Being in the services business comes with its own basket of wins and challenges. Facility management remains as core business for SILA. Our portfolio also includes project management, turnkey interiors, home services, pest control, housekeeping and soft services. Since all our businesses experience multiple touch points with customers, it is essential for us to understand customer service in all detail.
Marrying the Tangible and the Intangible
SILA deals with businesses and individuals. As a result, the requirements and expectations of our customers differ, and there is no standard template to follow. It is necessary for our front line to be conscious of changing requirements and deliver accordingly.
Every customer requires two aspects to be in order – the expected numbers and manners. Numbers are the tangible, and manners of a human being are an experience, thus the intangible. While the numbers can be controlled by a few at the top and thus managed, manners come naturally to a human being. Human are emotive beings. We employ thousands, and controlling emotions is not possible on an excel sheet. How then, do you ensure a consistent experience for your customer?
Train them Right
At SILA, we focus on our training programs – from our facility management business to the home services one. The importance of using the right proportion of industrial grade cleaning solutions and the right machines is communicated. In addition to technical training, teams are taught soft skills, the basics of body language, communication techniques and ways to build empathy.
Training Sessions also follow a trickle down mechanism, allowing us varying levels of focus on the head of departments, managers, team leaders and janitors themselves. This methodology helps us assign responsibility to each manager, since implementing a training program is everyone’s responsibility. Increased accountability leads to better results.
A customer expects to be trusted, and service providers have always found it difficult to trust. The gaps exist due to the age old practices which have been counter productive for business. A transaction always happens at two levels – one is the exchange of money, the other is mutual trust. As a result, building a culture of trust in our front line has always been a priority.
We work closely with our teams to ensure that communication remains upfront and transparent. This allows our teams enough bandwidth to deliver their best on the field, which in turn acts as a constructive leverage for negotiation with a client. If we deliver superior experience as a practice, it makes for a solid case to put forth.
Customer Service through Example
SILA is led by a management team with an average age of 30. Since all of us come from a varied background, our third party perspective helps add a dimension to customer experience. To get a buy in from all our teams, the senior management works on the field and demonstrates experiments. These unprecedented levels of transparency allow us to highlight the importance of the experiment, and its readily absorbed at all levels.
Leading by example is the way of life here. Onward and upwards :)