With the coworking market growing at an extreme speed it’s essential to set your workspace apart from competitors. According to Allworkspace, the number of coworking members will rise to 3.8 million by 2020 and 5.1 million by 2022. Some operators may view the increasingly competitive market as a threat, but others take full advantage and leverage this opportunity to stand out from the crowd.
Historically, operators have relied on traditional differentiators such as space and staff. With market growth rapidly increasing, operators, landlords, and CRE players can no longer rely on simple brand and messaging pillars to distinguish their brand. Differentiation can be made in a host of different ways. Below we highlight some of the best technology that you can adopt in your flexible workspace to set yourself apart in the competitive coworking market. Read on to discover more.
In this article:
Keep your tenants happy
Tenant experience and customer satisfaction should always be the main focus for any flexible workspace and rightly so – without members can you even classify your space as a coworking business? It may sound obvious, but if you keep your tenants happy, this will positively impact your business performance and reputation. Reap the benefits from word of mouth recommendations and a loyal customer base.
The best differentiation you can have is going the extra mile for customers. Differentiate your brand with a customer-centric culture and a focus on hospitality that will stand out in their minds. It’s amazing what an impact having friendly and sociable staff who greet and engage your customers can make on the member’s experience. When building a community in your coworking space, staff are one of the most differentiating factors. A positive interpersonal experience will keep your member base coming back and even growing. Rather than just a place to work, your coworking space will become a place where members come for the people and to build connections.
Differentiating your brand demands that you ask yourself whether the experience you promise matches the experience you offer. Your member base is what keeps your businesses going, so meeting and exceeding the expectations they have of your workspace should be a priority.
With excellent customer service and adoption of the below coworking technologies, you will be sure to stand out from the crowd and ultimately improve member experience.
A new way of purchasing products and services
It’s common for a lot of flexible workspaces to offer meeting room credits but why stop there? Be different to the rest and roll out credits across all services and products rather than just a standard meeting room credit package. Credits are essentially a virtual currency that tenants can use to book desks and meeting rooms as well as any other products or services operators offer.
Credits can be purchased ad hoc, monthly or in bulk, offering a seamless way of purchasing for your customers. Your tenants will benefit from the flexibility of the purchasing options and the ability to plan their future spend based on previously purchased credit packages. For you the operator, this means you will be able to bring forward payments and accurately forecast member’s future spending, aiding important business decisions. Members will have control over billing and be able to purchase in one transaction rather than on an ad hoc basis which can be hard to keep track of and very easy to get out of control in terms of business cash flow. This organization and efficiency will ultimately improve member experience and offer a substantial competitive advantage.
Credits are easy to use and manage, especially if your coworking space has a mobile booking app, which swiftly brings us onto the next way you can differentiate your coworking space.
Allow members to remain productive from wherever they are
In coworking and flex-space working environments, it’s critical that operators provide tenants with technology that helps them stay productive while away from their desks.
Tenants are always on the move, so it’s essential to give them the ability to book and pay for meeting rooms from the convenience of their phones. Not all operators will have access to their own personalized mobile app, so this brand reinforcement can be used as a form of differentiation.
A softphone can help differentiate your workspace offering while delivering an excellent member experience. A softphone is a software application on your computer or mobile device that can be used to make phone calls over the Internet, offering complete flexibility and mobility to members.
The more capabilities you enable your tenants with, the happier they’ll be and longer they’ll stay.
Member self-service is the way forward
Give your customers the ability to self-serve and purchase on-demand services from a digital member interface. It’s also an excellent opportunity to differentiate by creating a friendly environment for networking and enabling your tenants to collaborate on ideas with other companies within your building and actually “cowork.”
Make sure your digital member-focused area is accessible via a mobile app so tenants can book meetings rooms and access invoices at their convenience. With a mobile app, members can use it on the move on any internet-enabled device when it suits them.
The above features are important and can positively act as a form of differentiation, but it’s important to remember that if you don’t have the essential services in place such as Wi-Fi and Voice, then nothing else matters. It sounds drastic but believe us, not all workspaces have reliable, secure and quality internet or voice services. Your members won’t be sticking around if your Wi-Fi doesn’t work.
Differentiate your brand by the level of technology services you offer. The top reason members leave a workspace is due to poor internet. Providing a genuinely secure and reliable network with both wireless and cabled connectivity gives you a competitive edge against the standard coworking space with cobbled together DIY Wi-Fi.
Doing it yourself can prove to be impossible to manage across multiple locations. This is why we suggest an enterprise-grade software platform to remove the complexities around IT infrastructure and workspace management.
Another thing that can set operators apart when it comes to Wi-Fi is the ability for tenants to roam seamlessly across all of your sites. It’s common for today’s office occupiers to require access to different locations across a city, state or even country. Enabling them to experience your workspace portfolio easily and friction-free with instant access to Wi-Fi is a benefit they’ll appreciate. Again, this contributes to a seamless and redundant experience that will not go unnoticed.
Core technology services should enable a productive and fulfilling work experience and engagement with your workspace by being quick and easy to use. The right technology solutions – reliable and secure Wi-Fi along with a platform with which they can book rooms, manage their invoices and payments, and interact with the community – enhances the experience at your workspace.
Don’t forget personalization is critical. The more targeted your offering is to your customer base, the more services you’ll be able to offer them.
Distinguish your services
In summary, increased market competition is motivation to distinguish your brand and services from the crowd. As the market grows, coworking operators must work harder to maintain optimal occupancy rates, retain existing customers and attract new ones.
It’s not always about a lower price point or offering niche, funky amenities to stay competitive, but higher quality services that better position your tenants and members to run their business in a productive and engaging environment.
From the top of the line technology and digital experience to business resources, the caliber of services you offer and how you deliver them will help to distinguish your business from the run of the mill coworking space.
In the competitive, flexible workspace market, you need to be offering members the best of the best technology and take your offering to the next level to outperform the competition. With essensys, you can do this, a comprehensive workspace platform that provides technology that improves member experience.
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