By: George Nelson, Quality Assurance Manager
Protecting the integrity of a building doesn’t stop when construction does, which is why it’s vital to put measures in place to continually assess the quality of your facilities. Investing in quality assurance (QA) is tantamount to investing in the customer experience, and it’s a wise move for brands seeking to uphold or improve their reputation among consumers. When quality is neglected, customer experience isn’t the only thing to suffer; a facility’s structure can become compromised, equipment is more likely to fall into disrepair and as a result, facilities management (FM) costs inevitably rise in order to compensate for these shortcomings.
By deploying strategies intended to maintain quality, internal and external stakeholders, from the C-suite to the customer, reap the benefits. Whether you handle QA internally or partner with an IFM provider, here are a few tips to keep quality at the forefront of your organization:
Establish KPIs and Monitor Progress
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are commonly used by companies to help them determine whether or not employees, vendors and strategic initiatives are contributing to their overall success. To promote quality across your organization, it’s helpful to establish KPIs tied to preventive maintenance. Addressing maintenance proactively keeps assets in working order and ensures your environment is organized and fully functional.
Survey Customers to Enhance Their Experience
Seeking customer feedback is wise for many reasons, especially when it comes to maintaining quality standards. If you don’t already use surveys to gauge client satisfaction, it’s a good idea to craft one—or multiple—to gain insight into a range of issues about your products, services and the shopping experience. Not only will the customer feel valued, they will provide you with information you can use to enhance the quality of your facilities.
If customers notice your restrooms aren’t up to their cleanliness standards, for example, or your storefront could use a refresh, you can incorporate this feedback into your QA process and make sure that these items are routinely monitored.
Evaluate Service Providers to Ensure Consistent Delivery
When you hire outside contractors to perform maintenance, their work is a direct reflection of your brand. To ensure you’ve partnered with the right providers, it’s helpful to create brand standards that they must adhere to—without them, you’ll likely get some underachievers in the mix that can do real harm to your business’s reputation. Keep contractors and technicians in check by routinely monitoring their performance and holding them accountable for the services they provide.
Managing the QA process can be work- and time-intensive, which is why many organizations choose to outsource these activities to third-party vendors. Not all IFM partners include QA as part of their offering, however, so research your potential vendor carefully and make sure that their performance standards align with your own.