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Basic manners boost business success

Customer service and communication is vital to a facilities management success story.

Customer service and communication is vital to a successful facilities management (FM) service delivery said Mick Dalton, senior director asset manager, Emaar, at an FM networking event.

"The important thing in FM is communication. Whatever job we do, we're in the communications business. Every interaction we have is all about communication and unfortunately, we're not very good at it," admitted Dalton.

In such a demanding and challenging industry, both customer service and communication go hand in hand to ensure clients' wants and needs are met to a high level. The effect poor service can have on a business could result in contract loss and bad reputation.

"Poor customer service is the real reason why people cancel contracts. It's not because of money or because of this or that." stated Dalton. "It costs six times as much to win a new customer as it does to retain an existing one."

Dalton thinks there are many ways to improve service delivery. "Ring them occasionally and see how they are getting on. How many times do you smile at your clients? How many times do you walk in to a meeting and you're all grumpy? Do you listen? Even when you loose a tender - keep in touch. Ring them every three months."

In a market that is striving to be recognised for the benefits and cost savings it can bring to a business, Dalton concluded: "How do you maintain your profile if you're an FM company? It's about branding to some extent but it's also about networking, events, keeping in touch, your professional bodies and magazines, hard work, contribution and honesty. You will succeed if you do all of those things well."

His comments were made last week during a presentation on customer service at the fourth Facilities Management Business Group (FMBG) networking event in Dubai.

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