Paying Attention to Small Details Earns Customers’ Appreciation

Colorado’s Columbia Potties chooses equipment colors and restroom scents for maximum impact with customers

Paying Attention to Small Details Earns Customers’ Appreciation

Kent Simmons, operations manager of Columbia Potties for the Rockies with two of the distinctly painted company trucks. (Photo by Carl Scofield)

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Many factors go into how a portable restroom company is perceived by the public: customer service, fair pricing, responsiveness and clean equipment. Less obvious are things like logos and slogans. Sheila Nessler, owner, along with her husband Denny Nessler of Columbia Sanitary and Columbia Potties for the Rockies in Golden, Colorado, includes color schemes and scents in that category and considers them important details.

On the portable restroom side, while construction unit colors are all over the map, event units are blue and pink — two colors that make it pretty obvious who’s supposed to use what. Customers love it, says Kent Simmons, operations manager, especially the women, as they prefer gender-specific units and love that their pink Integras from PolyPortables, a division of Satellite, do not have urinals. 

On the septic side, Sheila Nessler took a different approach. Whenever she bought a new vacuum truck, she’d choose a color she thought would stand out. And she wanted each one unique — light blue for the Sterling 9500 (Imperial Industries with National Vacuum Equipment pump); metallic violet for the 2006 Peterbilt 385 (Imperial Industries with Masport pump); and dark green metallic, light green metallic, and blue metallic for three Kenworth T800/T880s (Vacutrux with Wallenstein pumps). 

“It’s a rolling billboard, is the way she put it,” Simmons says. “If you get a color that pops out or stands out from the competitors, people are more likely to call. I don’t know how many phone calls we’ve gotten, even recently, from people saying, ‘We saw your truck in the area. That’s why we called you.’” The color scheme includes the cab and the tank. “We get the tank painted at the factory, and then the body company matches the paint,” Simmons says. 

The septic trucks are built to spec for Colorado’s climate and terrain so requesting a paint color is easy. The portable restroom trucks (Satellite Industries, TankTec, and Imperial Industries with Conde (Westmoor) or Masport pumps), on the other hand, are not customized and are usually purchased under a time crunch so the company hasn’t been able to extend their color strategy to those vehicles just yet.

As for their deodorant products from Surco Portable Sanitation Products, J&J Chemical, and Walex Products, Sheila Nessler likes to change the scents every year to keep it fresh and interesting. Customers notice, Simmons says, and appreciate the variety. “We’ve had everything from cherry to mango,” he says. This year they’re using coconilla and mulberry.

Read more about Columbia Sanitary and Columbia Potties for the Rockies in this month’s issue of Portable Restroom Operator magazine.


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