Customer service can be a tricky thing, especially in CRE property management. You know you want to deliver the best, but you rarely know how well you’re doing – at least, unless you are (or are perceived to be) way off target. There isn’t a whole lot of middle ground.
Yet, there is a way to take control of the situation. You need to:
And it all starts with recognizing (observing) the warning signs that a tenant may be dissatisfied. These signs are not always obvious, but trust me – if there is dissatisfaction, you’ll spot them!
10 Warning Signs That Your Tenant is Dissatisfied
They don’t respond to inquiries quickly
If you’ve reached out regarding an important matter such as an out-of-date contract, contact point, service announcement, etc. and haven’t heard a peep, this may be a sign of a greater problem.
Check the channels in which you are communicating. There may be a chance that a tenant that can’t be reached by phone call, may be better reached in-person, via email, fax, or a mobile app notification.
Surveys are negative, or not filled out
Do you regularly run a tenant satisfaction and feedback survey? If you do and you’re consistently getting no response, middling, or less-than-stellar service scores, something is likely wrong.
Lack of engagement is huge. Check the tenant’s service record and determine whether there are any past-due or repeat requests. If you don’t spot any glaring issues, you might want to reach out to see if they’re receiving the surveys.
They frequently reschedule or decline meetings
Sometimes missing a meeting is inevitable. After all, they’re trying to get work done too! But in some cases, frequently rescheduling or declining meetings can be a sign of a dissatisfied tenant.
Try to see if there is another method of contact that would be better suited for their schedule. Taking the time to meet via phone, Skype, or simply shooting an email back and forth is all you need to get a better understanding of where they stand.
When it comes to renewal time, they’re elusive or evasive
Noticing a trend? Avoidance is the simplest path of resistance, and it is the most common tactic of someone suffering from lackluster customer service. Often times this is a way to buy time until a lease is up for renewal.
The best way to tackle this potential problem is to consistently communicate with your tenants throughout the year, measuring their satisfaction immediately (and unobtrusively) upon the finalization of services rendered. That way, you get the information you need to observe, listen, reflect, and act when it can still make a difference!
They often resubmit the same service request
When work is requested over and over and over again, it is safe to assume that: 1.) the work isn’t being done right, 2.) the tools for submitting requests can’t eliminate duplicate requests and automatically prioritize, or 3.) the work isn’t being completed quickly enough to satisfy a tenant’s needs.
So what can you do? Evaluate a tenant’s service history periodically and determine whether the repeated requests are due to a service delivery error (such as failing to perform regular preventive maintenance tasks), equipment failure, or a lack of understanding of the delivery process on the tenant’s part.
When you run social events in the building, they don’t attend
While it might seem fairly innocuous, failure to attend a social event may be an indication (in tandem with other factors) that they aren’t as engaged with your services as they could be, which may mean: 1.) they don’t know that the services exist, or 2.) they don’t find them worth their time.
Seeing as how these events are meant to help commercial property management teams better engage with tenants and tenant employees, and offer more value, this is a problem. Ask around and see how people are discovering your events, which channels they might prefer, and what they think about the activities you’re providing. This input is invaluable!
You offer various services and amenities – and they don’t take advantage
This one ties into #6, but may also be expanded to include: gyms, public WiFi, meeting rooms, cafeteria spaces, outside seating, etc. If your tenants aren’t taking full advantage of what you have to offer, be sure that they know about these amenities, and discover whether they actually appreciate them!
They don’t inform you about building problems
Not knowing that there is a problem in a building is a serious concern for any commercial property management team. Without a tenant’s “boots on the ground,” small problems might grow even larger over time, eventually causing service disruption across the board. That simply won’t do.
One possible solution is to provide your tenants with a convenient, easy-to-use way to report service issues as they see them. Preferably something that makes it easier to enter accepted requests into your team workflow, using tools they have on them at any given time – like a smartphone with a tenant mobile app!
You don’t get kept in the loop about growth in business
If your tenant is outgrowing their space, you need to know about it. By getting the scoop early on, you can work to accommodate a tenant’s every need and avoid the overcrowding that can cause a tenant and their employees to become dissatisfied – fast!
To do so, be sure you are regularly meeting with your tenants to discuss the state of their (and your) business. The more you both know, the happier both parties can be!
You don’t know the primary contact
If you don’t know who your tenants are, drop everything and go and introduce yourself. Seriously! Building tenant relationships and managing them over time is reliant on being able to have conversations with them. This is the first step.
Once you’ve observed and identified that your tenant may be dissatisfied, you can take the next step, and have a conversation! Just be sure that when you do, you listen, reflect, and then act.
And if you decide that you want to improve your methods for gathering tenant satisfaction data and delivering great tenant service on a more consistent basis, be sure to check out Building Engines Commercial Property Management Software. It can help you establish a more solid service delivery workflow and improve tenant retention, using a combination of innovative service feedback collection systems, including an interactive Tenant Portal and TenHub, an all-new mobile tenant app.