Two personal, and comparable, experiences recently showed directly how customer service impacts lifetime value. As many of you know, I travel frequently on business and rent a car about 40 weeks per year, making me a “whale” to car rental companies. I am also relatively loyal to companies, I limit my choices to two companies and probably use my favorite 75 percent of the time.
The Ace Rent-A-Car story
A few months ago, I rented a car from ACE Rent-A-Car. I had rented from Ace about 15 times already in 2014, for 30+ weeks, from its Chicago location.
After going out for dinner one night, I discovered that my rental car had a flat tire. Unfortunately, the car I rented did not have a spare tire (yes, there are cars now that are sold without a spare). It was about midnight in Chicago and it was cold so I called Ace with my problem even though I had waived roadside assistance. The first two times I called I was placed on hold 5-10 minutes and the person had no idea how to help. The third time I called they were friendly but explained they could not help because they were acquired by Budget Rent-A-Car (still not sure if it was a system-wide acquisition or the O’Hare location) and gave me a phone number for Budget. I was annoyed as it was getting quite late and I did not feel it was appropriate to rent cars that did not have a spare (and not let the customer know). Continue reading “How CS can impact LTV”