St. Louis, MO – It doesn’t take long to feel the passion and dedication that exudes from United Access, a leader in the Mobility Industry. Their success and growth is of no surprise to anyone who knows Richard and Karyn May; as they are driven by their ethical values, clear vision and tenacious appetite for success. What was a surprise, especially to them, was the discovery of their “rare” corporate culture that has arisen from their values, vision and love for their customers.
Since opening their doors as United Access back in 1997, every new employee is required to complete a thorough and comprehensive orientation. Regardless of what position the employee will hold, or which of the now seven United Access locations the employee will work, they all go through the same orientation; which lasts 3-4 weeks at their corporate office in St. Louis, MO. Every employee is made aware of, and identifies with, the core values and vision of United Access. They will know how to answer the phones and treat customers the United Access way, which is to deliver the “Best Customer Experience, PERIOD”. There are Fortune 500 companies that don’t have this detail or organization for new hires. Many companies try to push and force a culture onto employees instead of nurturing, training and educating them on that culture, like United Access does.
The goal of their meticulous orientation isn’t to formulate a corporate culture; it is simply to ensure that every employee does what is right for the customer, always. “Every employee spends their first week of orientation in the shop, because that is where they learn. I think it’s important that they are trained on the products that we service and sell. In the meantime, while they are doing that, they learn a great deal about our company and our culture; which is all about the customer,” says Richard May, United Access’ President.
Another facet of United Access’ success is the autonomy that is given to each employee, regardless of the position they hold. “We give everyone the authority to take care of the customer and worry about the costs, or how you should have done it differently, later. I have a rule that no one can say ‘No’ to a customer but me,” says May, “and I don’t say ‘No’ to customers. We figure out a way to say ‘Yes’.” “If someone does call and complain, the first thing we do is thank them and the last thing we do is thank them, and in the middle, we ask them what it will take to make them happy; it’s that simple.”
25% of the United Access personnel are current customers, which is a testament to their passion and loyalty to customer satisfaction. Richard Venhaus and his wife Terri have both been employed with United Access for over seven years and have been customers for over twenty years; having purchased three wheelchair accessible vans from United Access; their latest a Honda Odyssey with a VMI Northstar conversion. Rich is the General Manager of the St. Louis location and he described his first encounter with United Access twenty years ago “The experience I had with United Access enabled me to see not only what a great company it was, but what it also gave my wife. The first time she got behind the wheel after her spinal cord injury, we drove out of the United Access parking lot and I told her that if I ever decided to change careers, this is something I would like to do.” Venhaus continues, “Six years later, I had the opportunity to do something different. The first call I made was to Richard May, and about a week later I came to work for United Access.”
“Their meticulous processes only start with their orientation. Everything in United Access is documented, measured and reviewed to ensure maximum ROI and customer satisfaction, which is just one of the reasons why we love to have United Access as a partner. I will never forget when VMI got a survey from them. To this day, I have never been asked by any other dealer to survey them; it’s usually the other way around. I would argue that they are not only the most data driven mobility equipment dealer, but the most efficient one as well. It is a very impressive operation,” describes Doug Eaton, VMI’s President and CEO.
About United Access
Since 1997, United Access has grown from one location in St. Louis, Missouri to seven locations throughout the Midwest and Midsouth. United Access is one of the top ten mobility dealers in the nation and owes its success to attention to detail and a simple mantra “always put the customer first.” The growth of United Access over the past decade is due to loyal customers and dedicated employees.