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A PORTABLE REVOLUTION


James Symons, CEO of LocknCharge, talks about the use of portable computer devices and technology in the cleaning and FM industries and what challenges they present.


Since the introduction of the iPad in 2010 and the rise of digital technology, the world has become a different place. According to Statista, the statistics portal, there have been 31.7m computer tablets shipped in Q1 of 2018 alone. This is a staggering figure.


(https://www.statista.com/statistics/272070/global-tablet-shipments-by-quarter/)


Tablets have led to greater portability, greater flexibility, and improved working conditions, as well as providing a platform for browsing the internet, playing video games, or using convenient apps.


It has to be said that while the cleaning, hygiene and facilities management industry has lagged behind as a whole with digital technology and tablet usage, the enthusiasm for using tablets and digital technology can be said to have been positive. However, a lack of a clear understanding of how tablets could enhance the user experience in this industry could have led to slow adoption of tablets and/or integration into this field.


This is not necessarily a bad thing. Steve Jobs himself was once quoted: “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around.” The customer, not the technology, must be the core of your strategy, so waiting until we see real benefits for the user of the technology could be perceived as a sensible argument.


In an evolving world where reviews are key to creating brand and customer loyalty, where choice is widespread, and where


34 | FEATURE


competition is thriving, it is important that commercial premises, such as hotels, exhibition centres, shopping centres, or commercial washrooms, are staying ahead of latest trends and visitors are fully satisfied during their visit.


According to Lee Resources, a full-service consulting and training firm, 80% of companies believe they deliver a superior customer experience, but only 8% of customers agree. That is a substantial amount of customers that are potentially dissatisfied with the customer experience – which could stem from a mixture of product satisfaction, service satisfaction and management from a customer service perspective.


This is where tablets come in. Not only can they be used to enhance communication, in addition, tablets have also allowed people to become more advanced and professional at what they do. Sales teams can present from tablets in a much more proficient manner, they can make calls on them (and use tools like Facetime for more personalised conversations). Hotels can use them to check guests into their rooms, while shopping centres can use them to display maps of shops.


Special apps are one technological tablet innovation in the hygiene industry that can help with the customer experience as part of a building’s FM strategy. Service companies can use these apps to help with staff management (clocking in and out of different sites), and also monitor usage of dispensers so they need never


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