In my first Tenant Service In Action blog post, I mentioned that tenant satisfaction isn’t just a nice idea … it makes good business sense as well. I quoted a statistic from an article in the Harvard Business Review: A five percent increase in tenant retention can result in a 40% increase in profit. That statistic comes from a classic HBR article titled Zero Defections: Quality Comes to Services. The crux of the article is that because retention rates are measurable, they’re manageable. It goes on to say that in order to effectively implement a service quality strategy, there needs to be buy-in at every level of the organization, especially at the senior level. And that buy-in must be supported by ongoing training.
This mirrors very closely my experience at Marathon Realty, where I was Manager of Service Excellence (great title, huh?) in the mid-nineties. Marathon developed an industry-wide reputation for excellence in tenant service, culminating in receiving the Canada Award for Excellence in 1996. Based on my experience at Marathon, the key to the success of its service quality program rested on three cornerstones: senior management commitment, training, and regular tenant satisfaction surveys to measure the success of the program.