Keeping customers updated
9 June 2020
A longer post, this time. That’s because I’m writing about no fewer than ten national hirers and the measures they’re taking to help customers to stay safe and do business during the Covid-19 crisis.
I’ve taken a quick look at their websites, since this is probably how most customers will initially be engaging with them at the moment. And it’s clear that great efforts have been made in keeping details up-to-date.
So if I’m a tradesperson, or a homeowner undertaking some DIY while furloughed, what information will I be provided with?
Clicking on a clear Covid-19 link on Speedy’s website (www.speedyservices.com, above) takes you to an easy-to-read, dedicated page with clickable links to guidance on safe working and the hirer’s Health & Safety statement. Customers can also find information on essential equipment for cleaning, sanitising, social distancing and welfare, as well as Speedy’s app for contact-free ordering. A lot of work has obviously gone into this new area of the website.
A similar tab on the HSS website (www.hss.com) links to information on how to do business with the company during the crisis. The Company News section provides links to a blog with guides on topics such as re-opening sites after shutdown, social distancing, government assistance for tradespeople, and advice on projects that can be undertaken in the home or garden while furloughed.
The Sunbelt Rentals site (www.sunbeltrentals.co.uk) only went live on 1 June following the hirer’s re-branding from A-Plant, but it’s obviously been updated quickly to include a Covid-19 link on the home page. This explains how customers can make contact via phone or email. A statement describes how Sunbelt, which has been working hard supplying equipment for NHS drive-through testing centres, hospitals and other facilities (as I mentioned in a blog post on 2 June), is an essential services provider committed to helping UK infrastructure, “supporting the people who make sure the lights stay on and the wheels keep turning.”
Nixon Hire’s homepage (www.nixonhire.co.uk) is dominated by the message Keep Your Site Safe, with links underneath to Covid-19 information. A Twitter feed shows latest industry updates, and a gallery of pictures direct visitors to details of equipment for cleaning, sanitising and social distancing.
The Hirebase website (www.hirebase.uk) shows a prominent Coronavirus Update message with links enabling customers to see the branches that are open (no fewer than 65 re-opened on 4 May) with details of how to order online. There are also links to two short, specially produced YouTube videos explaining the current working arrangements, one on collecting equipment from a depot and another on how deliveries are being made.
As well as details of available products, included on the GAP home page (www.gap-group.co.uk) are links to information about the company’s response during the pandemic. This includes the provision of free drop-off points at depots for the Contractors Appeal, to make PPE available to frontline health workers. GAP has also made office space available at its Kinning Park depot in Glasgow for the Covid Safety Network, acting as a city hub for distributing equipment to local hospitals.
Clicking on a prominent link on the Boels Rental site (www.boels.co.uk) takes visitors to details of how customers can still do business with the company. There is also a comprehensive list of essential products for site safety, from traffic control and toilets, to cleaning equipment and generators.
The Vp Brandon Hire Station home page (www.hirestation.couk) has clear links to essential equipment, videos on ordering, collecting and receiving items, and updates about doing business during the current crisis, for both customers and suppliers.
Jewson provides a link (www.jewson.co.uk) to Covid-19 service updates. There is also a clear flow chart explaining how to order and collect equipment, and a helpful list of frequently asked questions about the current situation.
The tool hire section on the Travis Perkins site (www.travisperkins.co.uk) has a clear link to information on click-and-collect orders, and another on frequently asked questions, plus an update on how depots are operating differently to ensure social distancing is maintained. There is also a printable document giving a brief overview of making a site risk assessment, and the new procedures that are needed.
Space restrictions prevent me from going into more detail, or from describing the sterling work that other hirers are doing to keep customers informed in these unprecedented times. But I applaud the efforts that all those mentioned above are making.
Indeed, the Sunbelt Rentals website highlights the statement from Alok Sharma, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to the construction industry and the rest of the supply chain, stating, “You are making a highly valued and critical contribution to the resilience of our nation and I salute you for the enormous efforts you are individually undertaking to support the UK economy.”