CoreNet Global #CNGLondon Summit: the ‘small things’ that make a big difference….

by Paul Carder on September 19, 2012

Park Plaza is a big hotel – it is not a ‘great’ hotel. That is a lesson in what could be….what should be….for those of us at this Summit. Creating a great ‘environment’ is one thing, and #CRE professionals may find that more exciting. But delivering a high quality of customer service in that environment (whether a hotel, or office workplace) is also absolutely key to success. It could be what makes a real difference. It could retain customers, with minimal effort.

I’m just back from the CBRE party; good fun, great people. I walked back from Trafalgar Square, to the hotel – great to see the buildings alongside both embankments of the Thames lit up. But, arriving back at the hotel, it is a classic example of some of the things we have talked about today at the CoreNet Global London Summit.

So, I get back to the hotel about 1.45/2pm (not sure – didn’t check), restart the laptop to write this blog, and put the kettle on. But, nobody has replaced the tea, coffee and milk I used up yesterday – why?? I want a cup of refreshing tea to clear the effects of all the red wine I drank this evening, both at the London Film Museum and the Vista @ The Trafalgar Hotel thanks to CBRE.

I have to go back down to the reception desk – OK, so 5 minutes later someone arrives with tea and coffee….and yes, that’s what I asked for, and that’s what I got….no milk! No decaff coffee either! I can’t be bothered to call reception – I have black full-strength coffee at 2am. Its not ideal….but its not the point, I wanted a cup of tea. I would not pay to stay in this hotel again. #FAIL

What is the point? Well, I guess it is that we spend $millions on real estate assets, design and development. But many of the “outputs” of the CRE&FM services of organisations are the SMALL things. The things that you just should not need to chase up, and it annoys you (or at least, me) if you DO need to chase up.

In CRE & FM delivery we must not forget the ‘small things’ that do not necessarily cost much (or indeed anything at all), but which make a big difference! I am hoping that we may hear more about “workplace experience” today, not just RE, Tech, Sustainability. Great service may well add to satisfaction, which may in turn add to factors such as work productivity, loyalty, and even in a small way perhaps ‘staff retention’. For certain, the reverse is also true. But how much does great service cost? It is not about money, it is about attitude – hotels should ingrain this in their staff, but clearly they do not always do so.

Paul Carder, Founder/Director – Occupiers Journal Limited
twitter: @occupiers or @WorkAndPlace ; paul.carder@occupiersjournal.com

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