Renting cars has been the go-to transportation of most travelers pre-COVID-19. This allowed them to tour around any location with great convenience and safety. The car rental business is trendy in countries with interesting tourist spots, and destinations are far apart from each other. To accommodate rental requests, car rental companies turn to fleet management solutions to ensure efficient operations.
Car rentals are surprisingly in short supply and high demand this year, and experts say prices aren’t likely to come back to normal any time soon. There are plenty of factors that contribute to this. First is the shortage of chips and semiconductors that slowed down global auto production. The second reason is the rising number of foreign tourists who are desperate to travel after months of lockdown. Another factor is when companies sold their rental fleets when demand dropped during the pandemic.
Given the many reasons that affected the car rental industry, it’s important to learn how to run a car rental business amid the crisis. With more tourists looking forward to travel, the car shortage and the rising demand create a perfect storm for sky-rocketing car rental prices. In this article, we’ll discuss the techniques on how to manage a car rental business amid a pandemic.
Identify consumer demand
Whatever the business economy is going through, customer service always remains crucial. In this case, the pandemic should be when business owners should develop ingenious strategies from marketing to service delivery.
Because of car shortages, car rental companies should realize that consumer’s sentiments about their services will also change based on government regulations and the current state of the pandemic.
You can address this by adding more resources to handle their expectations. Since public transport is no longer safe for daily commuters, sanitation should be your top priority to protect your employees and customers.
For example, you can focus on additional safety measures by providing disinfected vehicles and sanitary products, such as hand sanitizer and face masks. You can also train drivers on how to improve safety practices in vehicle upkeep. These approaches will demonstrate agility in terms of responding to customer sentiments.
Make bookings user-friendly
While some car rental companies are working with ride-sharing services to improve customer flow, it’s also worth noting that ride-sharing services are still a potential competitor. This is because most ride sharers depend on online bookings, which involve the use of an application to book a trip.
In this age of digital technology, a car rental application is essential to ensure a smooth customer experience. Instead of making pointless calls and searching for services online, they can simply log in to the application to rent a car. Car rental mobile applications also come with special features to help customers in booking requests by sending notifications about the timing and the type of car.
But having an application for car bookings isn’t enough. Some applications have many technical issues that range from complicated login processes, poor GPS features and mapping, faulty interface design, and inability to modify booking times.
A car rental company needs a trouble-free and user-friendly application both for employees and staff. It should offer additional perks, such as flexible payment processes and vehicle choices. This will eliminate the frustrating booking experience, especially during rush hour or peak hours.
Security is also a deciding factor when it comes to car rental applications. Since customers will provide their personal information, such as the contact number and payment details, the rental companies must ensure that customer data are securely stored and transmitted.
Provide more flexibility
Car rental services should address communication issues between car owners, renters, and borrowers. For example, trained employees should monitor all vehicles in secured lots 24/7. This ensures safety and consistency for customers and eliminates any worries about how to trade keys.
Companies should also provide more flexibility by providing a wider selection of vehicles owned by locals. This helps customers have more options, whether they want to visit a beach or ski resort around the area. You should also identify the potential conflicts in the booking process, such as long lines and paperwork. Upselling and hidden fees should also be removed, but focus instead on availability and lower prices.
Despite the challenges in the car rental industry, companies should use this opportunity to rethink their operations and business models. This will also help them understand the potential legalities and inherent risks of the current business climate. The secret is to keep exploring and advancing to find your way out of the car rental crisis and grow your business faster.