[originally published 2/9/15]
There are many blogs and articles about choosing the right stairlift. There is so much information out there about which product to choose but there is not much information out there about who to buy it from. Before we get started, we first need to discuss why I have decided to write this.
I graduated from college in 2007 with a degree in Urban and Regional Planning. I had high hopes of working with a big land developer doing environmental planning for large scale development communities. If you can remember that the end of 2007 was the big tank in the mortgage industry so very little development was taking place at that time. I did what most college graduates do and moved back home with my parents! I then began swinging a hammer and looking for a “big boy” job. I was offered a position as a Town Planner for a small beach community but it was withdrawn when the community discovered that the town Manager had embezzled a substantial amount of money from the community. This was a blessing in disguise because the next week I got a call from a family friend starting a new business.
He called me because I was relatively handy and he asked if I could install a modular ramp for a wheelchair. I said sure. Little did I know that this new company he was starting would grow to become one of the largest mobility and accessibility dealers in the country. I became their first service technician installing equipment ranging from wheelchair transport lifts for vehicles to elevators and of course, stairlifts. I loved my job! The best part of it for me was the interaction with the customers. These people were some of the most appreciative and all had such wonderful stories. I loved the fact that I could help others daily and get paid to do it! I grew with the company and quickly became the service manager.
This new position was a bit of a rude awakening for me because I transitioned to interacting with the customers on a daily basis to only interacting with the customers that were upset. It took me some time to come to terms with the fact that I didn’t feel like I was helping people any more. I began to view things differently and realized that if I chose the right employees to be our service technicians and instilled my morals and beliefs into them that I was still able to have a direct impact on the end user.
As the company grew, I moved from manager to trainer and was able to train people from all around the country how to install and service the equipment and most importantly, how to treat the customer. I now work for a different company and have a different role but ultimately have the same goal. Helping others is my passion. I know that was long but I wanted you all to understand who I am and where I come from… Now we can get to the important stuff!
We all know the major manufacturers of stairlifts. If you don’t I will list them alphabetically so none of them think I am being biased:
I have had the pleasure of working with all of these manufacturers and they all have good products and lots of options to choose from. There are pros and cons of each one and it really varies based on preference and your particular situation. We need to know the import ant information about choosing the right dealer to buy these products from. There are several questions that need to be asked in order to choose the right company to purchase your lift from:
Who owns the company?
The person at the top of an organization has much to do with the structure and the personality of an organization. If the company is owned and operated by a group of executives then most likely they don’t care about you or your loved ones, just the bottom line. Employees take on the personality of their management most of the time. If the upper management is not in it for the right reasons, their employees will most likely share the same intentions.
How long has the company been around?
If the company is less than 2 years old, they most likely do not have very much experience and therefore might have good intentions but may not know how to properly handle every situation. This may lead to poor service and a bad user experience all together.
Does the company represent multiple manufacturers?
As mentioned earlier, there are many different stairlifts to meet many different types of stairs and customer combinations. If the company does not have multiple options of products, they may not be able to properly match you or your loved on with the right equipment. They may be trying to sell you a product that isn’t the right fit simply because that is all they have.
Does the company have pushy sales reps?
There are companies out there that use pushy “used car” techniques to sell you a stair lift. Don’t fall for this. If you are not 100% confident with your decision to buy a lift,WAIT!!!! This equipment is expensive and used because you need it. The last thing you want to do is rush into a product that isn’t the right one or worse. Buy from a company that is in a rush to take you money and not be there for you when the product breaks down.
Does the company offer any service warranty?
If the company does not offer a 1 year labor warrantySTOP! Call someone who does. Chances are that if the stair lift is going to malfunction then it is going to happen within the first year. Another thing to consider is service plans or service contracts. If you plan on having the lift for a while, it may be beneficial to work out an extended service contract with the dealer to make sure the product is properly maintained.
Who is doing the installation/ service?
It is important that the sales person be able to tell you exactly who will be coming to install your stairlift. What kind of experience does this person have? The best kind of sales person is the same person who will be doing the installation or one that has a close relationship with the service technician. I myself still do installations from time to make sure that I know what I am selling.
Does this company care about me?
This is the most important question. If you do not know the answer to this question or the answer is no, pick up the phone and call someone who cares! I have always wanted to say that for the right reasons. We all have what we believe to be a good judge of character. Follow you gut instinct. If you don’t feel good about the person you about to spend money with, don’t spend the money!
I hope this helps those of you that find this. With all of the information out there it is tough to figure out which starlit company is the right one. If you ask the right questions and shop around a bit you will make the right choice.
For more information about stairlifts or stairlift installation visit centerspanmedical.com or call 844-SAFE-STAIR (844-723-3782)