This is the first in a series of such stories, as it is high in many recyclers awareness, as they wonder, will larger operations put others out of business? This first story discusses customer service, a key to success. One of the benefits of being among the industry’s thousands or smaller recycling facilities is that you enjoy rapid adaptability. Sole proprietors have the flexibility of not having to hold a meeting or notify partners or investors before making a change. You are able to meet the market on a whim. More importantly such recycler owners can offer something no one else can: you.
Sure the customer can go to a larger consolidation facility where they are just one of the several customers in progress, or they can come to your facility where you can take personal care of them. Focusing on attentiveness and how much more important every single customer is gives the small facilities advantage over our larger competitors.
Customers like personal attention; I know I like to be recognized when making a purchase. When I was about 10 years old my parents went to purchase new furniture. Anyone who knows my father is aware that he wears his gray uniform almost every where. When we arrived at a large department store mom picked out the furniture she wanted, and all the sales people ignored us. Dad was getting frustrated and called on a salesperson (of course they thought we were only taking up their time). He was told someone will be with you in a bit, that salesperson sent over a very green salesperson. My dad made the purchase in cash, and the reaction on the veterans salesperson face was priceless. Even at 10 years old I noticed the lack of customer service. When we train a new salesperson (which is not very often) we make it clear to them treat every customer like they are your parents, give them the attention you would want to have. Some of our first customers still walk through the door, or call looking for parts. It’s very important when your customer comes in or calls to treat them like a guest in your home give them eye contact that means so much, be positive on the phone; you can never go too far with being cordial, courteous and friendly.
Treat you customer well and they will return it in folds.
We have customers who call just to wish us happy holidays, customers who call that have sold their import but needs to know a respectable facility to purchase an American part.
With the continued growth of consolidators, small recycling facilities are likely to face even tougher competition in the future, but there will always be a place for smart recycling facilities of all size. When customers call or come in for a part they like to be recognized, they like the attention, they like the fact they think you personally pulled and tested their part.
Customers call you asking for help they have a problem and we have the ability to keep that customer for life, but do we?
This months article by Tammy Sturgeon, one of the consultants at autorecyclingconsultant.com
Tammy Sturgeon worked 10 years managing her fathers recycling facility, marring her competition, and then the past 10 years co-owning/managing their recycling facility, Tammy has been a leader in their local recycling group of 8 yards. She has had the privilege of helping 6 of the 8 yards with start up, including yard flow, systems, and procedures.
Remember, only you can make BUSINESS GREAT!
Please email if you would like me to send previous articles.
AutoSalvageconsultant.com was formed in 2001 to help recyclers improve their businesses. With over fifty years of experience in three staff members, the group is THE definitive source for recyclers’ management and training needs. The founder, Ron Sturgeon is past owner of AAA Small Car World. In 1999, he sold his six Texas locations, with 140 employees, to Greenleaf. In 2001, he founded North Texas Insurance Auction, which he sold to Copart in 2002. In 2002, his book “Salvaging Millions” was published to help small business owners achieve significant success, and was recently reprinted in the U.S., and published in Chinese. In June 2003, he joined the new ownership and management team of GreenLeaf. He also manages his real estate holdings and investments. You can learn more about how to help your business at www.autosalvageconsultant.com You can reach us at 5940 Eden Drive, Haltom City, TX 76117, (preferably) firstname.lastname@example.org or 817-834-3625 ext 6#.