Running a rental business can be an incredibly profitable enterprise. But it can also have a very thin profit margin with equipment purchase and upkeep overhead that’s considerably higher than that of many other businesses. As such, improving the performance, safety, and profit of a rental business in whatever ways are possible will be necessary for running a successful business. And sometimes, perhaps more often than not, those areas in which a business can be optimized and streamlined to guarantee success are the ones less often considered, the small—but ever so important—details.
There are any number of excellent guides to watching cash flow, taking advantage of equipment and product purchasing deals, analyzing your market and buying accordingly, knowing when to sell and upgrade equipment, etc. As those have been well-covered, this article is focused on a specific area in which that optimization can be accomplished: delivery. It covers not only practical equipment concerns, like when a stair climbing cart is a better choice than a traditional hand truck, but also why a well-trained and customer service-savvy delivery driver is so crucial to a rental business’s success.
Plan the Most Efficient Routes
Planning the most efficient delivery routes may seem like a relatively minor detail but it can make a big difference. Having the most efficient route provides a number of benefits. Primary among those benefits are basic practicalities: A more efficient route means less spent on gas, delivery vehicles being monopolized for less time, and more productive delivery drivers. This results in quicker delivery for customers—and keeping customers happy and pleased with the service is the name of the game. There are a number of apps and software programs that can be employed to optimize route efficiency. Familiarizing drivers with them makes good sense.
Use the Right Tools
Using the right tools for deliveries, particularly heavy rental equipment, saves time, saves labor, increases the efficiency of the delivery process, and most importantly, makes those responsible for the delivery safer. The key is having the tools that are best for the job. As mentioned earlier, almost every delivery driver is well aware of how incredibly helpful a hand truck is, but if the delivery driver has to navigate stairs during their deliveries, a stair climbing truck or cart is going to make the process far easier and safer for all. Likewise, if your rental equipment involves heavy, bulky, awkward loads, consider investing in a heavy duty hand truck with straps or employing an appliance hand truck. Investment in the right tools for the job can increase efficiency, safety, and pay huge dividends.
Delivery Drivers as Customer Service Ambassadors
It’s surprising how often the importance of the delivery driver as a customer service ambassador is overlooked. For many customers, the only personal interaction they’ll have with a representative of the company is interacting with the person doing the delivery. Their experience with the delivery person, good or bad, can absolutely shape or even solidify their decision regarding whether or not to utilize your business services again. It’ll also certainly influence how they’ll describe your business to friends and review it online.
Drivers are often the point of contact for customers who experience issues such as a mixed up order. How the delivery person reacts, how helpful and understanding they are, and everything else about their response to a customer’s problem will also very likely contribute to their opinion about your rental business. Therefore, it’s best to ensure that every member of the team, including people carrying out deliveries, have the tools, resources, and proper customer support training necessary to handle any situation effectively and professionally.