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May 6, 2019
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How to Deal with Hard-to-Reach Units

Are inaccessible portable restroom units costing you money? For every blocked unit, PROs face a reduction in driver efficiency and an increase in customer service calls. It adds to the level of frustration for all parties and impacts your customer service. Operators can lessen the headaches of hard-to-reach units by taking preventative measures and employing a clear plan of action.

Address the Topic Before It Becomes a Problem

From the get-go, it’s essential to discuss portable restroom placement and access. Focus the conversation on your customer’s point of view. They don’t care if it messes up your route or takes too much of your driver’s time. Just say that you can’t service blocked units because you don’t want to risk damage to their equipment, property, or event design.

Lead them towards understanding that without regular cleaning the unit will appear unsanitary to workers and event attendees. Plus, they’ll need to call your office and schedule an off-route service. Then, there are the fees.

Offer to help with placement and provide suggestions for avoiding extra charges. Confirm your discussion by including wording in your contract that explicitly states your policy on blocked units.

Keep Unit Access at the Front of Your Customers’ Minds

All details, including fees, should be included in your rental contract. Be specific as to how much space you need, what your drivers can and can’t do, and which type of additional fees your customers might incur.

What do you charge when your drivers are waiting on someone to move equipment away from the unit? How much is an extra trip charge? State that the service fee stands even if cleaning wasn’t possible due to a hard-to-reach porta-potty. Along with your contract, PROs should also communicate across multiple client touchpoints.

  • Include a line about blocked units on your invoices and delivery slips.
  • Add it to your website under service information or FAQ pages.
  • Send out an email or text reminder before cleaning.

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What to Do When You Encounter a Hard-to-Reach Unit

It’s important to be flexible and work with the customer when possible. However, it’s also crucial to protect your business and staff. Have a plan in place for addressing blocked access to portable restroom units. For example, when faced with a hard-to-reach restroom unit, PROs should:

  1. Fill out a missed service tag and securely place it on the unit.
  2. Photograph the porta-potty and barrier. Be sure to get an image of the tag on the obstructed toilet.
  3. Communicate with office staff to document the missed service and reason.
  4. Notify the renter that staff couldn’t clean the unit.
  5. Respond to customer concerns with a friendly but firm tone.

Porta-potties aren’t always convenient to service. Customers forget what day you’re coming and leave your driver outside a locked gate or with a dumpster blocking their path. While you can’t prevent every issue, you can reduce repeat problems with communication and a clear plan of action.

Looking to Take Your Portable Restroom Business to the NEXT LEVEL? Download our FREE Guide: “Your Guide to Operating A Portable Restroom Business.”

Thinking About GETTING INTO the Portable Restroom Industry? Download our FREE Guide: “Your Guide to Starting A Portable Restroom Business.”

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