Customer expectations from car rental companies

Record360 has released the results from its first Car Rental Customer Report. How long we can maintain the status quo without changing anything. The report is scary by its key indicator.

Factors Car Rental Customers Use To Select A Car Rental Agency

The answer is staggering – 75% of respondents opted for the price. 

Competing in price rather than in value added leads every business straight into dead-end. This is a vicious circle, and getting out of it requires radical solutions. The lower the price, the lower the income, the less you can spend on employees or innovation, the lower the quality of your service. The lower the quality, the lower the price that customers are willing to pay. And that’s it – the business ends at this point.

When business does not innovate, and remains unchanged for many years, it becomes self-evident product for the customer for which he is not willing to pay. After all, cars are still purchased and stand, and off-season prices are getting ridiculous. Why should the customer pay more if he is choosing from 20 absolutely identical products? Even respectable trademarks are no longer enticing, because everything is the same.

Not creating the added value through innovation, but moneymaking through excessively complicated pricing is a mistake made by the car rental industry. A customer needs transparent prices, which match a transparent offer and a service that he wants, not that you have to offer. This report is a response in a style of “what women want” to car rental companies. Read it carefully, and your business will prosper.

According to the author of the report, that specific added value, in order to avoid price competition, is the exceptional customer service. It seems to me that “what women want” is not the customer service. Customer service would no longer be necessary if the declared value is consistent with the service. When you want to become something unique and attract customers to what you actually do not have – then you need customer service to conceal it.

Customers want different services. The report is very clear about it.

60% of surveyed customers want faster checking of a rented car out of a lot. 

Employing more staff to serve customers faster is not a solution because of additional costs, it is understandable. Traders invented self-service to address this problem. Why car rental companies should not use it? Technology is already in place for it. You will need no offices or garages. The customer can pick up a car anywhere in the city and unlock with his mobile phone.

89% of respondents said they have concerns about the accuracy of damage capturing of the car. It is also natural, as the car owner takes care of his property, and sees the customer as an enemy because he “must have” damaged something, this is additional income to some of us. As much as 44% of customers, when checking in the car, worry they will be blamed for damage that they did not cause. Why not transfer the damage tracing to the customer? Technologies for that are already available. The customer uses a mobile application to make photos of the current damage, and images are stored not on his phone but on the server – to determine the exact date and time when they were captured, and whether the car did not move out of place earlier. So, again, self service is the solution. Customers even tell it directly – they want evidence, apps or email. Let’s listen to what customers say.

61% of respondents said they will never do business with the car rental company again because of poor customer service, i.e. poor attitude towards the customer, which occurs due to the pressure of managers about unprofitable activities, in order to “screw” the customer as much as possible. Rarely it is the personal traits of a clerk that are annoying to customers. All those tricks (additional insurance, remaining fuel, damage, etc.) used in order to make more money from the customer, create an atmosphere where you feel going to the trap at your own will, because you need cheese, you can’t walk on foot too far.

In summary, the situation can be seen very clearly: rental companies should step out of the vicious circle and ask WHAT THEIR CUSTOMERS HAVE TO SAY directly, and offer it to them. Then the price will no longer be the only tool of competition.

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