Uncategorized Jul 03, 2024

A few weeks ago, I found myself in the middle of a Seinfeld episode while renting a car. I often book my rental cars through carriers who offer perks. One of the main perks I like to take advantage of is the “skip the counter” option, which allows me to go straight to the car and drive away. No need to check in, no need to get the keys and no need to ask where your car is. Everything is ready as soon as you arrive. I landed at the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, took the shuttle to the rental car facility and walked to the rental car area where I expected to “skip the counter.” However, my name was not on the board that directs customers to the location of their waiting cars. I had to walk back to the counter, stand in line and eventually speak to an agent who explained they were behind in washing and checking in returned cars, and there were no cars available. I had to wait another 30 minutes for my car to be ready. The perks of the premium service were completely wiped out.

I could hear Jerry Seinfeld in my head:

“You see, you know how to take the reservation; you just don’t know how to hold the reservation. And that’s really the most important part of the reservation: the holding. Anybody can just take them.”

I was shocked that this happened at one of America’s biggest airports. Rental car agencies at O’Hare should be like well-oiled machines, but it seems this company’s strategy was not fully thought out or well executed.

Insurance carriers and agencies should review their execution strategies as well.

Your processes may seem grand on paper but unless they are executed well, your team will be washing cars when your clients need them. And many of those clients will not choose to wait.



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