Are you running a small car rental enterprise? Chances are you’re having difficulty competing with large conglomerates that manage the most popular car rental brands in the United States. Those include Hertz, Thrifty, and Dollar from the Hertz Group, and Enterprise, Alamo, and National from Enterprise Holdings. These car rental services have cemented themselves as the go-to partners for business and leisure travelers who need a dependable car. But do not feel defeated just yet. Yes, you can compete with these household names.
But first, you must employ surefire strategies that will put you in customers’ good graces. Your goal is to convince a customer to do repeat business with your company. And to tell other people about you too. Here’s how to pull those off.
Regular car maintenance
You are in the business of providing cars for rent. Sure, you already invested in cars of unrivaled quality. But your responsibility does not end there. You need to commit to regular car maintenance. You do not want to repeatedly disappoint customers with cars breaking down on freeways. One disappointed customer results in your business losing at least ten potential clients.
As soon as you notice your Subaru cars need a head gasket replacement, for instance, do not take the situation for granted. Address the concern ASAP. Do not risk sending out a car that will return to your garage with an irate client behind the wheel.
Leveled up cleaning procedure
Not all car rental clients will inspect the car they rent with the keen attention to detail of a surgeon. But if you chance upon a client that’s exactly like that, your car better be free of even a single piece of Cheetos under the passenger seat. That client won’t think twice about posting a negative review of your service, not mincing words.
Have a cleaning procedure in place that rivals the procedures imposed by big car rental chains. Yes, you will have to invest considerable money. Rest assured, the ROI you reap will be worth every penny you shell out.
Friendly and competent staff
You have quality cars in your garage. They are well maintained to boot. Supplement those winning strategies by assembling a friendly and competent staff.
Remember that customer service directly affects a business’s likelihood to either fail or succeed. If you want to ensure the latter, you need customer service representatives who are willing to go out of their way to satisfy clients. Plus, they need to know the ins and out of business. Their level of competence should allow them to answer particular questions about, for example, insurance. If they can provide travel tips to clients visiting town for leisure, that’s a bonus too.
You provide service to people in transit. Whether it’s for business or leisure purposes, chances are you’re dealing with exhausted people. They probably spent hours on a plane to get to your location. You want to welcome them into a comfortable shop.
Your reception area should provide ample space for relaxation. Also, mind your bathrooms. They must be properly maintained. If you can offer perks like free snacks and beverages upon the arrival of clients, you’re bound to impress your customers enough for them to pay for your services again.
If you already gained a list of loyal customers, treat them like royalty. Offer loyalty programs and deals that communicate your appreciation for these clients. It can be as simple as providing discounts upon x number of rental hours. Or maybe you can upgrade a customer’s car on the house if they’ve made x number of transactions.
Again, this approach will require investment. But it’s the kind of investment you need to make. Customers like to feel special. And once you make them feel special, they’ll have nothing but good words to say about your business.
Running a business requires skill. And lots of imagination. Do not settle with only the things you know. Explore what your competitors do. Adopt those you think are viable strategies that will give your business the competitive edge. Spend enough time on the drawing board to come up with ideas that are uniquely your own.
Remember that the hardest part is over. And that is putting up your car rental business from scratch. Now you need to zero in on how to keep your operation running smoothly and succeeding in a market that’s already saturated. Your goal is to establish what your brand is about. You might not belong to a car rental conglomerate, but you know you can deliver top-notch service.