A rock solid decision to put customers first

By Charmayne Allison

WHEN Rock Solid Gardening Supplies was established in Echuca in 2015, they had three competitors.

But, according to owner Rebecca Woods, they also had a point of difference: superior customer service.

‘‘For us, customers come first,’’ she said.

‘‘There has been a real lack of good customer service in town, and it’s a gap we’re trying to fill.’’

Having worked in retail locally for 25 years, Rebecca was in a top position in the Coles Group when she decided to take a risk and open Rock Solid.

‘‘My husband has always been into trucks and earth-moving. He purchased his first truck in 2013 and soon had a fleet of five,’’ she said.

‘‘So when this block became vacant, opening Rock Solid seemed like the perfect opportunity to use my retail skills and the infrastructure my husband already had in place.’’

Four years on, Rock Solid is, in a word, eclectic.

In addition to sand, soil and garden supplies, they also offer an ever-changing range of home decor.

‘‘We support a local metal artist, as well as a local pensioner who creates beautiful timber wind wheels,’’ Rebecca said.

‘‘We often have husbands say, ‘I’m not letting my wife come back here!’ Because they’ll come for sand and leave with a clock or a new pot.’’

While stepping into the unknown back in 2015 was certainly daunting, Rebecca’s passion for team-building and customer service has seen business boom.

‘‘I don’t call our employees staff — we’re a team, we’re family,’’ Rebecca said.

‘‘As for customer service, it’s easy to be complacent as a tourist town, because often customers will just be travelling through.

‘‘But it’s so important to go the extra mile. Because I know for me, I wouldn’t care about the price if I get the service.’’

Rebecca is also passionate about helping the wider community.

‘‘We’ve helped out schools, kinders, you name it. We donated $5500 in products to Echuca Specialist School and supported the recent Echuca East Primary School fete,’’ she said.

‘‘We’re paying it back and supporting the community that supports us.’’