Auto Rental News and Bobit Business Media announce the agenda for the second annual Auto Rental Summit, to be held Nov. 4-5, 2013 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
Held in conjunction with the American Car Rental Association, Auto Rental Summit (ARS) is a groundbreaking training and education conference designed to improve customer service and enhance revenue of car rental operations.
Auto rental managers, executives and employees from corporate, franchised and independent companies in North America and overseas are invited to attend.
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS
The new headquarters hotel, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, was chosen to accommodate an increase in attendance and for its variety of dining and entertainment options. This year’s theme “Are you ready to rock?” integrates the Hard Rock property’s legendary high-energy music atmosphere.
“We’ve infused Auto Rental Summit with a personality that allows both exhibitors and attendees to be creative and have fun while networking and learning how to improve their businesses,” says Chris Brown, executive editor of Auto Rental News. “This year, we’ll be ‘taking care of business’ with some musical flair.”
(CAN’T GET NO) SATISFACTION
Auto Rental Summit offers what Mick Jagger could never seem to get: the live release of the results of the J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study, on Tuesday Nov. 5 at 9 a.m. Now in its 18th year, this study is an essential industry benchmark that measures overall customer satisfaction with renting cars at airport locations.
In another first, CarRentalExpress.com will present the inaugural Renter Rated Award.
Renter Rated is a program that allows renters to review and rate their rentals at CarRentalExpress.com. Car rental customers have posted thousands of ratings to the Renter Rated program, which has been in existence since 2005.
The award will be based on the independent car rental agency that scores the highest in the Renter Rated program from Dec. 1, 2012 to Oct. 31, 2013.
Auto Rental Summit will once again hold an awards luncheon to announce the winners of the Auto Rental News Professional of the Year Awards, presented by American Express.
Accepting nominations from auto rental companies worldwide, the Professional of the Year Awards honor three associates who demonstrate and promote outstanding customer satisfaction within the car rental process.
WE DON’T NEED NO EDUCATION
To challenge Pink Floyd’s famous assertion, Auto Rental Summit presents a plethora of educational opportunities for 2013.
Auto Rental Summit’s educational program kicks off on Monday with a seminar presented by Car Rental Express, which analyzes metrics from thousands of real customer surveys from its Renter Rated program to provide insights into what matters most to car rental customers.
Directly following, ACRA will hold a customer service role-play seminar in which three ARS attendees will be chosen to play the part of a car rental associate faced with three unique customer challenges. The scenarios will be acted out live, and the interactions and outcomes will then be discussed in an open forum.
Also on Monday, ARS brings back “The Idea Lab,” roundtable discussions in a working group format. Divided by discussion topic, each working group will solve a problem together and then present their solutions to all attendees. Topics will cover a range of challenges that companies face in the car rental process.
Tuesday’s educational program begins with the presentation of the results of a Frontline Performance Group (FPG) study. This study benchmarks the common denominators of the industry’s top performing customer-facing managers and sales agents using a personality profile (developed by FPG), which is administered to selected top performers from licensee and corporate locations throughout North America, South America and Europe.
FPG will share the most common motivational drivers of this best-in-class workforce, their specific personality profiles and their paths into the car rental industry. In addition, FPG will also share specific insights on how to recruit and source like top performers.
Also on Tuesday, Rick Garlick of J.D. Power and Associates will get inside the mind of the car rental customer through analyses of J.D. Power’s car rental satisfaction studies and compare them to satisfaction in the hotel and airline industries. These metrics will reveal how the car rental experience ties directly to customers’ buying behaviors and drives loyalty.
On Tuesday afternoon, American Express will present an analysis of transactional data based on hundreds of thousands of car rental transactions. This will help garner insights into customer-buying intentions to guide car rental operators in better serving their markets.
Closing Auto Rental Summit will be a seminar by Christopher Elliott, reader advocate for National Geographic Traveler, syndicated columnist, co-founder of the Consumer Travel Alliance and recent book author.
In “What Your Angry Customers Won’t Tell You,” Elliott will reveal insights from his hundreds of customer interactions and mediations into what really makes car rental customers mad — and how he believes car rental companies can win them back.
YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND
To reconnect with old friends in car rental and make new ones, Auto Rental Summit offers expanded networking opportunities for 2013.
The networking kicks off on Monday with a cocktail reception sponsored by Davey Coach in the exhibit hall from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
On Tuesday, attendees will have more than two hours of exhibitor interaction, including breakfast in the exhibit hall, sponsored by PurCo, and a networking break with exhibitors from 11 a.m. to noon. Then on Tuesday afternoon, Green Motion is sponsoring a smoothie break to refresh and recharge before the final seminar.
Stay tuned for other entertainment opportunities based on the schedules for the Hard Rock’s 18 on-site music, comedy, nightclub and dining venues.
For Auto Rental Summit agenda and programming updates, visit www.autorentalsummit.com.
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS
One of the founding principles of the Auto Rental Summit is to provide a forum to celebrate the customer service champions in the auto rental industry. ARS will continue this tradition when it announces the winners of the second annual Auto Rental News Professional of the Year Awards, presented by American Express.
Last year’s winners talk about the importance of an award that celebrates the individuals that make the auto rental industry run on a daily basis.
“It’s always important to recognize the efforts of the car rental industry’s ‘unsung heroes,’” says Elizabeth Alonso, area manager for Midway Car Rental in Los Angeles, who won in the independent operator category. Alonso oversees four rental offices and 50 employees.
“I am where I am today partly because I was recognized early in my career for providing great service and it was a great motivator for me to keep improving and growing,” Alonso says. “Some 12 years later, I am now the one recognizing employees for their efforts. It feels amazing to see their faces when I tell them how great they are doing!”
“In our field of business, the customer is everything,” says Stacey Milliken of Burgner Enterprises, the Thrifty Car Rental franchisee in Nashville. Milliken won in the franchise category. “Without the customer, there is no revenue to be made or business to be done.”
Veronica Weston, director of vehicle damage claims at Avis Budget Group, won in the corporate category. Weston has been with Avis Budget for 12 years and has won seven CEO awards from her department. “I was honored to be recognized for an award that represents service excellence,” Weston says. “Each of us has an opportunity to delight our customers and understand the power we possess in providing a positive experience. This award reinforces that behavior. I proudly display my award for everyone to see.”
Alonso furthers that notion. “I look at my award every day sitting in my office,” she says. “It was an honor to be chosen as a recipient, and I hope it provides inspiration for my employees to continue following my lead.”
To apply for the 2013 Professional of the Year Award, visit www.autorentalsummit.com/awards. The deadline is Sept 20.