The technology of the 21st century has changed our expectations around how long it should take to get things done. In times past, you would send a letter in the post and expect a reply within weeks – now, with email, we expect a reply within hours. Once upon a time, you had to wait for the morning paper or the six o'clock bulletin to get your news – now your phone buzzes in your pocket as soon as something interesting happens.
While it's harder to do in the physical world, businesses that aren't based around information technology should still strive to emulate the increases in speed witnessed by that sector over the last few decades. Those that don't are likely to be left behind. Here at Swich Rentals, we've worked hard to make speed and efficiency for the customer a key part of our unique selling point.
Why is speed in business important?
If your business is in a sector where differences between competitors products is not easily appreciable, factors like speed of delivery become vitally important. When a consumer is relatively indifferent between your product and a competitor's, things like price, customer service and speed of delivery become the basis for their decision.
The infamous story of the video rental company, Blockbuster, has many things to teach us. The company's initial public offering in 1999 raised US$465 million, selling 31 million shares, an 18 percent chunk of the company, as reported in the LA Times. This put the total value of the firm at $2.63 billion, already less than 1994's value of $5.4 billion. In the decades to come, Blockbuster would slide further into obscurity, financial trouble and eventually bankruptcy, due in large part to the influence of one company and its peers – Netflix.
Video streaming services like Netflix cut down the time it took to get content from the supplier to the customer's eyeballs in dramatic fashion. Driving to the rental store, browsing the aisles, paying at the register, driving home, putting the tape or DVD into your machine – all of that was replaced with a couple of clicks.
Blockbuster failed for a simple reason – their product delivery was too slow, or rather, their competitors became much quicker. While there were arguments for the superiority of Blockbuster's model, like the fact that physical media had a higher-quality picture, it seems it was not noticeable enough for customers to really care.
That is not to say that convenience should be prioritised at the expense of quality, but rather that there will be different balance points between the two, depending on the product. In the case of video content delivery, consumers decided the increased quality was not worth the increased acquisition time.
How does Swich Rentals embody speed?
Swich Rentals has embraced the ethos of quick product delivery by ensuring vehicles are at customer's doors as fast as possible. When their vehicle breaks down and is off the the road, our policy is to have a replacement vehicle to them as soon as possible, but within 24 hours at the latest. While our fleet is all new or near new, to the customer, there is not much difference between a good rental car from one company and a good rental car from another. After all, we're not selling unique vehicles that we have manufactured.
What we are selling is an emergency transport solution, and the part of that product we have most control over is how quickly that solution is provided to the customer. Among the many examples of this, one story in particular stands out:
There are many aspects of our business that allow us to achieve such rapid product delivery.
It was the end of the working day on Friday. The phone rang – it was one of our manufacturing clients. One of their customer's cars had broken down, and they needed a replacement vehicle. A suitable match was found, and the vehicle left the depot into rush hour traffic. Almost two hours later, the car was delivered to the customer's house – a customer that was incredibly impressed by the quick and efficient service. The weekend sport runs would not have been possible without Swich's speedy delivery, she said.
There are many aspects of our business that allow us to achieve such rapid product delivery. For one, we take calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This means customers aren't left stranded because they had to wait until 9 a.m. for an office to open. Another thing that lets us act swiftly is the geographic spread of our locations. We have offices in Warrnambool, Melbourne and Sydney, so we are closer to a larger number of customers than we would be had we only been in one location.
To find out more about what we do, and how we do it, get in contact with the team at Swich Rentals today.