People are at the heart of what flexible workspace operators do. Your workspace is, up to a certain point, powered by people; both the ones that help you run it and the ones that you’re running it for.
Customer service is, therefore, crucial to the success of a flexible workplace. The way you treat your members will set the tone to the type of space you will be running and how people interact and behave in it. Allwork reached out to BE Offices, a serviced workspace provider that prides itself in its customer service to learn more about customer service best practices, pitfalls, and how to guarantee that your members remain a top priority to you and your staff.
This article is part of our best practices series.
Here’s what BE had to say about customer services.
*Answers given by Andy Issott, Marketing Director.
What does customer service mean for BE?
Service is absolutely integral to BE, it is at the heart of what we do. Our strapline is: Putting the SERVICE into serviced offices. Service is what drives us and sets us apart, and it can be the same for other operators if they approach it strategically and correctly.
Why do you believe customer service is important for the success of a workspace?
Providing exceptional client service is critical to our business. Our industry provides serviced workspaces, we’re not an office space leasing industry. That said, we believe workspace members should know what to expect from us so that they can focus on running their business and not their offices. Our vision is to build the business lifestyle everyone wants.
What are some basic but essential best practices for customer service?
For BE, best practise is about adhering to our Service Excellence Guarantee, delivering on our promises and putting the needs of our clients to the forefront of everything we do.
A key element of this is the personnel we employ and the values we instil in our staff. The quality of the service we provide very much depends on the quality of our people. We train team members to ensure their values and customer service ideals compliment the way we do business. From recruitment and training to service delivery, we make sure that our staff identifies with our brand and our values. Below are some points we like to focus on; other operators might find these useful as well.
- What are we doing to set the standards within our industry?
- What actions can we take to supply our customers with a value for money product with total transparency?
- Are we providing leading technology to support our customers’ needs?
- How can we best support our customers in the achievement of their goals?
- How are we developing and supporting our employees to fulfil their career goals?
- How can we make sure we are helpful, friendly and courteous to our customers and each other at all times?
- What actions are we taking to acknowledge and embrace our responsibility to our communities and the environment?
Our centre teams are empowered to assist clients with a whole host of enquiries, from teabag replenishment to a power failure. We cannot guarantee 100% error-free service but we can promise to deal with any concerns quickly and communicate this to clients effectively.
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What is BE’s Service Excellence Guarantee? What does it include and how does it contribute to a better workspace community?
Our Service Excellence Guarantee is a statement of our confidence in our customer service abilities. So much so that we have enforced upon ourselves penalties should we fail to keep our promises.
Our commitment covers everything from the greeting of guests on reception to the cleanliness of the toilets, the implementation of environmental policies to support a business’s corporate social responsibility targets, to ensuring the absolute security of our buildings and their occupants.
What are some customer service DON’Ts or pitfalls that operators don’t realize about?
It is all very well to provide superfast broadband but a robust supporting infrastructure behind it is critical in case the broadband fails. Connectivity is the oxygen to today’s business and without it a company simply cannot function.
Providers can often be let down by their third party suppliers, specifically maintenance, cleaning and security personnel. BE Offices long ago realised the importance of being able to control this element of the service excellence chain and so formed its own cleaning company and its own security company, as well as employing maintenance personnel for each building who are onsite to deal with day to day issues such as fixing a faulty tap or dealing with a minor electrical situation, etc.
Another pitfall is proclaiming all-inclusive packages only for clients to find out that they are anything but. So operators need to be careful on what they offer, and if they promise a service, they need to have the capability to deliver on it.
Is there a way to measure/find out how your customer service is performing? What are some of the best ways to get feedback on your customer service?
Every quarter we send out a Voice of the Client Survey to a contact within each of our client companies. In this we ask for feedback on service issues relating to reception, IT support, centre cleanliness, maintenance, kitchen facilities and centre staff. We also email clients every so often to ask them to give us a review.