Customer experience is front and centre at the new Dockx Service Shop

As operations manager, David Limpens (49) was closely involved in the launch of the new Dockx Service Shop in Roeselare. He explains what this shop has to offer, and why it's a good idea to pop in if you can. 

Would you mind briefly introducing yourself, David? What role are you in, and how long have you been working for Dockx Rental? 

"Twenty-two years ago, I started out on the shop floor in Aalst, where I learnt all the tricks of the trade. In 2019, I was closely involved in the development of our app, which offers our customers contactless rentals of our Dockx vehicles. That app has since become a genuine showpiece for our business. And that's something I'm really proud of! For the last year or so, I've been working as an operations manager at Dockx Rental. In that role, I'm responsible for the daily ins and outs of our shops. It's a fascinating and challenging job, and fortunately, I've got a fantastic team behind me who give it their best every single day. Together, we strive to achieve maximum customer and employee satisfaction day after day by offering a customer-focused total solution that offers the right vehicles to the right people.

"And in my personal life, I've got Els, my incredible wife who is right behind me in everything I do — including my strict marathon training regime. I'm planning to run yet another one next year, just before my fiftieth birthday. Those physical endeavours help me function to be best of my ability at work."

Dockx recently opened a new branch in Roeselare. Why?

"We want to make sure that all customers can rent a Dockx vehicle within a radius of a fifteen-minute drive from their home. To achieve exactly that, we've developed a network of Pick-up Points: locations where customers can pick up a Dockx vehicle contactlessly, 24/7. Given the fact that we didn't have any shops yet in West Flanders, we set out to find a central location for a staffed shop, surrounded by a range of Pick-up Points."

Could you tell us a little more about the new concept behind that Dockx Service Shop?

"We've always been strongly committed to offering the best possible customer experience, but in Roeselare, we're truly going above and beyond. When they walk through the door, customers find themselves in a genuine removals shop, in which they can get to know our products in an enjoyable and relaxed setting. Our entire range of removal products will be on display: boxes of all sizes, packaging materials, straps, blankets — you name it. Everything you need to move home without a hitch."
"One thing that's new is our 'experience table', at which customers can browse our products using touchscreens. An even newer development is that they'll also be able to explore 3D renders of every single one of our vehicles. That way, they get an even better idea of what's possible and what's not with certain vehicles. It isn't always easy to figure out exactly which vehicle you need, after all, and that's something we want to help them with." 

Can you tell us a little more about the specific facilities and services the Roeselare shop offers, compared to other branches?

Our Roeselare branch doesn't offer any more or fewer services than elsewhere; instead, we set out to go above and beyond by offering our customers a more enjoyable total experience. Everything starts with a sign-in system, for example, so that customers can sign in when they arrive to guarantee their place in the queue. That's because we know from experience that customers are scared they might lose their spot if there are multiple people in the shop. Thanks to that sign-in system, they've now got the opportunity to walk around the shop at their own pace to explore our products, or to enjoy a cup of coffee in our cosy seating corner."
"By optimising the look and feel of our products, everyone who comes through the door knows exactly what we've got available to rent, and no one ever misses out on the myriad removal and packaging options we offer."

Which challenges did you face in setting up this new location, and how did you overcome them?

"The concept was entirely new, so before we started working out how to implement it, we wanted to find out exactly how our customers experienced a visit to our shops. To do so, we linked up with an external partner, who researched the way in which both our customers and our own people experienced our previous concept: they sat down for a couple of hours in multiple shops to observe the behaviour of our customers and staff. Afterwards, they entered into dialogue with them to verify their insights. That input proved extremely valuable in redesigning our concept."
"Everyone is wildly excited about the new shop: it's like we've reinvented the removals shop. Our customers are now left with no doubts whatsoever about the exact services we offer."

Are there any plans in place for further expansion or improvement of the services at our Service Shops?

"Dockx wants to keep growing, of course, so expansion is something that's always on our mind. That will come in the form of new shops, of course, but mainly by opening new Pick-up Points. Next year, we're due to open at least ten additional unstaffed points. In the long term, we want to restyle all of our existing shops in line with the new concept. Plans for the first few shops are already in an advanced stage, and you can expect to see them open their doors in the first half of next year. As a business, our outlook on the future is extremely optimistic."