NOTE: This is a letter that I wrote to National Car Rental following a recent trip to Colorado. Being an entrepreneur, on the cusp of turning a “crazy” idea into a viable business, I had to write this letter. You’ll understand.
I have a love affair with solid customer service. I firmly believe it’s the most important component of any business – it has the potential to define a company or destroy it.
Based on an experience I recently had with National Car Rental at Denver’s International Airport, I wanted to send this letter and let your company know that you have a customer for life.
I recently read that quality customer service can be achieved by applying this simple formula:
Take the customers’ expectations, meet those expectations with a genuine smile, and then proceed to blow those expectations out of the water.
That’s exactly what National Car Rental did on my recent trip to the Denver area.
Here is a quick snippet of my incredible experience with your company (FYI: It doesn’t start very flattering for National, but it finishes with a defining bang):
I rented a mid-sized SUV through your Emerald Club program on a Thursday morning. The vehicle had an unusual smell – nothing too bad, but it was definitely pungent enough to catch your attention. When I noticed the odor, my luggage was already loaded in the back, so I decided to “deal with it.”
It was more than 24 hours later, when I was taking some friends back to the airport to pick up their own rental car, that the source of the smell was discovered. Someone had gotten sick on the back of the passenger-side seat.
My friends encouraged me to take the car back to National. Even though I was pressed for time and, strangely enough, used to the aroma, I decided to take their advice.
I pulled into the Return Car area, and flagged down the first National employee that I saw. (I didn’t catch the gentlemen’s name – which I hate – but he’s the one that took my expectations and proceeded to crush them.)
I simply asked him if I could have the “problem” cleaned up – maybe a little squirt of air freshener. I also told him that didn’t have a lot of time.
He said: “Get in the backseat. I’m driving.” (My wife was sitting in the passenger seat, a little confused at this point.)
He put the vehicle in reverse, jumped the curb, dodged the National/Alamo buses, and headed straight to the Emerald Club lot. “Pick the one you want,” he said. (Whether he knew I was an Emerald Club Member or not is irrelevant to me. I will say this…he didn’t ask.)
After picking out a much nicer vehicle (based onhis encouragement and recommendation), he backed right up to it, allowing me to move my luggage all of eight feet.
He told me what to tell the gentleman at the check-out booth, and I was off.
From the time I asked this gentlmen if someone could clean up a little vomit, to the time I was driving off the lot in a VERY nice SUV, it was less than five minutes.
My expectations were shattered.
Being an owner of my own business, I will share this story with every one of my employees. I hope you will do the same. National Car Rental should be VERY proud of its customer service.
In my eyes, National clearly differentiated itself from other rental car companies, and like I said before, your company now has a customer for life.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
President / CEO
e-Partners in Giving, LLC