Inspection Software Contributes To Customer Satisfaction, Retention
For business owners such as building service contractors, human error can be a major liability. It can cost them their employees, their reputation and even an account. While some errors — a janitor missing a wastebasket or forgetting to stock toilet paper rolls — are relatively forgivable, others are not.
Tracking and measuring these errors is the first step in fixing them; inspection software enables BSCs to improve services in a transparent way that proves accountability to customers.
In this turbulent economic environment, keeping customers happy is more valuable than ever. BSCs have caught on to the fact that the ability to use technology to measure and track performance, as well as communicate and respond quickly to customers, plays a big role in retention of accounts and positive relationships with clients.
Inspection software has evolved to assist BSCs of all types and sizes with inspections. It can assist with supply management, job scheduling, the tracking of trends and communication.
BSCs that use inspection software know that the ability to measure and track cleaning metrics appeals to certain customers, says Joseph Jenkins, president of BearCom Services in Salt Lake City.
Customers understand the importance of accountability, and know that performance not measured cannot be improved, he says.
"Clients like the idea of cleaning companies performing inspections at their facilities because they want to make sure that when they pay their check, they are receiving what they were promised when they signed up," Jenkins says.
Internal inspections allow contractors to monitor the efficiency of operations and the productivity of employees.
Software has made inspections quick and easy, as inspectors can enter information directly onto mobile devices that compute numbers to make reports available immediately. Customers can access the system with a user name and password, and they can see the same numbers a BSC is seeing.
"We believe in being completely transparent with our customers when it comes to the data that is collected so that both our client and ourselves can see how we are doing and where we can improve," says Raleen Verbeek, business analyst for Eurest Services in Harwood Heights, Ill.
That contributes to customer satisfaction, says Linda Pendergrass, director of performance management at Cavalier Services Inc., in Fairfax, Va., and plays a role in retention of accounts. Cavalier's retention rate is 96 percent — and Pendergrass attributes that partially to the use of inspection software.
One of the greatest advantages of using technology is that it can facilitate efficient and meaningful communication between customers and contractors. The software allows both parties to track communication, encouraging resolution in a timely manner.
"This feature lets our clients know that we are working on their concern and when it has been resolved," Verbeek says. "This has contributed to customer satisfaction and an improved relationship. "
Following through on promises made to customers is just as important as communication with them, says Pendergrass.
"Part of it is that you're going to do what you say you're going to do," she says. "What customers want more than anything is that we live up to our written spec, which is also a part of our system. They can go in and see what it is we're supposed to be doing. So there's a lot of communication advantages."
Tracking deficiencies allows BSCs to improve and become more efficient. BearCom uses the tracked data to create reports and graphs that allow the company to discover its strengths and weaknesses, Jenkins says.
"We can influence our clients by meeting and exceeding our contractual obligations, cleaning services and our clients' expectations, but surprisingly this isn't enough," says Jenkins. "We must also prove it."
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