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TECHNOLOGY

Managing customer expectations

in 2019 FreshOps director Mark Jones shares his digital tips for the year ahead.

Compared to other industries things are looking relatively stable for the commercial cleaning sector in 2019, but there are still many challenges that await. One of the biggest is customer expectations. When customer expectations are not met contracts are lost, hurting cash flow, and in some cases can even lead to businesses closing shop. Let’s look at a few things you can do using technology to avoid these customer demands rolling over you and your team in 2019.

Play to your strengths

Small to mid: Much of our industry is made up of businesses which have between five and 30 employees. If this is you, you need to stand out from the pack. Using digital tools will help your business market, quote and record the commitment you make with your clients. Through the use of these digital tools you can communicate this commitment to your staff. The same tools also allow your team to report to you and for you to report to your client (and vice versa). This effectively closes the gap on any expectations set and possibly missed, before they become an issue. Enterprise: The ‘top-four concentration’ is a measure of how much revenue the top four companies in an industry hold. In some sectors it can be well over 50 per cent. In the commercial cleaning industry is it understood to be around 10 per cent. This means these large players are under constant threat from a myriad of mid-sized players. At this level the focus is on locking customers into contracts and enhancing their tender win/loss rates and negotiation. Digital tools that are fast and efficient are essential to provide premier service at the 20 INCLEANNZ February 2019

“With an industry flooded with small operators, to grow you simply must find reliability through strong processes.” top of the sales funnel and prove you have capacity for great service on the biggest jobs. Franchise: Franchise groups are understood to hold just under nine per cent of total industry revenue. Given the business-in-a-box advantage, franchisees should look to marketing as their advantage. Improving your digital marketing skills and managing every touchpoint with customers helps individual operators stand out and win more than your fair share of work. Micro and solo operators: Low barriers to entry do not equal low barriers to success. While we see businesses start very readily, we also see many businesses fail just as readily too. With an industry flooded with small operators, to grow you simply must find reliability through strong processes. The ability to cover shifts for occurrences such as illness or leave and operate at capacity is challenging. Some industry reports state customer turnover for many operators will exceed 50 per cent of revenue in a given year – typically due to their dependence on one or two major contracts they cannot afford to lose. Digital tools that manage your processes and deadlines ensures you won’t drop the ball and can grow with confidence.

Customers are not disloyal, you are I find the reported customer turnover rate of 50 per cent astounding. It is incredible that any business should work hard on winning business to only then lose it due to poor delivery.

Profile for The Intermedia Group

INCLEAN - NZ February 2019  

Published for more than 30 years, INCLEAN has evolved into a communications portfolio that delivers need-to-know information to contracted a...

INCLEAN - NZ February 2019  

Published for more than 30 years, INCLEAN has evolved into a communications portfolio that delivers need-to-know information to contracted a...