How to Respond to Customers Who Underestimate the Number of Units Needed

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How to Respond to Customers Who Underestimate the Number of Units Needed
How to Respond to Customers Who Underestimate the Number of Units Needed

What happens when a potential client wants to save money with fewer rentals? Inevitably, PROs get a call for emergency service. Or worse, event attendees leave negative reviews about your portable restroom business.

Customers who ignore your experienced recommendation put their event and your reputation on the line. Learn how to manage customer expectations while coming to an agreement that works for everyone.

Frame Your Bid for Clarity

Some customers push back on estimates for total units needed. Others flat out refuse the proposal. Be proactive by addressing differences before and during your assessment. For example, consider creating a brochure that explains the estimation process. In your pre-sale packet, include:

  • Factors such as the number of attendees, duration of the event, and if alcohol is served.
  • A portable restroom and sink estimator chart.
  • Images of overflowing toilets at an event with a text overlay of customer complaints.
  • Fee list for emergency call-outs.

Have a Conversation

If your potential client underestimates the number of units, invite them to justify why they want fewer restrooms. Of course, you know it’s almost certainly due to price. But, let your customer explain their reasoning. Repeat their explanation back to show you understand.

Say things like, “Wow, this is a high-profile event. Great job on snagging this gig!” Mention that you’ve seen a few pals post about the event on social media. You may say that you’ve heard about past problems, so attendees are thrilled to see a new company stepping into the job. By hinting about the event’s importance and the planner’s reputation, you make them think.

Then, go back to your estimate. Tell a short yet compelling story about a past event that ended in a disaster. Reiterate that you want to support your customer’s business and see their event succeed. 

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Come to an Agreement

The final step is making a decision. Negotiate to see if you can get them to increase their number of rentals or compromise. Remind your client that you charge fees for emergency call-outs — prices that get quite high since it’s not an originally scheduled service for the day.

At this point, it’s on you to weigh the pros and cons. For many operators, the risk to their reputation is too great. Plus, dealing with difficult customers is tedious. Instead, they decline the job and wish the event planner good luck.

Some PROs who agree to a lower number of units add a waiver to their contract. The client signs to acknowledge that the number of restrooms is below the minimum estimate and may result in extra fees.

Manage Customer Expectations

If you say yes to the job, take steps to minimize potential blowback. There’s a good chance that you’ll receive an after-hours call. Prepare by:

  • Creating a backup plan.
  • Having additional units ready.
  • Briefing your on-call team.
  • Listing the actions to take if a call comes in.

Your portable restroom units display your brand. Clients who underestimate rentals put your reputation at risk. It’s essential to balance the benefits and disadvantages of taking the job. Then, take steps to protect your business before, during, and after the sale.

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.”

1 Comment

  1. Brianbob says:

    I love this site – its so usefull and helpfull.

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