The British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) Awards, which are supported by headline sponsor Carillion, recognise and showcase Best-in-Class facilities management (FM) and evidence the discipline’s positive impact on business, the economy and society. For the second year in succession, CIS Security has been named as a finalist in the awards. For 2016, the categories are grouped within the three themes of people, impact or innovation. This time around, the privately owned and independently managed London-based security company is named in the ‘Impact on Customer Experience’ category for its entry entitled: ‘Safe, Happy, Informed and Listened To’.
FM professionals are responsible for services that enable and support business. As such, the BIFM Awards are much more than ‘just a ceremony’. Rather, all winners and finalists serve as a source of Best Practice for their peers to be inspired by them and to learn from them.
The BIFM Awards seek out the ‘Gold Standard’ across FM and beyond. Entries come from a cross-section of organisations regardless of size, type and sector and from all across the world. This means that being a finalist or a winner is a true achievement and testament to the great work carried out by the individual, team, project, collaboration or organisation involved.
Raising customer service standards
For its part, CIS Security has challenged itself on raising customer service standards in a variety of ways – including better communication, knowledge building and innovation – with the aim of ‘walking the walk’ as thought leaders in the security business sector. The company’s resulting Customer Experience programme has duly yielded results in terms of customer and end user satisfaction, actively promoting a culture of continuous improvement among staff through quality engagement.
Members of the BIFM Awards’ Judging Panel* acknowledge that the Customer Experience programme “makes building users notice the security team for all of the right reasons”.
One of the Top Five independent security companies in the UK, CIS Security has developed a specific customer service change programme configured to elevate standards from end to end with the integration of an effective digital end user feedback mechanism designed to ‘close the circle’.
When it comes to results, CIS Security backs up its assertions with an impressive array of statistics. The business has overseen a 10% increase in customer satisfaction when compared to last year, with clients confirming that they’ve witnessed significant improvements in the overall efficiency of CIS Security staff and also in the quality of company communications to employees, clients and end users.
CIS Security is also championing an initiative to bring more females into the industry and has realised an increase of 3% in its female employee cohort since launch last year, putting the business firmly on track to achieve its 20% target by 2020.
Collecting end user feedback
In its award submission to the BIFM, CIS Security detailed the improvements made in terms of customer experience for its clients with particular reference to the Spitalfields E1 contract (which it has retained for over 15 years).
CIS Security and Spitalfields have collaborated on their first-ever tablet-based app to collect end user feedback. They’ve also collaborated to create ‘Top Pocket Guides’ and a new uniform look for ‘refreshing’ the contract.
Jason Dervin, estate manager at Spitalfields, told Risk UK: “CIS Security’s longevity on this contract has been achieved through having a stable senior account management team in place to oversee an experienced, flexible and committed security team delivering an exceptional service. One of CIS Security’s key strengths throughout its tenure has been the ability to evolve with the site, continuously innovating to support our changing needs. For example, the company has acted as brand advocates and delivered information to the public, from directions through to facts about art and historic artefacts to be found within the site. Members of the team take time to regularly assess the changing landscape through user feedback in order to adapt the service and continue to meet, and in many cases exceed our requirements as the client.”
The business case for adopting a focus on customer experience is widely documented in a number of different industries, with notable successes experienced by the likes of John Lewis and Virgin. CIS Security is optimistic that the resulting improved perception of the security profession as a whole enables the attraction of new talent through the creation of a more aspirational view of security roles.
Neill Catton, managing director at CIS Security, said: “Any successful customer experience programme sits firmly on a foundation of investment in our people. Better engagement through confidence building initiatives such as our CIS Annual Awards Programme and the ‘Blow Your Own Trumpet’ initiative helps our staff to stand tall, be proud and understand that the job they do is critical when it comes to making people feel safe and happy.”
Catton added: “Accredited training is an essential part of this, with Welcome Host Customer Service Training delivered as part of all of our staff inductions. I’m delighted with the results to date, and we’re thrilled with being named as a finalist by the BIFM. It’s a highly progressive organisation with which we’re keen to be aligned.”
*The BIFM Awards Judging Panel for 2016 includes Steve Gladwin (chairman of the Judges), Julie Kortens (chair of the BIFM), Jane Sansom (lead Judge for the ‘Impact on Organisational Performance’ section) and Nick Shaw (lead Judge for ‘Brand Impact’)
**Winners will be announced at the BIFM Awards Ceremony to be held on Monday 10 October at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane