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How's Your Customer Service Quotient?

Ranger Kidwell-Ross, editor

by Ranger Kidwell-Ross, WorldSweeper's Editor

Separating the Reality From the Foolish:
More Challenging Every Day

CityCat Sweeper I hope everyone enjoyed our recent April Fool's Day story about the hydrogen-powered CityCat sweeper in Switzerland. Although as farfetched as last year's solar-powered sweeper (but not nearly as much as 2010's 'sweeper to clean the space station story'), the April Fool's joke within the joke was that this year's April 1 press release was 100% true.

The report was very exciting: It showed the alternative fuel capabilities that are becoming possible even in a relatively low-tech vehicle like a sweeper. Especially topical in these days of high fuel prices, the CityCat sweeper in the trial consumed less than half of the fuel of its diesel-powered contemporaries and emitted 40% less CO2. There was so little energy loss by the engine that they had to install a separately-powered heater for the operator!

However, there are still many years of trials ahead before we can expect to see a hydrogen-powered sweeper in the U.S. or world marketplace. Who knows, we may see a solar-powered sweeper first!

CBRE Logo We thank an Indiana contractor, who chooses to remain anonymous, for alerting us about CBRE, the reporting organization now being required in their area for sweeping contractors servicing Walgreens.

Hoping for info on CBRE's reported requirement that contractors pay $125/year to be involved with them, I called the CBRE media relations person listed on the company's website, Robert McGrath. From the moment McGrath got on the phone he acted like he was very frazzled in his job. Within only a few seconds of conversation he stopped me to say, quite bruskly, "I have to answer 20 calls an hour in this position and I'm a New Yorker who deserves the reputation New Yorkers have so get to your exact point."

Although I persevered in requesting an interview with someone in company management, it's now been a week with no callback. I don't actually expect I'll hear back, since McGrath became even cooler when he first learned I wanted to know why contractors are being charged $125/year to be in their system. McGrath didn't offer much hope that he'd find someone to discuss that or any other aspect of CBRE with me. I hope my intuition is wrong and I get a callback soon. We'll let you know immediately on our Facebook page if we do.

Another story we posted on Facebook on April 3rd, about a sweeper operator being robbed and beaton in Thomasville, Georgia, while on the job at around 3am, is a good reminder to all sweeping company managers to remind their operators about safety.

Be sure you have discussed the steps for an operator to take in any threatening situation on the job. As most readers will attest, almost anything eventually can happen while doing night sweeping and the safety measures to take are something deserving of discussion.

If you have questions about any aspect of action to take, call one of your local law enforcement agencies for advice. Although there's no way to stop robbery and other acts of violence from occurring, there are sensible steps that can be taken to statistically assure the best possible outcome.

Facebook Logo Just a reminder that if you'd have liked the WorldSweeper Facebook Page you'd have received an advance copy of this newsletter a day or so before you got it in your email. Why not 'like us' today so you'll be set for the next issue? (We also post the latest news on a regular basis throughout every month.)

As always, the articles in this issue are designed to help you find crucial insight for your business. My hope is you find they all help in one way or the other. If you have ideas about articles you'd like to see in the future, please let us know that, as well. Our goal is to write about what you want to read. And, if you have a sweeping-related need please contact us about it. We'll try to assist in any way we can.

I routinely reference articles and studies, provide information from my "Fundamentals of the Power Sweeping Business" manual and put contractors and city officials in touch with others who may have answers to their informational needs. By the same token, if you have a story you can provide, additional information on any of the topics we've covered – or need more details – please let me know. I'll be glad to help if at all possible.

Good Sweeping!
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