By Jeff Miller
At LTR, our core values are Safety, Customer Service, Integrity, Teamwork, and Accountability. Safety is the focus of every job at Light Tower Rentals (LTR). It starts at the office, continues at the jobsite, and really never finishes. Safety is priority one, because if you don’t have a safe work environment, you won’t have customers. Without customers, we wouldn’t be able to deliver outstanding customer service.
At LTR, customer service is so much more than just being responsive and polite. Those are key attributes, and may have cut it in prior business settings, but in today’s oil and gas industry, with price, product, and performance being major drivers of business/vendor partnerships, stellar customer service can usually tip the scales in favor who of those who perform it best.
And it can end up saving customers quite a bit of money as well.
Going above-and-beyond in the name of customer service comes naturally for LTR and our employees. Sometimes customer service can be demonstrated to people who aren’t even customers . . . yet.
Recently, LTR field personnel were driving between different jobs in the Bakken area when they noticed an operator who was using an unusual array of natural gas and diesel generators to provide power to their production sites.
Even though this operator was not yet a customer of LTR, the field personnel knew immediately a better solution compared to the overabundant mish-mosh of generators in place. They also knew that the solution would provide significant cost savings to the customer each and every month.
After getting an appointment and talking with the operator, the LTR folks went back to their office and worked with their power generation experts to review the requirements of the project. They even conducted a load analysis for the equipment that needed the power.
Long story short, this lesson in customer (or future customer) service reduced the number of generators required on the site from 65 to 47. The reduction saved the operator $68,000 per month in costs (yes, that’s over $800,000 annually), and needless to say, got LTR a new customer who is very happy.
Part of the reason that LTR field people know and care so much about customer service is the fact that “in the field” is where LTR looks for its next batch of managers. That’s how Rocky Mountain Region Sales Manager Eric Dvorak got his start.
“I started at the bottom,” Dvorak said. “But that’s LTRs business model. You start out as a field tech, changing oil, servicing equipment, and that’s where you learn the best ways to interact with the customers and find out what their needs really are. By the time you’ve moved up the ladder, you never forget where you came from, or what the customer expects of you. That’s why we’re such a successful company.”
Dvorak, and many others at LTR, believe that there’s plenty of money to be made and success to be had when times are good. But when the roller coaster we know as the oil and gas industry plummets back to earth, that’s when you see what the real long-term players are made of.
“Anyone could handle working at a company or running a business in boom time,” Dvorak said. “But we’ve been able to move beyond that and thrive even during the down times because we don’t just deliver a product or a service. We are so much more than that. And it all begins and ends with customer service.”
Light Tower Rentals has overcome many of the obstacles put in front of them. Their name alone implies simply being a rental company. But their actions and operations have made them known within the industry as a partner and valued team member. “We’re committed to both companies growing,” said Dvorak. “We’re not doing things simply to benefit us, we are doing things that are mutually beneficial. In order for our customers to succeed, we must provide the best product and the best customer service.”
Dvorak provided some examples of LTRs stellar customer service at work.
A large part of business in the field is providing temporary power using the natural gas that is produced on location. Many times there isn’t enough gas being produced, so LTR provides propane backup. “We don’t want companies to operate solely on propane,” Dvorak said. “On several occasions we have a service tech on location. We had one instance where the natural gas generator was burning too much propane. Our service tech called the lease operator who came to the location and discovered that the valve was accidentally turned off. There was no benefit to LTR. It was simply a way of helping the customer. That’s what customer service is about.”
When providing temporary power, each site is very individualized and can have its own set of unique problems and challenges. “We were working with a company operating a 17-well location with a varied array of engines and motors,” Dvorak said. “We had been operating at the site for a couple of months when suddenly the equipment, through our remote monitoring tool, began sending performance alerts. We sent a 24-hour monitor team, at our expense, and then we contracted an independent electrician to assess and correct the problem. At our expense, we invited the senior electrical engineer and three upper level managers on location to figure out why there were performance interruptions. When all was said and done, it was determined that the company had added some pieces of equipment that were giving the generators a difficult time. Once we figured out the problem, we were able to fix it. That’s what a partnership is all about. A legitimate partnership where everyone succeeds.”
Taking an example from a car company, you can produce the best-performing automobile with the sexiest looks, the best engine and even the best price. But if the service after the sale isn’t in place, the end user isn’t going to be a happy camper. As Paul Simon once said, it’s all about “keeping the customer satisfied.”
For more information about Light Tower Rentals, their products and services, visit their website or call 855-306-8855. Light Tower Rentals has locations in every major oil and gas producing state, so you’re sure to find a representative in your area.