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aztecrental
01-28-2010, 09:34 AM
Hello all,

First want to thank Steve for starting this forum, it seems like it is very helpful to all landscapers.

Why did we join? We wanted help Steve inform, educate and share some of our experience in the equipment industry. Aztec Rental is a equipment rental and retail company in Houston, Tx that has been in business since 1966.

Brands we carry: Ferris, Snapper, Cub Cadet, Stihl & Echo

We are looking forward LEARNING & hopefully helping a little along the way!

Steve
01-28-2010, 11:16 AM
Welcome to our forum!

I have seen your site through the twitter page!

I think it's really neat the operation you got going on there. What got you to start this initially? I bet there is a fascinating story behind it all.

SuperiorPower
01-28-2010, 12:31 PM
Welcome to the Forum!

aztecrental
01-28-2010, 06:43 PM
We are new to the forum world...so have a quick question. Can i have a email sent to me when there is a reply to a post that we have made?

Not sure if you were asking how we got to the forum or how Aztec was started so i will answer both. haha

Got to this forum through your twitter page, and i think you have got a nice thing going! You seem to have a good following and are helping alot of businesses.

Aztec Rental is a family owned and operated business that opened its doors in 1966. Started out as a small mom&pop store, and grew from there. Now we are one of the largest/complete independently run rental stores. Then came the new equipment sales. We were approached by many manufactures to sell there lines and chose the ones of best quality, and the ones that we would want to own. That is how Aztec was built! Customer Service, quality equipment, helping our customers with the right and best products...oh and customer service! Now we are even dealers for Purina Mills Feed and All Seasons Feeders.

I hope that wasnt to long...tried to make it as short as possible. But i could go on forever about the changes we have made.

Steve
01-28-2010, 07:37 PM
You can subscribe to threads to get email notification of responses. I think the setting is in your user control panel.

http://www.gopherforum.com/usercp.php

You'd think I'd know more on how to do this LOL. If anyone else remembers how to set this up, let us know.


WoW! Starting back in 1966! It's amazing to me how some businesses are able to grow slowly over time while others are around for a short time and then flame out.

Do you think there are any business lessons you learned from your experience that would help others grow over time like that?

aztecrental
01-29-2010, 12:38 PM
These might be common sense, but worth the reminder.

#1 - Customer Service, Customer Service and Customer Service! This can not be stressed enough or over done. We strive on customer service and believe in it beyond the point of purchase. Basically, dont try and make a quick buck. DO what is right for your customer not what makes you the most money. When customers come to us for rental equipment we find out what they are doing and get the right equipment for the job not one that can do the job and "rents" for more. Equipment sales, same thing. We suggest/sell the mower that is right for your application. We dont "push" a bigger mower on someone if they dont need it just to make more money on that sale. You NEVER want to put a bad taste of your company in a customers mouth.

#2 - For entrepreneurs and business owners (espically start ups or new ones) to grow you have to put money back into the company. So if you are having a great year, dont give yourself a huge raise or bonus and deplete that money. Put it back into the business for equipment, sales, advertising, etc. Whatever you think will get you more business, jobs, and INCOME. Then down the line you can start giving yourself the raises and bonuses.

Steve
01-29-2010, 10:40 PM
#1 - Customer Service, Customer Service and Customer Service! This can not be stressed enough or over done. We strive on customer service and believe in it beyond the point of purchase. Basically, dont try and make a quick buck. DO what is right for your customer not what makes you the most money. When customers come to us for rental equipment we find out what they are doing and get the right equipment for the job not one that can do the job and "rents" for more. Equipment sales, same thing. We suggest/sell the mower that is right for your application. We dont "push" a bigger mower on someone if they dont need it just to make more money on that sale. You NEVER want to put a bad taste of your company in a customers mouth.

I think many new businesses start up having the thought they are going to focus on the customer. They figure, that is how they will shine. But I think what tends to happen is they get worn down and grinded down over time and kinda let this float away.

The customers start becoming a pain. The complaints pile up and you just kinda get this mentality it's you vs. them.

How do you feel is the best way to combat this? How best can one keep they customer service quality high and not lose it's luster? How can a business owner keep it fresh so they don't get bored and lose interest in it?

#2 - For entrepreneurs and business owners (espically start ups or new ones) to grow you have to put money back into the company. So if you are having a great year, dont give yourself a huge raise or bonus and deplete that money. Put it back into the business for equipment, sales, advertising, etc. Whatever you think will get you more business, jobs, and INCOME. Then down the line you can start giving yourself the raises and bonuses.

Do you think there is an ideal % that should be spent on this?

aztecrental
01-30-2010, 02:21 PM
I think many new businesses start up having the thought they are going to focus on the customer. They figure, that is how they will shine. But I think what tends to happen is they get worn down and grinded down over time and kinda let this float away.

The customers start becoming a pain. The complaints pile up and you just kinda get this mentality it's you vs. them.

How do you feel is the best way to combat this? How best can one keep they customer service quality high and not lose it's luster? How can a business owner keep it fresh so they don't get bored and lose interest in it??

You should NEVER develop this mentality. If a customer is willing to hire you (give you money) that is how you grow! If you start going down that path it will snowball in a hurry and you dont want that! In the landscape business it so saturated that i think you get a lot of business by word of mouth. So lets say you have multiple clients on one block. If there is compliants and you lose interest in customer service, i am sure neighbors will talk and boom..you lose a street not 1 customer!

If there are complaints the first thing you should do is put yourself in there shoes and ask honestly if they are valid compliants or if they are trying to get over on you. If they are valid then you make it "right" for the customer, and then FIX the problem in your business. If you think they are trying to get over on you or there is nothing you can do to satisify the customer, then you just have to let them go. Suggest another company and thank them for the business they gave you and move on. Its not worth the your time and money. But always end it on the best terms possible.

Do you think there is an ideal % that should be spent on this

no way to put a % on it. You have to asses your own business as there will be different factors & needs for each company and put it in what you think you need and get you more business.

Steve
01-30-2010, 10:36 PM
If there are complaints the first thing you should do is put yourself in there shoes and ask honestly if they are valid compliants or if they are trying to get over on you. If they are valid then you make it "right" for the customer, and then FIX the problem in your business. If you think they are trying to get over on you or there is nothing you can do to satisify the customer, then you just have to let them go. Suggest another company and thank them for the business they gave you and move on. Its not worth the your time and money. But always end it on the best terms possible.

This makes me think of how different business will go to different length in order to make their customers happy.

When you look at Walmart, you see a company where you can go buy something, take it home, open it up and for what ever reason if you don't like it, you can take it back for a refund with 90 days is it?

Do you think this effects a customer's confidence in shopping there?

When you reflect on your experiences working at your store, I am sure there are always some customers trying to get away with something, but is it ever better to have a return policy like Walmart's or would that break the bank of most small businesses?

It seems to me, even if a customer is trying to get away with something and you stop them, they will still probably go out there and bad mouth you.

aztecrental
01-31-2010, 10:47 PM
Oh yeah. You can't stop them all or have a perfect record. I am just speaking in general what you want to try and do. You will have some you will never make happy no matter what you do. Those you can not waste your time and money on.

Small businesses like ours can not adapt the "walmart" strategy either. You point is right on, we couldn't make it that way. I am only saying make it "right" for the customer if your company was in the wrong.