Our Brands

Customer Experience – the need for authenticity

Facilities management professionals have a responsibility to drive authenticity and great customer service, according to Jane Streat, Head of Client Services, at Lexington Reception Services.

Over the past two decades the UK industry has become predominantly service driven. Companies across all sectors are experiencing increased competition as the markets flood with new businesses and existing firms expanding their product offering.

The competition drives down price, which has reduced profit and as a result the money businesses invest in getting things right, like customer service, often gets cut. Add to this the increased level of expectation of the consumer and you need a pretty magic mix to get customer service right, both commercially and from the consumer’s point of view.

In fact, it’s become such a big deal that there are entire awards ceremonies dedicated to customer service. All the big names are fighting for the top spot, to gain the recognition, as more consumers and clients look for some who delivers exceptional service when deciding who to do business with.

Companies spend a considerable amount of time and money designing and implementing customer service strategies and frameworks to ensure a consistent experience across their customer touch points, whether it be face to face, over the phone or by e-communication. But only a small percentage of them seem to be getting it right. So what is the recipe for that magic mix?

Jane Streat, Head of Client Services at Lexington Reception Services says: “Good customer service is not just about one thing; it’s a combination of things. But one of the key factors that will determine success is authenticity. Front line staff who show a genuine interest in the consumer/client, their wants, and needs are the pivotal.”

Jane Streat

It’s no longer just about what is being bought; it is about the engagement and relationship. In the majority of cases people will pay more for a product if they know the service they will receive is a cut above the rest. From that first point of contact, whether it’s on the phone, face to face or e-communication you’re building a relationship and it is this that you’re being judged on.

Facilities management professionals have a responsibility to drive authenticity and great customer service. It doesn’t matter whether we are in-house or suppliers, whether we work front of house or back office, we all play a role in the employee and guest/customer journey.

As FM professional we need to ensure every one of our team strives to give the customer a journey that will make people, whether they are employees, customers/clients or guests, want to come back. An individual who believes in their organisation’s values and shows a real passion for people will help build this vital foundation to form a successful relationship.

It’s a two-pronged approach to get these individuals through the door. You need to create an attractive employment proposition to drive that enthusiasm and passion for your business but you also need to make sure staff who have an impact on your customer/client journey love what they do – they need to be natural and offer genuine warmth to create a fabulous customer journey.

FM professionals need to work in partnership with HR to ensure they get the right people through the door. Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”