Facilities Management (FM) is wild, it’s changing quicker than I can type this piece. Customer expectations are reaching new heights almost daily, meaning FM service providers are faced with a ton of challenges and… a boatload of opportunities.
I want to talk a bit about the biggest trend I’m seeing amongst our customers – client facing analytics, and how it’s playing a huge role in winning new business, retaining strategic customers, and building unbreakable relationships with both.
The Changing Landscape of FM
The FM industry has undergone a crazy transformation. Loooooong gone are the days when merely maintaining facilities sufficed, long gone indeed.
Today, customers are demanding ultimate transparency, efficiency, personalised services, and every value add that FMSPs can think of.
FM service providers must adapt to these heightened expectations or risk becoming slowly obsolete as the adopters of change eat their lunch (and drink their juice for afters).
But are Customer-Facing Analytics Really All That?
Customer-facing analytics, for me, seems to be the cornerstone of this adaptation to the new world.
It involves harnessing insights from data to elevate customer interactions, impact service delivery levels and move to near-real-time management models.
Offering customers insights on their own operations is that all-important value-add. By doing so, FM providers can not only meet but exceed customer expectations, ensuring their continued relevance in the industry.
The Bicep Flexing Power of Insights for Retention
Customer insights are surely the foundation of customer retention?
On very a basic level, analytics provide invaluable information about customer preferences, pain points, and service expectations. So, when combined with the relationships forged by the account team and their ops directors, the combination become absolute dynamite.
Consider the example of an FMSP that utilises analytics to anticipate maintenance needs in their customers sprawling office estate.
By proactively addressing issues, they significantly reduce downtime, improve service delivery and customer satisfaction.
Then imagine your customer logging into their custom analytics portal to see all of this in action!
You can’t underestimate how far a proactive approach to these things goes with senior stakeholders’ client-side in 2023.
Winning New Customers: Data-Driven Differentiation (easy for you to say…)
This is the area in which most of my current projects sit. To win new business, FM providers must stand out!
The marketplace is just so crowded. Here, customer-facing analytics really start to shine. By tailoring offerings and demonstrating value through data-driven insights, FM providers can capture the attention of prospective clients.
The ability to showcase a proven track record of efficiency and personalized service + a move away from the standard one-size-fits-all reactive approach, to a specifically designed proactive model is really starting to differentiate early adopters.
From here it’s also a very short jump to build a bi-directional analytics experience.
That same data that’s powering decisions can be made available to the end user via a customer analytics portal – completely removing the need for backward facing monthly reporting and bringing the customer on this data-driven journey with you.
This, more than any facet of customer-facing analytics, seems to be exciting end users and winning contracts.
Most of the new business tenders I’m working on (in partnership with our customers) have a huge section on innovation, and we’re putting some very large ticks in those boxes through our progressive use of data.
Happy Customers Stick Around: Personalisation and Proactive Service
Happy Customers Stick Around: Personalisation and Proactive Service
Happy customers are loyal customers, and loyal customers are sticky customers.
Great analytics enables FM providers to offer personalized solutions that resonate with clients on a deeply individual level.
Your customer has strategic objectives around ESG reporting? Perfect – get us involved, when can we have the data?
Net zero targets are first on the agenda in every board meeting? Dream, let us help you build a story around that.
Predictive maintenance, smart staffing, consumption optimisation, sustainability programs & regulatory reporting can all be heavily personalised in this new world. This proactive approach leads to long-term customer relationships built on trust, transparency, facts and reliability.
The Technology Landscape
2023 is unrecognisable even compared to 2020. It’s a tech-savvy world and there’s no shortage of tools and technologies available for any and every job.
From AI-powered predictive maintenance solutions to real-time monitoring platforms, to analytics ‘cockpits’ that provide a full overview of the estate – FM providers have a wealth of options at their disposal.
The challenge is this – you need a small army of people to utilise them all, there are huge upfront costs, you then need to maintain them all, make sure you’re always on top of latest trends, the data is always up to date, and that you continue to innovate – none of which are your core business.
Enter… Analytics as a Service (AaaS) for the Built Environment.
Here at Datore, we have faced all those challenges in our former roles. The team here is comprised of both 30-year FM industry veterans & data super-stars (+ chancers like me J).
Our Analytics as a Service solution for FM has been developed to remove barriers and deliver value instantly. By providing cutting edge technologies, data infrastructure, proven methodologies/success templates, and on demand access to a team of data geniuses, for a low fixed monthly cost.
We’ve created the perfect step on point for organisations that want to harness their data for customer facing projects, or any organisation that have a data team that are overstretched already.
The Path Forward: Embracing Customer-Facing Analytics
If you’re an FM service provider that’s ready to embrace customer-facing analytics, the good news is, a clear path forward exists.
What’s even better is, it bypasses any commitments to invest big in technology, creating new data governance policies, building a team of data-folk, thinking about data security + creating new employee training programs and skips straight to delivering VALUE!
Customer-facing analytics is not a fleeting trend but a strategic imperative for FM service providers. By adopting data-driven approaches, FM providers can retain and acquire more customers, all while nurturing enduring customer loyalty.
In an industry where excellence is the expectation, customer-facing analytics is the key to unlocking a future of success and growth.