No queues for Miles
12 June 2020
The British have a reputation for queuing patiently. When Ikea re-opened some of its stores recently, images filled the media showing long lines of people snaking across the car parks, waiting to be allowed in. Entry had to be restricted to observe social distancing.
It took some shoppers three hours just to reach the doors. Maybe that’s tolerable for flat-pack furniture fans, but when it comes to hiring equipment, customers want it quickly.
Swansea-based Miles Hire has just launched its solution. Its new 'digital hire desk' service enables online customers to select equipment in three simple steps. Orders can be picked up from secure bays at the Miles depots in Swansea, Bridgend or Cardiff, or delivered direct with drivers electronically signing for the items.
“It makes hiring contact-free, clean and safe,” said Ryan Miles, a Director of the company which has a reputation for excellent customer service. “It can be used by both account customers and by others providing two forms of ID.
“We’ve tried to turn a negative situation into a positive. I was actually placed in the ‘at risk’ category owing to a health condition, and so I had to self-isolate at home. But having a great team enabled me to spend the time away from the depots, working on the company rather than in it. I have been able to finish various projects, such as the digital hire desk system, which will make us even stronger as a business in the future.”
I have to say that, previously, I’ve been rather sceptical about online hiring. I still think hire revolves around person-to-person conversations. However, as these services can be tailored to meet the safe working necessitated by Covid-19, it makes me realise that it is a very worthwhile option, and one which will complement, rather than replace, existing ways of doing business.
Mind you, going digital doesn’t have all the answers. Last time I ordered tickets for a concert (remember those?), the venue’s website was so busy I was placed in a... queue.