We are all aware the struggling economy has had a major impact on the scope and magnitude in the planning of events, which has negatively affected the rental industry as a whole. Now more than ever, in these difficult times, it is critical for us to restore confidence to our customers by providing value and trust when caution and lack of confidence are still apparent.
Throughout the last 30 years, I have witnessed the ups and downs of the rental industry and in those decades I, as well as the rental professionals and staff members I worked with, have faced many challenges from bad weather to ultra-tight deadlines to major last-minute changes. However, the one constant has been providing the best customer service we can offer, despite any roadblocks we might face.
I have been involved in coordinating large blockbuster sporting events with tenting and structures. Events include three Olympic Games, 19 Kentucky Derbies, 15 Super Bowls, and numerous U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open golf outings as well as various men’s and women’s tour stops along the way. Then throw in a pair of Ryder Cups, U.S. Open tennis tournaments, Major League Baseball All-Star Games and NBA All-Star Games along with my recent experience in disaster relief. Along with other staff members, I was on the ground only days after Hurricane Katrina hit, organizing the construction of structures across the Gulf Coast Region.
Despite the high-profile events I’ve been involved in, next spring I face what may well be my biggest challenge to date — helping plan my son’s wedding. While our customers present us with events of high stature, sometimes it’s the more personal and private events that can create in us an incredible amount of personal achievement and excitement.
Whether it is your own family, your most loyal customers or a national event, I think the most important role of a company is simply doing whatever it takes to get the job done. Focusing on my clients has been my greatest strength. I love this industry. I love what I do and I love my customers. You shouldn’t be in this business unless you feel strongly about it. Customers will recognize your commitment and dedication, by rewarding you with return visits.
Our business is more than just delivering and setting up rental equipment. It’s about working alongside our customers and really learning about them and caring about their events. Let’s never forget the important role we play in fulfilling our clients’ dreams and visions. Let’s go above and beyond the service levels our customers have come to expect. Satisfying our customers is what will set us apart and will allow us to continue to do what we all love.
John Campanelli, president and CEO of Classic Party Rentals, Los Angeles, feels a tough economy can either hurt a company or it can be the opportunity for us to seize opportunities to better serve our clients in providing value-added products and services by analyzing ways to help them. For example, last year Classic was the tent supplier for the U.S. Open. This year, we also provided flooring in addition to tenting since their previous flooring supplier was no longer in business. Classic saw this as an opportunity to make an investment in not only the flooring, but in developing a stronger relationship with a very valuable client as well.
No matter who the client is, handling the coordination of the additional equipment and services to ensure they are executed flawlessly and also providing needed equipment and coordination will serve to better strengthen your relationship with customers. Knowing they can depend on you can be more of a comfort than we might even realize.
We all know the economy will improve and, in turn, so will the business climate. Instead of looking back at the business that was, let’s look forward and embrace what we can do to provide value to the customers we have and to instill confidence and loyalty for the better days that are certainly ahead.