As the sole person in charge of training and franchise support, Pat Bowie is always searching for new methods to reach her company’s car rental employees and keep them motivated.
Since 2004, Pat “The Trainer” Bowie has provided training for all members of the NP Auto Group team, which oversees the NextCar, Priceless Car Rental, and Rent-A-Wreck brands. She’s spoken numerous times at the International Car Rental Show and Auto Rental Summit.
“If there is a need for a new or revised process or procedure or other information to be produced and rolled out to team members, training is involved,” Bowie said in an article featuring her by Latitude Learning, a training solutions provider.
To provide training for hundreds of car rental employees, Bowie uses a blend of in-house classroom training, live webinars, and a Learning Management System (LMS) that includes over 300 courses.
“I believe in blended learning with automation,” she said. “With the use of an LMS, along with live webinars, and in-person classes (at least during non-pandemic times), I have the resources needed to offer thorough training to a variety of workers across three different brands.”
In addition to training on how to use software, teaching on customer service is a top priority for Bowie. To help prepare employees at the rental counter and those in the call center, she tells stories to provide realistic “what if” scenarios – how to respond to things that a potential customer might ask. In the call center, Bowie listens to each rental agent’s phone calls to provide feedback and coaching.
After employees finish their initial training, they usually partner with another employee at their location who asks as a coach. Bowie refers to it as “refresher training.”
“To keep their skills fresh, we have to keep refueling them, coaching, and motivating them,” she said.
In 2016, Bowie was recognized for her work at NP Auto Group. She received Auto Rental News’ Professional of the Year Award at the 2016 Auto Rental Summit.