Ever wondered about the person who calls you? Have a read of the work life of Stella, who I am sure you would have spoken to on the phone!..
As part of my role as ‘New Business Development Manager’ I get to make lots of telephone calls. These fall into two categories, the brand new prospective customers that have never ordered from us before and those that have hired from us in the past but not for some time. Both are very interesting in their own ways and I enjoy speaking with both.
Leads for new customers come in from a variety of sources. Our drivers are very good at ‘site spotting’ when they are out on their rounds and often call in with new leads, as does my manager who frequently takes photographs of builders vans and sends them in. Some people may call it stalking, I call it initiative. Trade shows, websites and magazines are a more traditional source of information. Tracking down the right person to speak with is sometimes interesting but is all part of the challenge that I enjoy.
When contacting people who have ordered from us previously but we haven’t heard from them for a while, there may be a number of reasons. Many individuals hire toilets from us for their personal projects; building renovations, bathrooms and extensions etc. It’s funny how people don’t want builders tramping round their houses in muddy boots to use the loo! These tend to be one-off’s although we occasionally get additional business from recommendations which, is always nice.
Some building companies may use us for a job they have won locally to us, not realising that we actually cover all of London and the South East. They believe that as our depot is in Hampshire we will only service that area. They may not have heard about our new depot in Kent. Part of my job is to make sure they are informed that we can service a much larger geographical area than they first thought.
There are other customers who may have hired or purchased heras fencing from us in the past but have no idea that we actually supply a large range of portable chemical and mains toilets, both with hot and cold water, disabled toilets, wheeled cabins, canteens and fully integrated welfare units to name but a few. It is always good to call them and remind them of our full product range.
Of course, when you have been around for as long as Site Equip, you get to see some companies flourish and others sadly fail. Construction can be a fickle business. Some of our sole trader customers may have retired and others may have passed on to a better place, like Cornwall, for example!
Some prospective customers only associate us with construction whereas we supply golf clubs, fisheries, allotments, farms (from fruit to solar), burger vans; basically anywhere a portable convenience is convenient!
Occasionally, of course, there is the occasional customer who for one reason or another was not enamoured with our service. I am happy to say that these are very rare and there is usually an underlying reason when dig deep enough. We do make mistakes but we work very hard to minimise them and put things right as quickly as possible. Sadly you can’t please all of the people all of the time but we will give it a bloody good go!
I really enjoy the diversity of the people I get to talk to and always appreciate their time on the phone. I think it is important to respect when people are busy and not become a nuisance but I will always make the best of an opportunity to find out more about our customers, their needs and how we can help them.
Some people call in just to compare pricing. I am happy to say that we are not always the cheapest, nor do we want to be. We pride ourselves on giving a top class service and sometimes it is best to just let some people go. More often than not, they will come back to us when it all goes wrong with their previous supplier. Having said that, we will always give a good deal and think that value for money is key to client retention, and we have many loyal clients.
Certainly, there are days when all lines are engaged, disconnected or the person you wish to speak with is either not available or not interested but occasionally you get to speak with a real gem and it makes it all worthwhile.
So if our number pops up on your phone, please be nice, it might just be little old me calling to see if there is anything we can do to help you. We can probably do more than you think.