The Good Old Summertime

Educate your customers to conveniently address basic questions that come along during the busy season.

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The phone rings at the PSAI office. “I want to rent a portapotty and no one will return my calls.” “XYZ Company left a portable toilet in my backyard a week ago. When will they pick it up?” “How much of that blue stuff is supposed to be in the bottom of that biffy anyway?” If these are the questions on the other end of our phone, it must be the summer rental season!

As things heat up, here are some observations that might be helpful as you deal with seasonal customers:

People do not want to spend any more time than they have to thinking about portable sanitation. They just want the unit(s) to be there and not create a negative impression. So make it easy for a “civilian” to understand portable sanitation and to rent a unit. You get extra points for having a backup plan when you are running low on units or drivers. Your company wins when customers hear something other than “no.”

Make it easy to reach you. Many people who contact the PSAI office are frustrated because their calls are unanswered – or are answered too slowly – by their portable sanitation provider. Under these circumstances, anger grows quickly. So it pays to have a live person answer the phone in real time, even when you are busy. This might involve forwarding the office phones to someone else, forwarding it to your cellphone or using an answering service. These days, such basic office services are extremely inexpensive – and far more affordable than lost business or negative publicity.

Educate your customers. When people call the PSAI office with specific concerns, the breakdown usually concerns misunderstandings about “how it works.” Do yourself and your customers a favor and provide this information up front. Create a fact sheet or list of FAQs that covers things like how many uses they can expect from a portable unit, what your fees are and how long it will take you to respond to emergencies. Put the answers to these common questions on your website as well. In most cases, asking and answering the basic questions up front would have avoided much frustration down the line.

Manage expectations. There are always going to be people who think the world revolves around them, imagining that you will drop all other business to serve them. Luckily, they are in the minority. Most of the time people just want to know what to expect concerning the delivery, service, cleanliness, troubleshooting and pickup of units. So be sure to tell them these things, and do your best to anticipate questions people don’t think to ask.


At the PSAI, we enjoy hearing from the public and helping them find good portable sanitation options. Our experience has taught us that’s all most people want. The rest want it for free, on the Fourth of July, 100 miles from your lot. Yes, it must be the summer rental season! 


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