At Your Service: Meeting expectations
By Russ Dantu
Beware gaps between what you promise and what you deliver.
By Russ Dantu
I look at businesses that rent equipment and Air BnB rentals as very similar in the way they should take care of their businesses. Case in point: We just got back from a little three-day getaway close to our home. The place showed extremely well on their website and the price was fairly reasonable. When we got there, we saw a beautiful space, with an amazing view and it was tastefully decorated. We also saw a lot of deficiencies as we moved around the condo. Little things, or “the basics” that would have made a big difference to our stay…and a few larger things that needed to be taken care of.
The little things, or basics, were items like some dirty pots and pans – not filthy but not cleaned properly, either – in the cupboard. Cheap cooking utensils including only one spatula that had a permanent 90-degree bend where the face of the spatula was. A chipped glass lid that could slice someone if they didn’t notice it when removing it from the cupboard. An ice machine that didn’t work but two empty ice cube trays sitting in the freezer that should have been filled. A wine glass with a big chip in it. An expired park pass to Banff National Park even though they said it was included. A community hot tub that was out of order but no one told us until after we arrived. A TV that had Netflix only and no cable. Taps that were dripping. Doors and drawers that didn’t sit right.
The larger items were the bathrooms and kitchen looking quite old, maybe even original, in a 20-plus year-old building and a note saying, “If you open the windows, they will likely come off the track as there is a malfunction in them and you will have to remove the screen and put them back in the track.”
The difference between us having a good time and a great time was all in the way it was presented and then how it actually was.
With this in mind, are you being honest and truthful about what you offer? Does your website show an amazing list of rental equipment? Are your Google reviews all high ratings? The rental business offers many challenges with keeping items in good working order, in making sure they are cleaned after each rental, and in making sure we are upgrading our equipment when it needs to be retired.
We all want to get as many rentals as possible out of our equipment. Once it’s been paid for, every rental offers that much more profit, but when we’ve rented it five, 10, 15, 20 times more than the price we paid for it, we need to take a close look and see if it’s time to reinvest. This obviously depends on what type of rental equipment we are looking at. Obviously a knife and fork will last a lot longer than a tent, and a jackhammer might burn out more quickly than a generator. Whatever is your specific rental market, these are always the things we need to be aware of and address when it’s time.
The smaller things are a lot easier to handle and should be addressed in a regular discussion with our staff. Making sure our rental items are clean and in good service should be a no brainer. When people return rental items, are your staff taking the time to really check them over or quickly going through the motions of putting them back on the shelf for the next rental? Is your showroom looking great or less than desirable? Are your washrooms clean? Are your staff all wearing logoed uniforms and acting in a friendly, professional manner? Are they greeting the customer properly and then thanking them for their business?
Sometimes we need to get back to the basics. It will pay big dividends with keeping your customers not only happy, but also coming back.
Russ Dantu is a 30-year veteran of the rental industry and has been delivering workshops, seminars and keynotes on customer service for over 15 years. Visit russdantu.com.