Outsourced janitorial services can assist facilities maintenance and property managers in ensuring office tenant satisfaction.
Janitorial Services’ Role in Ensuring Office Tenant Satisfaction
Facilities often take on a life of their own, and their performance can be measured by the quality of the janitorial and facilities maintenance, specifically how tenant issues are addressed.
According to a 2012 report published by the Center for the Built Environment;
[…] buildings are complex social, technical, and organizational systems; so much of the value of the complaint is missed with a purely quantitative or technical examination.
In reviewing occupants’ comments about their buildings, and in listening to what building operators say about occupants, complaints and how they are handled or dismissed is an important and underexplored area that helps to explain why buildings perform as they do rather than as designed, that shapes occupant satisfaction beyond the technical description of a building, and that exposes some elements occupants want in buildings but do not get.
Responsiveness to tenant issues, on the part of the custodial and facilities staff, will dictate whether or not a facilities design and function align, and can be generally categorized as:
- Reactive – High-quality reactive services quickly and competently respond to occupant complaints and feedback.
- Proactive – A superior method to reactive services, typically involving the use of monitoring and alerting systems.
Sources of Tenant Complaints and Issues
In regards to facilities performance and occupant satisfaction, two specific areas fall under the purview of both janitorial service provider and facilities maintenance personnel:
- Indoor Air Quality, and;
- Restroom Cleanliness.
Indoor Air Quality
Poor indoor air quality, the likely cause of sick building syndrome, will lead to a host of facilities performance and financial issues if not addressed quickly, including:
- Poor occupant health, leading to excessive absenteeism and low quality work or school performance.
- Low job satisfaction.
- Increased health care costs–both short and long-term, and;
- High tenant churn.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the root causes of indoor air pollution and sick building syndrome are:
- Inadequate ventilation.
- Chemical contaminants from indoor and outdoor sources, and;
- Biological contaminants–mold, bacteria, and viruses.
Restroom cleanliness, including supply provisioning (toilet paper, paper towels, and soap) is the single most important intersection between facilities maintenance, janitorial services, and occupant satisfaction.
A dirty, poorly stocked restroom can lead to devastating financial loss and public health issues via a myriad of negative online reviews, occupant complaints, and contaminated, high-contact surfaces.
Consumers and tenants associate dirty bathrooms with the image of a business who doesn’t care about the health and safety of their customers.
Consumer and occupant issues with restrooms have been reported as:
- Odors originating from stalls and urinals, specifically urine, dirty or overflowing trashcans, and air ‘fresheners’, all of which contribute to poor indoor air quality.
- Waste, including paper towels, toilet paper, and other trash on the floor, dripping or caked-on soap on the sinks, and dripping faucets, and;
- A shoddy visual appeal, including smudged mirrors and windows, as well as graffiti.
Tips for Ensuring Tenant Satisfaction
As previously discussed, service issues are categorized into two separate areas.
Addressing Tenant Issues Reactively
- Leverage technology to facilitate occupant and guest communication and feedback with custodial and facilities staff.
- Train staff to respond to customer communications competently, concisely, and transparently.
- Equip janitorial and facilities staff with the tools they need to ensure documented business-critical tasks are addressed in a timely fashion, as well as providing the ability to adapt and respond to unusual or emergency requests.
Addressing Tenant Issues Proactively
Proactive administration mandates rapid communication and technology management and monitoring systems to facilitate cleaning, repair, and replacement services prior to an occupant’s encounter with a service issue.
This commonly involves:
- IoT monitored and managed systems for floors, paper products in restrooms, toilets, soap, and ventilation systems.
- Construction or redesign to take advantage of natural heat and lighting.
- The implementation of technology to facilitate communication between users, managed systems, and service personnel.
- Process and purchasing realignment to facilitate sustainable business practices, and;
- A cleaning for health first approach.
References & Resources
- Uncovering Your Hidden Occupancy Costs
- 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Handling IAQ Complaints
- The Business Case for Green Building: A Review of the Costs and Benefits for Developers, Investors, and Occupants
The handling and responsiveness to occupant feedback are critical to the successful performance of any facility and generally falls into the category of proactive and reactive.
Common sources of office tenant complaints and issues originate from the cleanliness and maintenance of restrooms, as well as the quality of indoor air.
Leveraging technology streamlines both reactive and proactive responses to facility and consumer requirements.
In Bakersfield CA, call (661) 437-3253
In Fresno CA, call (559) 206-1059
In Valencia CA, or Santa Clarita CA, call (661) 437-3253