In the previous blog we touched on the importance of your customers. Your ability to make it easy for them to do business with you creates a sense of loyalty. Why should they expect any less of you than they do of any other service they receive?
In this second in a series of four blogs we will look at another “Must-Do” for any hauler striving for success: Your culture communicates more about you than you might believe.
Every company has their own unique culture
Just as every individual has their own unique fingerprint, so every company has its own distinct culture. Whether or not leaders are proactive in building a culture or are at the mercy of one created reactively… every company has one. When you think of the culture engineered at Google, you see a creative organization that empowers its employees to collectively create.
On the other hand, when you think of a company like Nordstroms, one cannot help but to see a company committed to a culture of customer service. Too often, however, culture is difficult to discern. Companies that are not clear about what they want to accomplish and how are typically left with a “weak” culture. The result? Customers are left to decide this on their own and a great opportunity is lost.
We have heard the host of warnings against judging one another: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged,” “How can you say, ‘let me take the speck out of your eye’ when a log is in your own eye,” “Do not judge a book by its cover,” and “If you judge people, you have no time to love them”. The only reason why there are so many quotes about judging is because it is an integral part, like it or not, of the human condition. People will judge your company based on what they see or what they experience.
Your culture directly impacts how you are viewed by your customers. They experience your culture when they walk into your facilities, call into the office, speak with your CSR, see your trucks or deal with disputes. Every single point of contact your customers have with you gives evidence of the type of culture you have. What is your culture? Taking off your manager/owner hat, look around at your office…what do you “see”? When you are driving down the street and see your driver and truck…what do you “see”? What is being communicated by these simple expressions of culture?
You don’t have to be trashy to be in the trash industry
As I have traveled across the country visiting some of the best (and not-so-best) haulers in the country I have come to some basic conclusions.
First, those haulers that are clean and organized, both in their offices and with their trucks, seem to be the most competitive in their market. A few years back I ran across a study in the Psychological Science Journal that was interesting. Through a series of experiments research demonstrated that the notion of being clean significantly reduced the severity of judgments, showing that intuition, rather than deliberate reasoning can influence ones perception of what is right or not. Bottom line…the cleaner your facilities and trucks are, the more positive influence on your customers (or prospects) you may have.
Second, the cleanliness of the facility is just an outward expression of an inner conviction that permeates the whole company. They have a “thick” culture that is crafted out of a commitment to excellence. Their software must enable them to respond accurately and quickly; their drivers must be top notch; their CSR’s must be intuitive, friendly, responsive and utilize world-class waste hauler software; their websites must enable them to work efficiently; their carts are clean. Just because you are in the trash business does not mean that you must look trashy!
I would challenge you to take some time to objectively evaluate your business. What is it that you want to create? What does it now communicate to anyone that comes by your office, calls into the office or sees your truck? Do not leave chance to create that culture for you…be proactive.
Alpine Technology Corporation has been serving the waste industry for over 35 years with waste management software for both the office and the trucks. Their office software,Visual RAMS-Pro, provides billing, work orders, container inventory, route management, customer and account management and much, much more. Their industry-leading truck solution, Visual On-Route, is more than a mere routing software and allows the driver to be connected real-time to the office. Visual On-Route keeps the drivers accountable while allowing haulers the ability to generate additional revenue streams and cut expenses through efficiencies.