Customer Experience: Car Rental Company


A father was on his way to pick up his daughter after her soccer practice, so they could drive off on a family vacation. As he pulled out of his company’s parking garage, he noticed his car was shaking. He pulled over in the garage and realized he had a flat tire. He did not have a spare tire in his car and fixing his car was not his first priority – getting a new, drive-able car to pick up his daughter and go on vacation was his priority.

He called a local car rental company that was just two miles away. He explained his situation, and said he noticed on their website that they had a company car and could pick clients up if they were within a five mile radius. The agent on the phone acted confused and said that they did not offer such a service. The father politely insisted they did, having just seen it on their website. The agent flatly told the father that they did not offer such a service, so he would have to take a cab to get to them.

The father was upset. He called a cab company to pick him up and take him to a rival car rental company that was a little further away. He managed to rent a new car, pick up his daughter, and leave for his family vacation on time. While on vacation, he made sure to leave an unfavorable online review for the original car rental company with the outdated website.

Customer Service Takeaways

  • All your advertising channels, including your social and digital media, should match your brand and company promises.
  • If an expectation is set for a customer, not being able to deliver on it will confuse and upset your potential customers.
  • If there is something an employee thinks they can do to help a customer (in this case, figuring out how to pick up the father), they should be empowered to do it.
  • Your customers will literally travel out of their way to your rivals if they are dissatisfied with your service.