Recently a friend of mine had a less than positive experience with a rentals and sales company, that I would like to discuss. It should be a reminder of the importance of good customer service, properly training staff, and having certain standards within a company.
My friend went to an equipment rentals and sales company to purchase some tie rods for use in a concrete wall form he was building. He inquired about renting some wedges, pieces of metal used on the outside of the form-work to secure the tie rods in place. He was told that he needed to set up an account before he could rent the wedges, and that setting up an account could take up to two weeks. He asked if he could forgo the account, and make a deposit for the rental on his visa. The answer was no.
This resulted in my friend feeling rather frustrated. As an independent contractor it can be very time consuming to manage all the paper work of setting up a one time account. Not to mention, it’s unacceptable to stall a project for two weeks while waiting for paperwork and accounts to be set up. He found it hard to believe that this rental company was doing business this way.
Frustrated, and not sure what to do, my friend called the head office of this rental company, which is located in another city. He was informed by an accounts manager there, that contrary to what he was told, this company does in fact take a visa for a deposit on a rental, and an account set up is not required.
My friend called back to his local rental branch, and tried to see if he could rent the items he needed using his visa for a deposit, explaining that the head office said this was not a problem, and not anything out of the ordinary. The employee at the local branch refused to cooperate, and became quite belligerent on the whole matter, citing that practice didn’t work at his branch (but giving no clear, sensible reason as to why not).
My friend was very angry now. Why wasn’t using a visa for a deposit on a rental item, a regular way of conducting business? And why did one branch of the company say it was, and another branch say it wasn’t? Angry, he searched for, and soon found, another rental company with the rental items he needed, who were willing to rent them out, and accept a visa as a deposit. No hassles, no problems.
Why this was even an issue, I can’t say. From the customer’s point of view, it seemed that this rental store employee was just unwilling to help. Maybe there was a reason why he couldn’t take a visa deposit, but his attitude was very snappish.
My point in all this, is that businesses need to work smarter, and make processes easier for their customers. It shouldn’t be a fight to rent something, or to do business. Businesses should also make sure all of their employees are on the same page. If a process is too difficult for an employee to understand, an easier way should be developed.
Delivering exceptional customer service should be something that every business strives to do, and should be motivating their employees to do also. These are tough economic times, with fierce competition out there. Be the best you can be, or you may not stay in business, and employees you may not have job.
Businesses, and their employees should also remember this, you are there for the customer. In this day and age of social media, an experience such as this one can be reported to thousands of potential customers, who upon learning how poor the service is, will choose to shop elsewhere.