When it comes to facilities management, the maintenance component is often overlooked when determining how facilities can impact the customer experience. However, a strategic maintenance program can boost the customer experience by reflecting an organization's strategy and underlying the values the guide a business. Here, we outline three ways that your strategic maintenance program can contribute to the customer experience, business goals, and overall values.
A strategic maintenance program reflects an organization's approach to ESG
With a stronger focus on ESG initiatives across companies, a strategic maintenance program is a must-have, rather than a nice-to-have. While traditional approaches treated maintenance as a break-and-fix scenario, modern approaches centered around ESG need to incorporate preventative measures to ensure that facilities are meeting the needs of all occupants. Successfully managing a strategic maintenance program can reflect an organization's commitment to ESG initiatives.
ESG can inform a facilities maintenance program, and by extension the broader activity of a business, in a variety of ways by:
- Prioritizing minority- and woman-owned facilities vendors in your local markets
- Working with officially-designated disadvantaged business entities (DBEs)
- Leveraging the facilities program to reduce carbon emissions
- Retrofitting locations to source a greater quantity of renewable energy
- Modifying landscaping to minimize inessential water consumption
Partnering with organization’s that meet these requirements can help to further efforts that align a facilities management program more closely with ESG efforts.
A strategic maintenance program can influence ongoing capital projects and design planning
Upgrading equipment and assets can have a positive impact on the customer experience: seamless interactions, refreshed appearances, and a better all-around experience. However, maintaining these assets in the near and short term need to be considered when making capital purchases. For example, suppose a retailer, such as a bank or health care clinic, wants to convert all manual entry doors to automatic ones. They’re going to be nearly silent, entirely contactless, and in line with emerging trends to provide easier access to all people.
On the surface, it sounds appealing, but there are other factors to consider:
- Apart from the initial cost of installation, routine upkeep might prove time-consuming, expensive, and cause interruptions to normal branch operations—in turn, this could erode customer trust and damage brand perception.
- Automatic doors expose locations to the elements more often, leaking conditioned air and forcing HVAC units to work harder, putting them under additional stress.
- The combined effects of new installation, continued upkeep, and added equipment stress could negatively impact future capital budgets, per-location spending, and the welcoming appearance needed for a positive customer experience.
Even a seemingly small decision like automatic door installations could have long-lasting consequences on a budget when a strategic maintenance program isn't part of the equation.
A robust facilities program can offer better insights into customer behavior
As the facilities maintenance industry continues to more closely integrate with the tech sector, facilities leaders are contributing new ways to help businesses better understand and serve their communities. Internet of Things (IoT) devices have already made their way into the maintenance industry. Some facilities technology platforms integrate with smart building sensors that constantly collect and analyze data on building activity.
- Traffic sensors in door frames analyze entry frequency. Building managers can use data to monitor common area cleaning needs and even adjust staffing for peak customer traffic times.
- CO2 sensors can estimate the number of people in a space and can signal HVAC systems to adjust airflow. Data gathered will help facilities managers enhance customer comfort and optimize usage for peak times.
Using a strategic maintenance program based on robust data can help companies propel themselves into the future of customer experience and provide them with an advantage over competitors. When looking to redefine the customer experience, look to these strategies to ensure a consistent, inclusive, and intelligent facilities management program.
It’s so much more than the story of break and fix—facilities management is integrated into so many different aspects of your organization’s strategy and values, from construction and asset management to high-level strategy and customer experience. Why not work with an experienced partner who can tackle the complexities for you? Request a demo to learn more.