Many car rental companies have declining revenues nowadays. According to Certify, Uber accounted for 43 percent of ground transportation transactions while rental cars dropped from 55 percent to about 40 percent. Ride-hailing services, with Uber at the forefront, overtook rental car firms for the first time in Q4 of 2015 and continue to widen their lead.
At the core of it all: convenience and a seamless customer experience. The ability to hail a ride and pay in one transaction is essential for providing a positive customer experience to hyper-informed customers.
On the flip side, there are some challenges facing today’s auto rental service providers, and solving these challenges can close the gap for car rental firms:
- There’s a shift in the hyper-informed customer’s purchasing behavior. Hyper-informed customers are digitally empowered and socially networked. Since customers are connected with brands via multiple channels, they increasingly expect service providers to know who they are, anticipate their needs, and guide them to their desired outcome, whether on the website, talking to the contact center, or on their smart phone.
- Customer data is scattered across many disparate systems which results in incomplete and disjointed information about the customer which results in ineffective mass marketing.
It is increasingly important for auto rental companies to understand the purchasing behaviors of individual customers in real-time and utilize analytics capabilities to monetize the customer experience in order to provide a convenient and seamless customer journey.
Today’s car rental firms need to harness actionable insights from multiple channels to create contextualized campaigns that are triggered and targeted by customer behaviors. These customer behaviors come in multiple touchpoints – all real-time. It has become mission critical to adopt the right technology and tools to enable this real-time marketing interaction across multiple channels. The more personalized the experience, the happier the customer, and the customer is more likely to be retained, upsold and / or becomes a brand advocate.
With customers connecting to brands via multiple channels, car rental companies need to do more to drive customer loyalty and organic revenue growth. They need to select the right technology or solution to transform mass communications into real one-to-one messages that connect directly with customers’ needs – with the right message, at the right time, and through the right marketing channel. A key consideration is leveraging real-time signals of customer intent to deliver a seamless customer journey and offer an integrated experience, which connects to how and where a customer engages – from websites, to mobile apps, to contact center and sales people. Look out for my next blog post which will focus on the essentials of the right solution which can drive organic revenue growth for car rental companies, by providing the hyper-informed customer with prescriptive offers presenting the right message, at the right time, and for the right price.