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Building our business isn’t simply about maintaining the status quo – our success and growth depend on building long-term relationships with our clients that position us as a trusted partner and strategic resource.

Because of the way we operate and the vast number of services and markets we work in, it can sometimes be hard to approach something in a ‘one size fits all’ manner. Particularly when dealing with so many different clients, each with their own requirements. However, we have a client relationship management training programme that aims to professionalise the way we deal with clients at every level.

The programme has five main themes our people need to understand and explore when engaging with clients:

Knowledge – making sure we take time to understand our clients’ business, objectives and strategies

Value – focusing on those activities that add real value to the client, investing in innovation and pioneering new ways of working on the contract

Relationships – investing in and maintaining relationships throughout the length of the contract and beyond, not just at the point of sale

Capability – keeping up with and adapting to change as quickly and efficiently as possible to meet our clients’ needs at all times

Development – sharing best practice throughout the organisation to make sure we’re developing our people, processes and services consistently and constantly, always learning.

Client satisfaction - Client satisfaction is measured informally throughout the year within contract management and business specific teams. We also measure satisfaction more formally once a year through an independently-run client survey.

Using a different approach to previous client satisfaction surveys, this year we gave our key customers the opportunity to expand on their answers via comment boxes at the end of each question – resulting in 1,658 free expression comments.

In addition to this, more than 10% of senior decision makers at our top 200 contracts were called for a one-to-one telephone interview, enabling us to consider their feedback in more detail.

The quantitative data and qualitative feedback received from both the free expression comments and the telephone interviews have now been shared with the relevant teams to take action to ensure we are partnering with our clients in a way that works for them.

Looking ahead

In addition to the great strides made by our Miworld team this year, we are excited about the launch of Edison, a workplace assistant tool that forms part of the wider Miworld suite. Targeted at end-users within the buildings that we service, Edison is a web-based platform that gives users access to building facilities and services at the tap of a button, helping them to make their work lives easier and enabling them to make the most of their workplace.

Thanks to our Executive Research Programme, we have been able to generate a rich output of strategy documents and white papers which have been very well received. This has prompted us to sponsor an industry knowledge portal where this and other valuable content can reside and be shared with like-minded industry professionals.

Called Workplace Strategy, the portal is run independently with its own editor. While we realise that the FM industry isn’t exactly short of publications, we believe that Workplace Strategy will fill a gap in this field by focusing on the strategic rather than operational dimension of facilities management. The content will span a wide range of subject matter including expert opinion, case studies of industry best practice and innovation, current industry issues, research and latest thinking.

Furthermore, we believe that Workplace Strategy will have the added benefit of bringing Mitie closer to its clients and potential clients through a better understanding of the strategic issues they face and the drivers in their particular sphere. We believe that this understanding will allow us to develop more relevant solutions, tailored to the future needs of our clients.