A blonde woman hops out of a pickup truck as men working a construction site exchange glances, unsure of who she is. She asks where they'd like her to leave her company's dumpster and what wasted materials she should dispose of. She informs the workers that it's her first day on the job.
After she flawlessly performs her task, the workers share words of surprise and gratitude toward her efforts. She politely asks that they call her boss and share their sentiments. Minutes later, as she's pulling out of the site, her phone rings with overjoyed construction workers telling her about this incredible employee who just stopped by their site. Of course, that was her, and it's not her first day on the job.
Meet Neenah Marie, the owner of Bin There Dump That's San Antonio franchise.
When she's not playfully breaking down gender stereotypes, Marie spends her time leading one of the most popular waste removal companies in the San Antonio area. Marie, who holds years of experience in the industry, heads a franchise with phenomenal customer service practices. The internet is filled with five-star reviews for Bin There Dump That's San Antonio franchise, due in large part to Marie's creative thinking when it comes to customer service. So what's her approach?
1. Educate your customers.
Most businesses and residents don't know much about renting dumpsters until it comes time to actually rent one. With very few competitors making efforts to explain the ins and outs of working with a trash removal company, Marie saw an opening. When a customer calls Bin There Dump That, they aren't getting sold on a product, but rather educated on what they should consider when renting a dumpster.
For example, Bin There Dump That places a board system under the dumpsters when working on someone's driveway. With larger dumpsters sometimes weighing as much as 3,000 pounds, there's potential for serious driveway damage. The average customer might not be aware of this, so Bin There Dump That makes a point to mention it on calls, even if the original phone call doesn't seem like it might lead to a sale.
"We start to explain to them and educate them a little bit more in regards to what sets us apart," Marie said. "And, I'm not kidding, probably 75 percent of them immediately go, 'Oh, well, I don't want my driveway messed up. I now get it, let's do this.' It makes it really nice to kindly educate someone versus pushing a sale down their throat."
Marie's point holds value for nearly every small business. Building a relationship can lead to sales, but trying to force sales upon customers rarely leads to a strong relationship.
Bin There Dump That found that potential customers were calling around to different waste removal companies, trying to get more information on each company. By avoiding an overly salesy approach, educating consumers and being present for customers, Bin There Dump That generates trust, especially compared to competing businesses in the area.
"We shop other people who provide the same type of service and they don't even answer the phone," Marie said. "It's sad. We are totally set apart by being educators in the industry, and we actually answer the phone."
2. Go above and beyond.
Marie and her team of trash removal experts do more than pick up the phone when customers call – they do everything they can to make their service stand out to customers. In addition to educating customers, Marie's team provides the board system to prevent damage and sweeps up afterward.
"No one else in the industry goes to that length," Marie said. "I think that's how we remain consistent across the board."
Small businesses everywhere can learn from Marie's mindset. Bin There Dump That doesn't compare its quality of work to what competitors do, but rather to its customers' dream experience. If the company can make its customers happy consistently, it's done the job effectively. By taking a customer-focused approach, Bin There Dump That establishes itself as a leader in its industry.
While the company consistently receives positive reviews, almost every business faces negative reviews and unhappy customers at some point. When your business faces negative reviews, it's important to face the critics head-on and own up to any mistakes.
In fact, one of Bin There Dump That's negative Google reviews came from what appeared to be a fake account. Marie made note that she believed the review was fake, but still responded to the negative review in case any prospective customers were reading reviews and wanted to see the response to a one-star review. By making the extra effort to politely respond to customer complaints, even some that might be completely inaccurate, your business builds trust among prospective customers and shows how much it values the customer experience.
A customer-focused approach means putting yourself in the customer's shoes and attempting to understand their complaints. In many cases, being polite and sympathetic resolves the issue.
"It is the goal to make sure that they feel whole again," said Marie.
3. Incentivize excellence.
Marie gives gas cards to employees who receive customer compliments or positive reviews. This relatively inexpensive incentive gives employees an extra reason to strive to please customers, while also giving employees recognition for succeeding in their role.
"People are so quick to say negative things, but aren't as quick to say positive things," said Marie. "I always like to reward anybody who is doing their job well."
By emphasizing not only a customer-focused but also an employee-centered culture, Marie makes sure everyone remains happy. Incentives for great customer service motivate Marie's team to provide the best service possible.
With her team following her lead and motivated by sensible incentives, the business sustains a company culture built around going above and beyond for their customers. When new employees come in, they know exactly what to expect and how to treat customers. This makes excellence in customer service more of a habit than a chore.
"Once you put a standard in place and the team is on board with that standard, it doesn't become a difficulty," Marie said. "It just becomes a way of life."