Know Your Stuff

Good service is more than moving equipment, it's about solving the customer's problem.

As any frequent reader of Rental Product News knows, we focus on equipment. Specifically, our aim is to help you with the selection of that equipment, the applications it's best suited for, its maintenance and its safety. Occasionally, we delve into more esoteric concerns — such as how the diamonds in a diamond blade are made or how the properties differ between the various types of light used on light towers. The goal of such articles is to give you some background on the equipment your customers use on a daily basis so that you can assume the role of an expert.

In this issue, we take a close look at soil compaction in the article "The science of soil compaction" on page 12. For some of you, reading an explanation of the difference between cohesive versus granular soils is old news, but for others, it's brand new information. As I was writing the article, I found myself wondering if our readers find the explanation of soil particle size, compactive forces and the phenomenon of overcompaction as interesting as I do. I certainly hope that you do, not just because I want you to enjoy the magazine and find value in its content, but also because I know how frustrating it is to do business with people who aren't knowledgeable about whatever it is they're selling.

How many of us have found ourselves in a position to buy something, only to be faced with a salesperson or clerk who was so ignorant about the products or services he or she was selling that they essentially talked themselves out of our business? I know I personally appreciate going to a place of business and being made to feel like I'm in good hands, that there is a solution to whatever problem or task I'm facing. This is achieved when the employees exude knowledge and confidence. Under the best of circumstances, such employees cease to be clerks or salespeople, they become consultants.

In this magazine, we often mention the idea of becoming a solutions provider to your customers. As we all know, people rent things because there is some sort of challenge they're facing. It might be that the equipment they own broke down and they need a replacement or it might be that they have a big project to complete and need a unique tool they don't own themselves. In any case, when your customers come to you with their challenges, they want you to provide a solution and to do that, you need knowledge. That means if you have hundreds of products in inventory, you better know something about the hundreds of different problems those products can help solve.

So as you're reading about the science of soil compaction or any of the articles in this issue, consider that what you do is more than move equipment in and out of your yard. You are the solution to your customer's problem. It's a big job, so be sure you know your stuff.