Rhinowash Director Mark Burns is answering the age-old question “How do you put your customers first whilst protecting the bottom line?”, whilst explaining how our customer-centred business strategy not only protects the values which Rhinowash was built on but how it actually benefits both our customers and the business as a whole. We would never make a sale, just for the sake of a sale, keep reading to find out why.
It’s an age-old question for any business owner, “How do we put our customers first whilst protecting our bottom line?”. Whilst it’s a question that many still struggle with, it’s one that we here at Rhinowash have no trouble answering. Without hesitation, our customers always come first. Of course, we are a business first and foremost, however, the values that Rhinowash was built on and were handed down from my father, of integrity, trust and morality, are worth far more to us than just for the sake of making a sale.
The best advice I can offer? If you’re in conversation with a prospective customer and there’s a niggling in the back of your head, perhaps it feels like there’s a misalignment between their values and yours, or the service they’re looking for vs. what you provide. If you’re frightened to mention that for the risk of jeopardising a sale, you’re coming from the wrong place. If there’s any doubt at all, we need to put that right before we push a sale across the line that might threaten what we hold so dear: our integrity, our reputation and our brand. At the end of the day, it’s our name on the tin so of course, we take this very seriously. I believe that approaching a sale with the right intention and ensuring that there’s clarity around the potential relationship you’re about to enter with that customer, that is the key to both customer satisfaction and business success.
Over the years, we’ve established a customer-first strategy that benefits both our customers and the Rhinowash business. This strategy is underpinned by 5 key factors.
Whilst it might seem obvious, it really is true that our customers are at the heart of our business operations. By being honest and providing our potential customers with factual information from that very first interaction, we are making sure that they understand our values and our brand, as much as we’re looking to understand their needs. It’s absolutely a two-way street, and we’d never push a sale if there’s a misalignment on either side.
Having this understanding is crucial as although we service a variety of different market sectors, we appreciate that all customers’ requirements are different. It might sound crazy for there to be such a wide scope when it comes to pressure washers, but it is vital that we understand their requirements so we can ensure the individualised and modified Pressure Washer solution we provide, is the one that’ll work for them, saving them both time and money in the long run.
Meet in the Middle
We understand that we might not be the right fit every time and that is why we place so much value on having open and frank conversations with any prospective customers. What we offer isn’t an impulse purchase for the masses, it’s an investment that is tweaked and modified for each individual customer to ensure it lives up to the expectation that we set. Our customers should be aware that they’re entering into a long-term affiliation with us, as this continued relationship and servicing is fundamental to what we do here at Rhinowash.
It’s steeped in our company values to always be candid in these initial conversations with any prospective customers, and ensure we manage expectations. Sometimes those customers won’t share our values or views and that’s simply part-and-parcel of doing business. On other occasions, we might need to reign in our own stances and find the middle ground.
If this sounds like we’re potentially talking ourselves out of a sale, sometimes this may be the case. But how does it benefit us to enter into a relationship and supply a product to a customer whom we recognise and know their expectations or requirements are unlikely to be met? By having these frank conversations we’re ensuring that we’re protecting our customers’ investments as well as our reputation.
The customer-centricity that is at the centre of our business operations is abundantly apparent when you consider that this is what prompted our iconic Quick Swap Modular Design. Many years ago, during a particularly harsh winter, we suffered and regrettably, let some of our customers down. This was a first for us and something we took very personally, so we made it our mission to ensure that this would never happen again.
This passion drove the invention of a streamlined model, that became the completely unique, industry-leading Quick Swap Modular Design. This design ensures that if a machine were to break down, we have complete confidence that we can guarantee the first-time fix every time!
Shift in Control
Over the years, the element of preventative maintenance and servicing has become every bit as important as the quality of the products we manufacture. As this proves our worth not just as a pressure washer manufacturer, but as a company you can trust to respond when something doesn’t work. This highlights to our loyal customers the value in the long-term relationship we maintain.
At the end of the day, even though we are so diligent about design and manufacturing to the highest of standards, the products we produce are electromechanical so it’s unavoidable that they can be subject to failure now and then, or damage from simple wear and tear.
Our warranty plans and the option to hire equipment are other ways in which we can put the control back into the hands of the customer. We actively encourage our customers to ensure they always have spare hoses and lances, and on top of that, we offer effective hose management systems to prolong the lifespan of consumables. This shows our customers we’re not just upselling, rather we’re interested in extending the duration of their investment.
Honesty is the Best Policy
Part of the Rhinowash customer service I’m particularly proud of is our personal touch. Travelling around the sites, assessing the locations and actually speaking to our customers face-to-face is a small thing that can make a big difference in terms of customer satisfaction. It also helps us to do our job better.
If a customer calls and asks for a replacement machine, we could easily offer a straight like-for-like replacement and maximise the profit. But that’s not what we do, instead, we’ll visit the site, conduct a full assessment and make our recommendations. What may have been true to that site 10 years ago when the machine was installed might not be true today. Perhaps they’ve had the pressure washer situated outside, where naturally it will deteriorate quicker from exposure to the elements. Now, what they have is scope for a better-protected solution. It’s vital that we see an old site through new eyes and explore potential ways we can maximise the value of our customers’ investment.
With that said, we also know when to say no. Just last week I visited the site of one of our oldest customers, whose machine had worked a day in day out for nearly 34 years! He was experiencing a fault with the machine and was looking for a fix. On the one hand, if there was a fix, we wouldn’t have hesitated to do so but given the nature of the fault, the damage and the age of the machine, it was the right call to retire the pressure washer and make our recommendations for a replacement. Don’t think for a minute we will rest on our laurels of the positive relationship over all those years, but rather, we now start asking ourselves, what can we do this time to bring even more benefit or value to this customer? And so, the cycle begins again.