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Teamwork and the customer experience in mixed-use facilities

Guest blog by Christie Campbell, Regional Sales Director – Business & Industry, ABM

Multi-use properties have many kinds of customers: visitors, shoppers, residents, tenants, employees, and others. Creating a great experience for these diverse audiences is paramount to a successful brand. From the moment people arrive on the property—whether on foot, in cars, or via public transit—they need to feel welcome and taken care of. As you probably know, customers sharing positive experiences on social media is some of the best advertising you can get.

On the other hand, complaints can be far-reaching. Restaurants, stores, offices, hotels, residences, movie theaters, and other spaces all have their own maintenance issues that can make or break the customer experience. While the challenges of maintaining mixed-use facilities can be daunting, I’ve seen firsthand how meeting those challenges can result in a successful and wildly popular all-encompassing destination.

Build team energy and engagement

In addition to the many considerations the property requires, remember that the attitude of the facility services staff plays a big role in creating the best experience for everyone. For example, I know a true story where a custodian found an office worker’s ring in a restroom and went out of her way to return it to the owner, who was overwhelmed by the act of kindness and honesty. Encouraging that kind of responsibility in the workers who maintain a facility elevates the customer experience by enhancing a sense of security and caring.

Because many facility service workers are public facing in a mixed-use property, it’s important to hire people who care about service excellence, are proud of the property, and feel like part of the team. I encourage both you and your service provider to interview these applicants. Besides job skills, public-facing service staff also need excellent social and communication skills: They can serve as ambassadors who greet and direct visitors and embody your brand. Their uniforms should match or coordinate with the brand’s look and feel. In addition to customer service and job training, anyone working with sensitive information or delicate items needs training specific to those environments.

As a property owner or manager, you can work with your service provider(s) to create a collaborative culture of “we’re all here for the same reason.” Team-building exercises can be helpful to instill pride and a sense of ownership. For example, a manager might use trivia games in team meetings to reinforce facts about their property—especially if it’s a historic one.

Recognize and celebrate great work

Celebrating exceptional service creates an environment where other employees want to do their best to serve, too. Rewarding a can-do attitude encourages thinking outside the box. Whenever service employees go out of their way to help someone or suggest a better way of doing their jobs, those stories should be shared as an example to the whole team.  

Establish and reinforce your brand

It’s important for a mixed-use property to define and maintain a uniform brand. Everything must be kept clean, beautiful, welcoming, safe, sustainable, and functional to enhance the experience for anyone who visits, works in, or lives in the property. And if you own or manage more than one property, you want your brand reinforced with consistency in all of them.

When you’re focusing on the customer experience, consider your need for green cleaning, day porter, trash removal, recycling, pressure washing, graffiti removal, floor and carpet care, and other services for any and all of the following shared areas, each with their idiosyncrasies:

Public restrooms
Food hall and courtyard
Stairwells and elevators
Residential elevators, hallways and lobbies
Rooftop and event space
Parking and loading dock
Exteriors, sidewalks, and entrances
Residences, retail, and office space must be move-in ready for tenants. When leases expire, and a prospective tenant wants to see a space, they’ll experience your attention to detail when they see fresh paint, mopped floors, dust-free surfaces, and everything in good repair.  

Multi-use takes a multi-talented facility services expert to ensure quality, consistency, and attention to customer needs. Combine technical know-how and innovative tools with caring service employees, and you’ve got a property that really can be all things to all people. And those people are guaranteed to leave feeling great (and maybe tweeting) about your brand.

About the Author
Christie has been in sales and management for 18 years, and with ABM for the past 10 years.  Her current position as Regional Sales Director with ABM includes responsibility for overseeing and managing all new revenue growth, expansion and retention across a 12 state region.

Guest blog by Christie Campbell, Regional Sales Director – Business & Industry, ABM

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