Canadian Rental Service

Eventology: Training the customer

By Michelle Nicol   

Features Business Intelligence opinion

It’s about communication and being a partner.

Michelle Nicol, account manager and festival specialist, Higgins Event Rentals

When we think of training, we automatically think of training our staff. You can’t train your customers because they are always right…right? In fact, we should also be thinking of training existing and potential customers to optimize the experience for both the customer and the company. Some areas we may want to focus on developing with the customers are how to properly and efficiently place orders; best practices for accurate orders and transactions; setting clear expectations regarding communication on both sides; and how to use equipment properly and safely.

It may seem intimidating to “train” someone who chooses working with you and gives your company business when there are other fish in the sea. This doesn’t have to be an “I’m right, you’re wrong” scenario but rather a leading opportunity for the customer that will ultimately benefit them in the end. Many customers place orders and then fail to review the order once emailed to them. In a situation where an item is missed or a wrong item is entered into a contract and isn’t caught, this results in a stressed-out client and a last-minute mad rush operationally to get them this missing item. At the end of the day, we are all human and if the customer can take three minutes to review their order, chances are high that this will eliminate many issues going forward. We can send the order to the client but how do we ensure the client will actually check the details? It might be as simple as an ask. You might try saying something like “Would you be able to review the details of the contract to ensure all is correct? We are committed to ensuring your delivery is smooth and accurate and I want to be sure that everything is included on the contract that you might require.” It also might be a good idea to highlight or underline important details such as dates, timing and special

Setting clear and precise expectations regarding communication between the sales representative and customer is key for smooth transactions on both ends. The customer should know the most efficient way to reach their sales representative and who to contact after-hours for an emergency if they are not the same. If there is an after-hour emergency and the customer emails their representative who is not expected to check their emails after hours, the client will not receive the support they need and will feel ignored and not valued. Providing your customer with the information of who the emergency contact is and how to reach them, you are reinforcing your support and dedication to their event as an involved member of their event team.

When renting out equipment to clients, especially big-ticket items such as cooking equipment, HVAC or products with an electrical component, it is in both the customers’ and suppliers’ interest to ensure the client is aware of the operational requirements in advance to safely and successfully operate these pieces of equipment. That might look like sending out an attachment for these items upon order confirmation and then again before the event. It might also be useful to attach a QR code to the items that links back to your website for tutorial videos and operating instructions. You can also create and print instructions, FAQ’s and safety guidelines in the form of a brochure or flyer and attach these directly to the items before departing your warehouse. We want to ensure that we have covered our bases and educated the client on the usage before and during their event.


Working with our customers should be a two-way, win-win experience, and keeping the lines of communication open will only reinforce a strong and long-lasting partnership. 

Michelle Nicol is an award-winning account manager and festival specialist with Higgins Event Rentals in Toronto.

Print this page


Stories continue below