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How to build a customer experience programme on a new instruction

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When Colliers was appointed as property manager at Angel Gate in September 2021, I was brought onboard and tasked with creating and delivering a customer experience programme that would significantly enhance the day-to-day of our occupiers.


Since then, I have been busy getting to know the people and the properties that make up the business park.

At Angel Gate there are around 31 units, some of which are managed by us and some by the tenants themselves. We also have overall responsibility for the estate and the communal areas. My initial focus was getting the basics right. The pandemic had caused a lot of maintenance and repair works to be put on hold which meant that a lot of catching up had to be done.

Almost 12 months down the line we have made a range of changes to the site and uplifted its visual appeal in many ways. Moving forward we continue to further develop the estate and explore ways to further enhance the customer experience plan.

Communication is key

For me, the fundamentals for creating a great customer experience are communication, human interaction, and a focus on education. Communication is always top of my list as the simple act of asking what a customer wants and listening to the response is crucial in creating a good relationship and prevents a one size fits all approach to onsite issues. I would go so far as to say that 60 per cent of the complaints that come to a property manager are from improper, or lack of, communication. Even if something isn’t good news, let the tenants know - we all like to be kept informed.

Secondly, you can have the most amazing property, with technologically advanced gadgets and processes but the value of human interaction will always have a special impact on the customer experience. A slick site enhances the value to the customer journey by increasing the comfort level but it’s the human touch that creates memorable moments. In my role at Angel Gate, I am keen to be approachable and add value through one-on-one interactions with tenants, rather than being an estate manager tucked away in an office behind a PC. It is small things like picking up the phone rather than emailing that can make all the difference and a personal catch up is always the best!

And last but by no means least on the list is educating our clients. This is a key part of developing our customer’s experience, as they will look to us for solutions that are best for them. As leaders in the property business, we should use our knowledge and experience to bridge that gap. On the other hand, we also have a responsibility towards the landlord that has trusted us by awarding this site to Colliers. At times it can be a balancing act between onsite customers and our client (the landlord) but that is what makes this role special and rewarding.

Just like any other aspect of life, the customer experience too needs to be in a state of constant evolution. What is good today may be obsolete tomorrow and business needs also keep changing, so it is equally important to be flexible, adaptive, and innovative. In fact, one of my favourite things about the job is knowing that every day I have an impact on the tenants’ experience here at Angel Gate. It is a great feeling to know that I am the frontline person who is instrumental in the transformation of this property, helping propel it towards becoming a more lively, enjoyable, and better place to work and live.

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About the author
Sandip Arolkar has 20 years of experience in the services industry. He joined Colliers in September 2021 when Angel Gate joined the UK portfolio. To contact Sandip email Sandip.Arolkar@colliers.com


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Sandip Arolkar

Customer Experience Manager

Nile Management

London - West End

Sandip joined Colliers in September 2021, when they added Angel Gate estate, to the UK portfolio. He has since been working as the Customer Experience Manager onsite.

Sandip has over 20 years of experience in the service industry, ranging from Hospitality, Corporate, Legal, Government and the Private sector. He has worked for some highly prestigious organisations like Taj Group of Hotels, Al-Fardan Exchange, Thomas Cook, American Express, Hilton, Barclays, Ernst & Young, Slaughter and May, EMCOR, ISS, Sodexo and currently Colliers International. Working both client side as well as through service providers, has helped Sandip get an exposure to both sides of the facilities industry. Moreover, managing teams ranging from 5 people to 150 has helped him sharpen his people skills.

Sandip’s strength lies in his people skills and the ability to adapt to changing business needs and times. Having worked with various nationalities in India, UAE and currently the UK has its added benefits. Sandip graduated with a degree in Psychology, but the University of Life has taught much more throughout the journey.

As an intrinsically motivated person, Sandip is always looking towards progressing and developing himself, as well as adding value to an organisation, through the various roles he has had.

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