Customer Experience – Hertz

hertz2.jpgNow that I’ve joined the ranks of the traveling professionals, I am getting a first-hand lesson in travel related services. This morning, I had my first experience renting a car as a Hertz #1 Gold Club customer. #1 Gold Club is Hertz’ premium loyalty program. It carries an annual $60 fee, but for business travellers, it is well worth the expense with the ability to bypass the counter at 40 major airports in the US.

It works like this:

  • You enroll, indicating your preferred car type, optional coverages and payment method.
  • Make your reservation up to 2 hours before pickup time
  • Get on the Hertz shuttle at the airport
  • The driver asks if you are Hertz #1 Gold. If you are, you give them your name
  • They confirm your reservation.
  • When you arrive at the Hertz lot, you will see your name and a space# on an electronic board.
  • Go to the space where your car is waiting, with the trunk open, and the paperwork inside.
  • Show your drivers license and the paperwork at the gate and you are on your way.

Now that’s easy. I’m sure that other car rental companies have similar”bypass the counter” features, but having the trunk open is one of those little things that really differentiates the experience.

What little things are you doing to differentiate the experience for your customers?

Update:  Check out Becky Carroll’s follow-up to this post!

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7 comments so far

  1. Michael Rowe on

    Doug, Welcome to the road warrior team. When I think of the good Hertz experiences, they truly become transparent and the least of my worries when traveling. However, depending on the airport they are not all that good. The other thing I’ve noticed is that Hertz has been making more and more of their service “gold” to that end, many of the cars are now no more convinient then the normal cars. the only benefit is I don’t have to wait in line.

  2. Scott Monty on

    Doug, thanks for sharing what should be a smooth experience. Unfortunately, my most reality with Hurtz looked like this:
    - book reservation for a full-size car, with #1 Gold status
    - show up at Hurtz without name listed on the #1 Gold Member board
    - wait in line for 25 minutes with everyone else
    - get told that there are no more full size cars
    - upon asking for a manager, receive attitude-laden response and encounter with said manager
    - no apology, no upgrade, no additional service. Just a malodorous “non-smoking” mid-size car that has clearly been smoked in.

    Ouch. That Hurtz. Avis, here I come!

  3. Doug Meacham on

    Well perhaps I should have waited a few weeks before posting about my Hertz experience. Clearly, the quality of a company’s customer experience is determined by its ability to execute the great experience CONSISTENTLY over time. Perhaps I got lucky today and it just worked well. Perhaps, like I have seen with Panera Bread, the experience is not consistent across all locations. Whatever the case, Michael & Scott certainly have more business travel experience that I do and their experience with Hertz over time is probably more representative.

  4. Drew McLellan on

    Hey Doug,

    I agree…all of that line by-passing is well worth a little loyalty. FYI — Avis provides all of that for free.

    Drew

  5. Becky Carroll on

    Doug, welcome to the club! As with any company, it is the consistency of experience that counts. When your business is about travel, consistency of experience across locations is critical, as many of your customers will be experiencing more than one Hertz.

    Personally, I have had very good experiences with Hertz. It works especially well when I am on a consulting project for extended periods; I usually get upgrades without even asking. Of course, I have been a Gold member for 10 years or so!

    Thanks for the post, Doug.

  6. [...] has recently joined the ranks of road warrior (ie. consultant – welcome, Doug!) and share with us his story about the Hertz Gold program.  Doug loves the convenience of the service (so do [...]

  7. Anand on

    Doug,
    Like you I too have joined the business travellers club recently and seeing the benefit of #1 Gold status. It sure makes the car renting process very smooth and easy.
    Like the travel this week, my flight got delayed and landed at 2.15am. Just the car being there ready for me felt good and also there was a nav system in there. this was Ft Lauderdale airport.

    I think this is neat…but seen similar programs at Avis too.

    cheers,
    Anand


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