Let’s Cal it the “New Normal”

Do me a favor, please! I am asking all recyclers to refer to this unpresented time as the “New Normal”. I really dislike using the word “abnormal” because what we are going through right now is not abnormal. However, it is the future. Our customer base is telling us that this is “Amazon Time” because countless Amazon trucks can be seen making deliveries day and night to their homes or businesses.

Webster’s dictionary states that the word, “abnormal,” means deviating from what is normal, typically in a way that is undesirable or worrying. Some people use other descriptive words to describe what is happening. Uncertain, challenging, and crises. No matter how you describe it, our tongues can make it worse by speaking it into existence. If we use words like crises, it will become a crisis. If we say it’s challenging, it will be challenging. Some leaders within our industry are speaking positive and constructive words which will in turn change how we deal with everything. Instead of saying, abnormal, let’s call it the “New Normal”.

My friend, Don Porter, the CEO of United Recyclers Group, always uses the phrase, the “New Normal” in his poignant articles. His last article indicated that more changes are on the horizon when he said, “We also need to realize the next normal may be different than the past normal.”

Last week, I attended an online webinar facilitated by Theresa Colbert of Car-Part.com. Her topic was “Selling Parts Online”. As usual, Theresa did a great job with that topic because she knows this industry well. In that webinar, Theresa referred to what’s happening as “It’s Amazon Time.” She unveiled Amazon’s mission to be the most customer-centric company, and their award-winning customer service team is a vital part of achieving that mission. We, as recyclers, need to up our game, making sure our customer service team has a clear understanding of our purpose of preventing and solving problems that will totally delight customers.

All of us know Marty Hollingshead, the owner of Northlake Auto Recyclers from Hammond, Indiana. Marty is also ARA’s Treasurer. Marty and I talk frequently, and both of us refer to the industry’s new opportunities as the “New Normal”. Marty always reminds us to thank the doctors, nurses, and first responders. He calls those people true heroes.

One group that’s a true hero is Car-Part.com. Car-Part has given much to the ARA Relief Program but has also announced COVID-19 Relief Initiatives for their customers, including 10% off Recyclers Services for 3 months as a relief package. During this new normal, it’s very helpful and smart to give back to customers.

Car-Part.com has great webinars that they share with all recyclers. They also archive those webinars, and they can find them under Products on the Car-Part.com website. Look over the list of topics. Or you may call or text Theresa Colbert at 859-802-2382 or email her at TheresaC@Car-Part.com. Listening to each webinar will be worth your time because I’ve heard many of those webinars myself.

Talking about webinars, URG also has a plethora of webinars that are archived, including the one I did for URG. I garnered as much out of doing that segment as those who listened to it. Like Car-Part, the URG webinars are open to everyone so you do not have to be a member to benefit from those webinars.

The phrase, the “New Normal” covers things like all recyclers keeping their employees safe by providing masks, gloves, and sanitation stations. All our yards should follow coronavirus guidelines as required and posted on the CDC website. We need to be wiping down “high-touch” areas, such as: desks, doorknobs, phones, keyboards, and literally anything touched frequently by more than 1 person.  Maybe, the “New Normal” is using a laser, forehead thermometer to check all employees at the start of the workday. Or, how about setting up hand sanitizers at every workstation so that when employees touch their computers, their hands have already been sanitized? I think we should remind our teams that using a mask protects people from you, not you from people. We should have extra masks available for customers if they want one while they are there at the yard.

Before I end this article, here are a couple more tips. All of us need to update our phone systems so we can easily transfer calls, learn and incorporate new, social media techniques that will generate a quantum leap in our industry to keep the team members and the customers safer. We need to adapt and adjust to the “New Normal”. The yards that believe in digital marketing and listening to customers will be the true winners of the past months and weeks. Stay safe, healthy and be prosperous in this “New Normal”.

Correspondence regarding this article should go to:

D.J. Says, 2820 Andover Way, Woodstock, GA 30189

D. J. Harrington is an author, journalist, seminar leader, international trainer, and marketing consultant. He works primarily with customer service personnel, and his clients include such world-class companies as General Motors, DuPont, Caterpillar, and Damon Corporation. He may be reached at 800-352-5252. E-mail: dj@djsays.com. 52 weeks a year, we are as close as your telephone.