As a manager, you work extra hard to make sure you treat everyone fairly and respond to all questions and concerns in a timely fashion. Customer service is one of your top priorities!
But is that true of all your employees? Your maintenance techs actually spend more time with tenants and in tenants’ apartments than you do. How well do they represent the property and management company? Are they leaving muddy footprints on floors, are they communicating with tenants respectfully or are they just trying to get their job done as fast as possible? Just like any other member of the property staff, the maintenance techs should be trained in customer service and best practices for dealing with tenants.
Every time your techs are sent on a maintenance call, they are entering someone's home. It doesn't matter if it is the sixth or seventh unit of the day, it is the center of someone's world, and they expect you to treat it that way. It is uncomfortable to let someone into your home when they are gruff and dirty and rude; it is also upsetting to come home to a mess left by the maintenance tech. Whether the tenant is home or not, make sure the techs act accordingly.
Here are a few tips for maintenance technicians to ensure your tenants stay happy:
- Leave no trace. The tenant shouldn't see any evidence that you were in their apartment. Sure, some repairs may be messy but be sure to clean up afterward.
- Leave a maintenance slip with a signature that the resident can keep in their records.
- If the tenant is home, be courteous and friendly, smile and tell them why you are there so they are comfortable letting you in.
- Does the tenant have pets? Know this before you enter the unit, so you don't accidentally let it out or into hazardous materials. (It may be best to give the tenant an appointment time so they can kennel the animal while you are there).
- Respect lifestyles. They may live differently than you and that’s okay. Perform the maintenance requested without judgment.
- It is impractical to take off your shoes for every unit, but you can use booties that cover your shoes so you are not dragging in dirt and mud from outside. Just make sure you are using new booties for each unit and not wearing them from unit to unit.
- When you run into someone around the complex and they ask for a quick fix, take the information and let them know you will get it to the manager who schedules the maintenance calls. Bumping someone to the front of the list may seem courteous, but it can actually be a fair housing issue.
- Every issue may not be an emergency but be sure to get to it in a timely fashion, because it is affecting the resident’s life.
Everyone is busy and has a lot to deal with, but the tenants are your customers and pay you a lot of money to maintain their homes. Make sure everyone on the property understands customer service and treats each tenant and each maintenance issue as the important task it is.