Samer Hani explains why he treats staff as 'internal customers'
The concept of this subject is not new to us as FM services providers, as we understand the true meaning of the word customer, and how we should maintain and manage good relations with our customers to ensure continuity of our business.
Our staff is thus the most important element to maintain our relations with our customer, because our employees are the frontline of our business and they are the culture and the passion of the company, and so I believe we should consider them as our “internal customers”.
If a FM service provider wishes to be seen as different from others in the market, then the best way to do that is by starting to recognize your people as your most valuable asset. It is important to keep in mind that it is through your employees that customer loyalty is built.
Whenever I have a chance to meet with my customers in FM industry, the positive feedback always came about the staff, and not about the services. I found that 70% from the customers are happy because they trust the staff we provide and their supervision. So if we have capable employees, we maintain 70% trust from customer satisfaction and the remaining from technologies, materials, tools, management response and price.
The top management should therefore go to the bottom line of the FM service business and meet the staff, talk to them , and listen to their problems. This will impact positively in our method to deliver the best services and support them to do better. The management should understand the staff’s basic needs like training, development, recognition, promotion, sports, events, etc. and monitor these activities with the HR team closely.
This will encourage and improve our staff’s capabilities and eventually improve the company performance as well. Our employees need to know that we value them as much as we do any customer, and one way to show them that is to invest in their professional development. You have to ensure that they have the skills and information they need to perform well in their job.
For example, in Cleanco, we have staff who have been working with us for more than 25 years. In the meantime, we also have customers whom we have been serving for 25 years. So, we know very well how to maintain the relations between clients and keep our staff happy at the same time.
Cleanco provides full support to our operations team and the company structure to ensure that we deliver the services our customers deserve. We maintain our name in the market which we have established in the UAE since 1978. We pride ourselves in services though our internal customers, and today, we manage more than 10,000 employees. We have one of the largest workforces in the UAE, providing total cleaning solutions all over the country.
We are thinking round the clock on improving our techniques and operations in changing for the better. I believe change should always come from inside, and the service provider should work hard to improve old strategies with new ones to match the market situation as well as international standards, which will reflect well on the standard of our services.
About the author
Samer Hani is general manager, business development & operations, Cleanco.