Karl Heinz Otto Mair, CEO of Berkeley Services Group, speaks to REM TIMES on the various services offered by the dynamic enterprise and why customer satisfaction is its top priority
A member of the Klüh Group International Germany, Berkeley Services Group (BSG) was founded in 1984 and has, over the years, emerged as a leader in the multi-service provider industry. With a trained and professional workforce of over 7,000 employees; BSG maintains a significant number of properties and provides a wide array of services to prominent local and international companies in the United Arab Emirates. As the company enters its 40th year in 2024, CEO Karl Heinz Otto Mair, shares his insights with REM TIMES on the gamut of services offered by the dynamic enterprise and why customer satisfaction is its top priority.
Q1. How do you approach understanding and meeting the unique needs and expectations of customers in the context of facilities management (FM) services?
Client satisfaction is a key driver for us. We prioritise a comprehensive approach to understanding and meeting the distinctive needs of the customers. Our teams initiate the process by engaging in thorough consultations with clients, aiming to understand their specific needs. This involves taking into account various factors, including the type and size of the facility, its purpose, and the standards and expectations, all the while receiving guidance and support from our international ESG platform.
Customised service plans are then meticulously crafted, incorporating advanced technologies to ensure efficiency, transparency, and data-driven decision-making. Our company fosters open lines of communication through dedicated account managers who stay attuned to evolving client needs, holding regular meetings for feedback and resolution.
BSG places a strong emphasis on quality assurance, implementing stringent processes to consistently deliver services that meet or exceed client expectations. With ongoing trainings for our experts and workgroups we ensure they are well-versed in the latest industry standards, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and innovation. Proactive problem resolution, flexibility to accommodate changes, and the establishment of key performance indicators contribute to BSG's customer-centric approach.
Q2. Can you describe your strategy for maintaining a positive and constructive relationship with customers while addressing their FM concerns?
Open and transparent communication is the foundation of our approach. We actively encourage our clients to voice their concerns or issues, ensuring that they feel heard and understood. We provide multiple channels of communication, such as dedicated account managers, our 24/7 in-house customer service hotlines, and online communication tools, to facilitate seamless and prompt interactions with our team.
We understand the urgency of addressing concerns, and our dedicated team of experts promptly investigates and works towards swift solutions. Our aim is to exceed client expectations by delivering quick and effective resolutions to their concerns. Additionally, we believe in proactive problem-solving by empowering our ground staff. By conducting regular check-ins and proactive maintenance, we can address concerns promptly, preventing them from escalating into more significant one.
Lastly, we prioritise accountability and follow-up. Once concerns have been addressed and resolved, we ensure proper follow-up to confirm client satisfaction. We take ownership of any issues that arise and strive to implement preventive measures to avoid future occurrences.
Q3. What are the key elements of providing excellent customer service in FM and how do you ensure consistency in delivering those elements?
Our bespoke service begins with clear operational mandates, responsive communication, technical expertise, and a commitment to continuous improvement. Personalised service is essential because each customer has unique needs and expectations that require a curated approach. Clear and responsive communication is critical to building trust and transparency with customers, ensuring that they feel heard and understood. Technical expertise in facilities management is essential to quickly diagnose and address issues and deliver efficient solutions to customers. A culture of continuous improvement where feedback is actively sought and acted upon ensures that services are consistently enhanced to meet changing customer requirements.
To ensure consistency in delivering these elements, we prioritise regular training, development, and engagement of our workforce. Our employees are trained in client interaction, language, etiquette, BICSc and technical skills through our inhouse Center of Excellence, which enables them to provide personalised, expert services to our clients. Additionally, we have rigorous systems of quality control and follow-up procedures that ensure any concerns or issues are quickly addressed. Moreover, by having a culture of continuous improvement, we can ensure that our services are consistently reviewed, refined, and enhanced.
Q4. FM often involves working with tight schedules and deadlines. How do you manage your time and prioritise tasks to ensure timely and effective responses to customer requests?
In the fast-paced realm of FM, where tight schedules and deadlines are the norm, effective time management and task prioritisation are paramount to ensure timely and efficient responses to customer requests. BSG employs a systematic approach that combines strategic planning, technology integration, and a pro-active dedicated workforce.
It utilises advanced CAFM systems to streamline processes, allowing real-time monitoring and rapid response to emerging issues. This technology assists in scheduling and tracking tasks, ensuring that resources are allocated efficiently and effectively. The company also maintains a robust ERP System and a communication infrastructure, facilitating quick and effective collaboration among team members and with their clients. Task prioritization is optimized by a keen understanding of client priorities and the criticality of each aspect of facility management. BSG employs a dynamic scheduling model that accounts for both routine maintenance tasks and unexpected issues, allocating resources based on the urgency and impact on operations.
Dedicated account managers play a pivotal role in this process, serving as a direct link between clients and operational teams. Regular communication with clients helps in understanding their specific deadlines and expectations, enabling BSG-Teams to align its activities with client priorities. Additionally, BSG experts foster a culture of continuous improvement, regularly reviewing and refining its operational processes based on performance metrics and feedback. This ensures that the company remains agile in adapting to evolving client needs and industry dynamics, ultimately allowing for the delivery of timely and effective responses to customer requests in the dynamic and time-sensitive field of facilities management.
Q5. How do you gather and leverage customer feedback to enhance the quality of FM services?
We prioritise customer feedback as a cornerstone for continuous improvement in our FM services. We employ a comprehensive approach, utilising surveys, direct communication channels, and regular review meetings to gather diverse insights from our clients. This commitment to openness and collaboration has not only allowed us to identify areas for improvement but has also been instrumental in solidifying long-term partnerships. Time and again, Berkeley has renewed numerous contracts based on positive customer feedback, a testament to the trust our clients place in our services.
Additionally, we focus on leveraging customer feedback to optimise our preventive maintenance programs, which helps us to identify issues early on and reduce reactive maintenance requests. Our customer-focused approach and emphasis on continuous improvement have led to high levels of customer satisfaction and dependability.
These client-driven enhancements not only address immediate concerns but also contribute to our sustained success as the trusted and chosen partner for facilities management services.