Customer relationship management (CRM) means developing a comprehensive picture of customer needs, expectations and behaviours and managing those factors to affect business performance. In the facilities management (FM) world, CRM means looking at the FM function as a customer‐intensive business function instead of merely a facilities services cost centre. And the management part implies an active rather than passive role by the FM in influencing the customer's perception of service success. Finding and closing gaps between customer expectations and service delivery realities becomes the basis for CRM in the FM world. These gaps typically occur in the area of the ‘3 Rs’ — resources, response and respect. Key areas of knowledge and skills covered in this paper include: defining CRM and distinguishing it from customer service; understanding the true measure of service success; uncovering the main impediment to service success and the main source of customer dissatisfaction; discovering and defining resource, response and respect gaps between customer expectations and service delivery realities; revealing unsatisfactory results of gaps; pinpointing strategies to close resource, response and respect gaps between customer expectations and service delivery realities; reliably saying ‘yes’ to every single constructive customer request – never say ‘no’ again.
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