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How to lead customer satisfaction? Case cleaning services

The value of Technopolis' cleaning service has grown tremendously in the eyes of our customers. What are the reasons?

Customer satisfaction in cleaning services over the last seven years looks like this. We measure customer satisfaction on a scale of 1-5 and for several years the grade for cleaning services has been around 4.0. This can be considered as a good number, but compared to Technopolis’ overall customer satisfaction the satisfaction in cleaning has been on a lower level. In 2021 the situation got reversed: the grade for cleaning services exceeded the level of Technopolis’ overall satisfaction.

In 2020 the cleaning service curve started to rise and in 2021 customer satisfaction to cleaning reached a historically high level: 4.29. Covid-19 pandemic has given a boost to the value of cleaning. In November 2020 I wrote an article about this. But Technopolis' own work has also played a role in increasing customer satisfaction. The actions described below can be taken anytime despite all the turmoil in today’s world.

When I started as a Concept Manager of Campus and Cleaning Services in September 2019 I gathered several reports from different data sources. Since then, we have continued to use information provided by data to improve customer satisfaction. It is great to notice that the results are concretely visible.

Recognize development needs

Technopolis worked together with Noren in a service design project during spring 2020. Noren applies human sciences to strategy. As a result, two key needs were identified:

  1. Customers want to know what is included in the monthly price of the cleaning service and especially what is not included
  2. Customers want to know how often and when the cleaners visit the office

Communication helps to tackle both of these needs. We have gone through agreement annexes, marketing and sales material and tried to reach customers through different channels to answer unclear questions. As always in communication, no single panacea provides a one-size-fits-all solution. You need to work in a long term manner.

Place the service in a context

At Technopolis cleaning is not just about cleaning. Our slogan “More than squares” says it all; we offer more than just an office space. We want to stand out from other business premises with our comprehensive service package. Cleaning is one of our core services which every customer needs and most customers buy from us. Cleaning should act as an attraction and a reason to stay in Technopolis’ workspaces. If customers are satisfied with the cleaning service, we can verify to our new potential customers that our service concept really works. At the same time we can help to make our current customers stay with Technopolis eventhough their workspace related needs would change.

Pay attention to the roles

There are several roles in both Technopolis' and service partner organizations that can have an effect on cleaning services success. The most important pair is the service manager of Technopolis' Business Unit and the service supervisor appointed by the service partner. Customer Service Agents and assistants play a crucial role in caring for customers on individual campuses. From concept point of view I consider it especially important to share good practices and predict the future.

For several years Technopolis has used customer satisfaction as a bonus method in purchase agreements with several vendors. It is good to review and update the KPIs in purcase agreements every now and then.

Share information and predict the future

Technopolis IT infrastructure is nowadays in a good shape and different reports provide great information for cleaning services’ needs. Over the years there have been little hiccups, for example, in situations when customer moves have come as a surprise to the cleaning team. Since Technopolis knows all the moves that will take place in the upcoming weeks or months, we have paid attention to how to share the information with service partners in advance. It has also been checked that the cleaning orders related to the moves are placed early enough.

When IT tools are developed, new opportunities can be identified to improve the managing of cleaning services. Right now Technopolis is developing a way for the service partners’ users to view color-coded cleaning areas in property floor plans. This would likely make it easier for them to introduce the work to new cleaners.

Respond to customer feedback

Customer feedback about cleaning service comes either through Technopolis' customer satisfaction survey or as an individual feedback in everyday life. Managing feedback from a customer satisfaction survey has long been the responsibility of Business Units, but a slightly new angle has been found when feedback is being read focusing on a single service. Instead of only using feedback to react quickly based on it, use it to find development ideas and sales opportunities. A phone call from a Service Manager to the customer asking for an appointment is a great way to discuss customer’s needs and situation.

Additional services make you happy

If a customer buys a lot of additional services, will customer satisfaction improve? A rigorous data analysis has not been made to support this claim but in real life we do work to make this happen. When discussing with a dissatisfied customer, it is a great opportunity to find out if problems could be solved by providing an additional service for a specific need. Our most popular additional service is the kitchen package; if the workspace includes a customer specific kitchen, could the cleaner take care of filling and emptying the dishwasher and cleaning the kitchen equipment? Anyone who has seen “your mom does not work here” tags in office kitchens will be in a better mood when that famous someone else is taking care of the dishes.

Does good customer satisfaction come as a surprise?

If a company doesn’t measure customer satisfaction as an ongoing process, they need to carry out one time projects to find out how satisfied customers are with their service. Once the process has been created customer experience can be managed. When KPIs are followed throughout the year and measures are taken based on customer, location and different needs you can monitor results continuously. In this case good customer satisfaction doesn’t come as a surprise; it is a reward in sight for long-term teamwork.

Thank you to all our customers who have answered to Technopolis surveys! Thanks to you we have understood how to develop the service.

Salla Brunou

Salla Brunou is an expert in B2B sales and service business. She works as a Concept Manager for campus services and cleaning services at Technopolis.