We've got you covered
In our line of business, a little reassurance tends to go a long way. And while we’ve always been great at keeping close to our customers in the grounds maintenance side of our business, that’s not necessarily been the case when it comes to our winter activities – until recently.
We are expanding rapidly and bringing on board new customers all the time – for example, we just recently added supermarket chain Aldi to our roster of winter clients – so we’ve recognised we need to make sure we’re looking after them just as much as we do our grounds maintenance customers. That’s where my role comes in.
As one of our newly created Regional Contracts Managers, I act as a bridge between our operational field teams and our customers. What the military would call ‘boots on the ground’. In practice, I’m the face of Ground Control when our customers want to see someone in person and need reassuring about our service, which is essentially an educational role. But it’s about relationship building as well – and the best way of doing that is by being visible.
Most of my conversations with customers are about the service we provide and the equipment and salt we use. It’s a lot about managing expectations, because some customers expect to see a heavy covering of salt or a ‘Back to Black’ spotless car park and do not always understand how the product works. On the ground explanation of adequate spread rates and salt activation by vehicle traction goes a long way towards alleviating customer concerns.
But it’s a two-way process – I want to make sure we’re giving customers the best service possible, so I’ll talk to them about their particular requirements. We work with a lot of clients in the emergency services and they have specific, critical areas of concern. For example, I visited one of the hospitals we look after recently and they said they need us to pay special attention to the areas just outside A&E and where the ambulances come in. That’s crucial information I need to feed back to our teams who are critical in delivering our promises.
Another essential part of my role from a business perspective is organically growing the number of sites we service with our existing clients. That means much of my focus is on our smaller customers, making sure they are getting the service they have paid for and that they have all the information they need.
Overall, it’s about keeping customers happy so they feel confident enough to renew their contract with us. That could involve providing them with quotes for extra work, explaining how grit works or just reassuring them we have carried out the work we are contracted to do and that we are looking after them. In the middle of winter, there’s no better time to demonstrate you have a service customers can count on.
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