Adrian Bewley's blog: How technology is changing the customer journey
08 May 2017
When vehicle rental began, face-to-face interaction at the branch defined the customer experience. This was where relationships were formed and customer loyalty earned.
Research has shown that customers who rate their experience of a brand in the highest, 'completely satisfied' category are more than three times as likely to use them again and recommend a friend.
The role played by branch employees in achieving this is essential, which is why Enterprise employee advancement is based on customer service scores for each branch derived from thousands of independent phone interviews a month.
Now technology is adding another dimension and this is transforming the customer journey. It's enabling a faster, simpler access points to our service and our customers are thrilled.
In business rentals, there are two levels of service required, to the employee as well as to the contracting company.
Employees expect automation to deliver the same level of outstanding 'self-service', on the desktop and on the mobile device, as when they buy a product or service in their personal lives. They also expect to be able to interact with people when they need to.
Companies want the supplier to enable drivers to book vehicles online or via an app while at the same time ensuring that every rental will fall within the parameters of corporate transport policy.
Accessing the correct time increment is critical, plus well-trained staff that can help them access different services and choose the most appropriate mode of transport.
Technology is also driving the potential of management information. The volume of data captured means reports can track everything from mileage and journey times to grey fleet usage, CO2 emissions and fuel costs.
Data mining and analysis techniques are enabling organisations to identify new approaches to managing costs, and suppliers such as Enterprise are working to provide access immediately and in real time.
Technology is now also impacting branch-level interaction and this will continue to develop.
It is helping to increase the transparency of terms and pricing via apps and making rental options easier to understand. The result is a consistent, confident customer experience where there is total clarity around each step of the process and less chance of friction at the end of the rental.
Technology is helping to make the rental experience smooth, simple and effortless. It's supporting self-service, helping organisations manage employee behaviour and examine better ways of keeping the workforce mobile. It's also helping to support rental staff at the branch to deliver a better experience.
The best results are perhaps when people and technology work in harmony.
Adrian Bewley is director of business rental UK & Ireland at Enterprise Rent-A-Car