InTents December/January 2020 - 56

business | management

Win business with
top-notch customer service
Keep your tent rental clients satisfied-and returning-with these
six tips for five-star customer service.
by Sarah Crews

our company and your employees
are the backbone of events from
high-end weddings and corporate galas
to backyard parties and festivals. And
your image is on the line each time,
from booking to takedown. Here are
six strategies from some of the best in
the tent rental business for providing
customer service that keeps clients
happy and returning for more.

Y
Go paperless
Going paperless does more than
save trees. A to Z Party Rental,
Montgomeryville, Pa., is going
paperless in-house and on the road,
finding it offers numerous customer
service benefits. "Our drivers use
mobile tablets to get electronic
signatures for delivery and photos
of deliveries (giving clients peace
of mind), and all copies get emailed
to the clients," says A to Z president
Melani Kodikian. "Clients sign
reservations and make payments via
email, and walk-in customers sign
their contracts on a tablet we keep
in-house. Our customers really like
this because they don't have to keep
a lot of paper, and yet they never lose
the information. We also keep tabs
on customer service by requesting
a social media review by email with
every closed contract. While we love
any positive reviews we get, the
more important aspect in terms of
customer service is to address and
resolve every negative situation or
complaint directly with the customer."

56 intents

dec 2019-jan 2020

1. Train every employee to think in
terms of customer service. Planners
and salespeople are on the front lines
of customer service. But what about
the crew chief ? Installers? Drivers?
Warehouse workers?
David Spata, owner of Big Tent Events
Inc., Carol Stream, Ill., says that every
employee needs to know a company's
mission statement and be incentivized
to execute it. "Sometimes it takes a sitdown conversation with departments to
see how their role and activities impact
customer service," Spata says. "The event
industry is known for being a highly
emotional environment because of the
high stress customers are under and
their concern for how they will be perceived if everything doesn't look beautiful. Employees need to be trained on
what to say as much as things not to say."
Employees will treat customers well if
they are treated well, says Liz Davis, vice
president of operations at PTG Event
Services, Bethpage, N.Y. Davis has found
that employee manuals that outline steps
and processes have given employees

at her company the tools to provide
excellent customer service. "This was
initially built as an operational training
guide, but was so helpful we implemented
it in sales and customer service," she says.
"The document has template emails for
common scenarios, product information
and customization options. . . . The staff
assisted with writing, and we add and edit
[the manuals] regularly as we encounter
new scenarios and challenges."
2. Consider ϐirst impressions. At
Pelican Tents & Events, Shreveport, La.,
owner Moss Duvall puts an emphasis
on employee appearance, especially for
those who go on-site to clients' homes
and businesses. "All of our guys wear
uniforms with their names and our logo
on the front of their shirts," Duvall says.
"They have a set for each day of the week,
so they are clean and wrinkle free. We
have a company that does all the washing,
ironing and ϐixing of all the snags in their
uniforms. No smoking or cell phones
are allowed at any time. We want our
employees to make the customer feel as
comfortable as possible with all that goes
into the production. We are invading their
space, and we want them to feel relaxed
with all the chaos that is going on."
3. Identify the tools that will help you
provide top-notch customer service.
Orlando Wedding & Party Rentals, Lake
Mary, Fla., uses a customer relationship
management (CRM) system to keep
up with leads and opportunities for



InTents December/January 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of InTents December/January 2020

InTents December/January 2020 - Cover1
InTents December/January 2020 - Cover2
InTents December/January 2020 - 1
InTents December/January 2020 - 2
InTents December/January 2020 - 3
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