The Rental Car Customer: From not so great to GREAT!

In the rental car business, as sad as it is to say, sometimes we have to turn a customer away. As to the why? Reasons could be: money, unworthy credit, expired or fake driver’s licenses, or just a gut feeling. Yet, instead of a flat “No!”, and showing the guy the door, this not so great rental car customer could one day, down the road, become a GREAT Rental Car Customer.

Here is how you can make that happen either on the phone or in person.

Renters Identification Check for Car Rental BusinessesLISTEN to the customer.
If it’s a price request, before you give a number, ask the following qualifying questions. If the customer wonders why you are asking questions before giving a price, you can tell him, “It’s to make sure you get the best price and the best vehicle that fits your needs.” (And because you are the best rental operation in the area, you only offer the best price and the best vehicles.)

ASK the right qualifying questions.
In the auto rental biz, we ask every customer the right questions. It’s these questions that ensure you put the customer with the car that suits best. It is also these questions that gives you the latitude to turn down the rental in such away the customer will walk away but still have had a good experience.

“Is the renter, and all the additional driver’s over 25?”
The answer will tell you if you have an opportunity for additional drivers — over 25 or not — to determine who is really doing the driving. As you listen carefully you may hear some hesitation in the caller’s voice. ( Hmm. This may be the time to ask to speak with the person who really is making the decision.)

“Will you be using the car locally, or going out of town?”

The response gives you control of which car to rent, gain insight into how many miles will be put on the vehicle, and the length of time your car will be off the lot.

“What major credit card will you be using?”

How your rental will be paid for could influence your rates and which car you supply. If it’s a cash transaction, qualifying the renter is done differently.

“How long will you need the car?”

Further qualification of question number 2,above. The response will help you build your rate.

“When do you want to pick up the car?”

This is your first closing question. And you have yet to quote a rate…..

So, you asked the questions.
Did you hear some hesitation? Did you hear answers that did not mesh with other answers?
Are you comfortable with the answers?

At this point, you can make the reservation or decline the rental.

If you choose to decline, do it NICELY.

You could say, “Unfortunately, sir/ma’am, at this time we do not have a rental available that will suit your needs (all the needs that you found out about from the answers you received.) I do have the name, and number of another agency that could possible help you with your auto rental needs.” (Yes, you need to have a few names and numbers and addresses available to give them.) And, you say all this with a smile on your face, so the customer hears the smile in your voice (or sees it on your face if this customer is standing at your counter.)

And close with more NICENESS.

“We appreciate you calling (stopping by) First Rental Services, Sir/Ma’am. Sorry we could not help you today, but we do look forward to serving you in the future. Have a wonderful day/evening. Good by……”

The prospect will remember how nice you were and may call you again — hopefully when she is more acceptable for you.

Auto Rental Solutions offers training and coaching services that will enhance your Customer Service Team’s effectiveness. Give us a call to learn what we can do for you, your team and your bottom line. (800) 396-9128. or drop us a line [email protected].