How to Survive "Vehicularly Challenged" Days

There will be days when you have a high volume of reservations, yet duebacks are delayed. There will also be days when your “no show” factor will be less than your usual 35 percent. On these days, you will experience a number of things that must be handled efficiently — and in a manner that shows you are prepared to take care of the customer immediately. The following guidelines can be used by your rental and reservation staff, from the graveyard shift to the evening shift the next day, to prevent chaos at the counter. This guideline is applicable to any type of operation.

In addition, four unique scenarios are examined to help you prepare your operation for any circumstance. Keep in mind that no matter what the situation, each customer and situation is unique and should be treated with respect.

Graveyard Procedures: The Night Before

1. The graveyard shift prints the reservation report and dueback report for this location and others, if applicable.

2. Graveyard computes the manager’s report, including reservation count and expected no shows, to determine status of vehicles.

3. Graveyard prints and reconciles the “Cars Not on Rent” report.

4. If you find yourself short of all types or certain types of vehicles, the graveyard staff should begin calling the competition to determine availability and pricing. Remember to factor in vehicle substitutions.

When calling the competition:
- Speak to a manager if available. If not there, get the manager’s name and time expected in, so the day shift knows whom to ask for.
- Verify the name of the agent you speak to.
- List the sizes available.
- Will they honor your rates?
- If not honored, what price?
- How many vehicles can they help you with?

5. Graveyard should then communicate the situation for the day with morning staff.

Day Shift Procedures

1. The first person in every day should go through the reservation manifest and highlight specialty vehicles and long rentals. Make sure you have cars to satisfy the long rentals. Shorter rentals can be referred.

2. This person should also write down any special messages or substitutions that will be made for that reservation. Be sure to communicate with fellow staff members verbally or via a comments screen.

3. Communicate with one another and know who will be in charge when the buses pull up. One person should be there to greet the customer to verify and expedite the process.

At no time should a customer have to stand in line only to find out there is no vehicle waiting for him/her. Do not start a rental if you know you do not have a car. The person in charge of coordinating should stay in constant communication with the manager.

CONTINUED:  How to Survive "Vehicularly Challenged" Days
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