need to abandon a facility management focus on the customer service aspect of service delivery.
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