Over the last few months I was engaged in a heavy travel schedule which had me renting cars from the same company repeatedly. The company’s process calls for travelers to register at the counter, either with an employee or at an automated kiosk, walk to the parking lot and wait in line for another employee to take them to the car, perform several ceremonial duties such as checking the fuel level, checking for dings, and verifying the insurance while attempting to make small talk.
Here is what my typical Sunday experience would look like:
- Walk from airplane to counter
- Register in kiosk, usually 2 or 3 minute wait, if kiosk is down wait in line for agent, some times up to 20 minutes, provide driving license and credit card
- Walk to parking lot, wait in line again for agent number two, some times up to 15 or 20 minutes again
- Walk with agent to the car while they attempt to make small talk (so, what brings you to town?)
- Wait while they:
- Circle the car to verify there are no dings and the windshield is not cracked
- Start the car to ensure the gas tank is full
- Complete the paperwork, verify insurance sign in multiple places on a busy form in the dark parking lot
Surprisingly, returning the car is straightforward and easy. Invariably, the agents would ask “So, how was our service?”
How would be your response to this question? Mine was usually “Your service sucks” and an attempt to explain. In the next few posts, we’ll see the many reasons behind this response, the improvement opportunities and lessons we can learn.