Whether you operate your own location or manage a corporate site, your mindset and that of your employees will dictate your success — or lack or it.
A simple, but often overlooked way of understanding mindset is if someone asks you the question, “What do you do?” And you answer, “I rent cars,” you’re probably leaving money on the table. What you do is solve people’s problems or help them in a time of need.
We all have our regulars that need to go from point A to point B. They enjoy the relationship we have with them and appreciate the quality of our product and our fair pricing. These people are our bread and butter. They are the ones to whom we owe our success and we should never lose sight of that.
But there are another group of renters. I’m talking about the ones that are in a jam. Their flight has been cancelled. Their car is in the shop. Their car is not dependable for a 500-mile trip. Company is coming to visit, and they don’t have room enough for everyone to travel together. You all know what I’m talking about.
The great thing about most of our interactions with customers is we have the opportunity to be the hero riding in on the white horse in their time of need, and it’s important to recognize that. Inventory is always an issue, but when you approach a rental inquiry with the mindset that you need to help the person out and put more effort into putting that rental together, your reward is great.
It can be easy to say that you don’t have a vehicle, or you don’t have the specific vehicle they need and it’s a hassle to ask for a special hike. If you go the extra mile and do a little extra work, the customer will tell everyone, and when people call you because their friend told them to, you should get their business.
Every interaction with a customer is an investment in your business. The only way that you can solve customers’ problems is to ask questions to determine what their problem is. Asking questions, to me, is the most important ingredient to your success. The more you understand your customer’s situation, the better positioned you are to help them.
Bill Packard is an Avis Budget Agency Operator with a long history of entrepreneurship focused on customer service. Packard also coaches small businesses on the significant value of increasing their retention rate. He can be reached at can be reached here.