Source | AMEYO
The car rental industry took in around $27 million in revenue last year. With a million-dollar increase over 2014, the rental industry is expanding as more and more Americans are hitting the open road and traveling for work and leisure. So, as rental companies and startups reach beyond their existing customer bases, contact center technology is also revolutionizing the way that agents and other professionals are servicing travelers nationwide.
Rental Companies as Retailers
A 2015 study by Cognizant found that when travelers utilize rental companies, they find the most value in simple, easy-to-use booking technology and customer interface software. Cognizant also found that up to 41% of professionals who routinely travel for work find value in automated booking and returns processes. So, what does this mean for companies looking to make their customer service more efficient and focused?
For rental agencies throughout the country, the challenge of streamlining bookings and returns lies with the vetting process required for the industry. Agents need to confirm driver’s’ eligibility, proof of insurance, perform routine vehicle cleaning and maintenance, among other standard upsell or cross-sales opportunities that come about during the booking process. Due to these rigorous standards, booking and returning a vehicle can take anywhere between 20 minutes and 1 hour.
With automated or streamlined bookings, rental companies can enhance the customer service experience. Leading rental companies like Hertz and Enterprise utilize automated check-outs. However, more specialized companies such as Airport Van Rental, which services a number of cities nationwide, go the extra mile. This van rental company provides concierge services in addition to vehicle pick-up and drop-offs.
Travelers On the Road
Aside from advances in mobile-first, omnichannel platforms have given new face to customer service. Companies are taking more customer-focused approaches to reach travelers wherever they may be throughout their journey. If customers encounter maintenance issues, this can be addressed by intuitive on-board telematics and sensors that notify contact center representatives of any problems or malfunctions.
Cognizant said, “Large car rental companies are already using these technologies through new carsharing operations. Avis subsidiary Zipcar and Enterprise Rent-a-Car subsidiary Enterprise Car Share, for example, have fitted their fleets with telematics systems. This allows the companies to automatically access and track the vehicle’s location and carry out reporting.”