Just a short post about hiring a car.
It’s Friday night after hours and I’ve only decided I need a car for 24 hours from tomorrow morning, to pick up from an airport but return elsewhere in the same city.
As I’ll be returning the car on a Sunday to a non-airport location, I want to know the trading hours of the local branch of the company.
In the order I looked at companies offering a car for hire (of the four popular car hire brands I selected) their Sunday open times and availability are:
- Company A — 8:00am open, but no cars available the next day,
- Company B — 9:00am open — cars available, but 9am is too late in the morning for my plans. Plus, a ridiculous $110 “one way fee” even though I’m only 25 mins from an international airport,
- Company C — cars available, but no trading hours available on their website, and
- Company D — cars available, and open 7am on Sunday.
Because of their opening time, Company D got the booking.
Note — PRICE wasn’t the deciding issue. I paid more with Company D than the deals I saw on Company C’s website.
And I even contemplated a 2-day hire with Company B — except that the compulsory additional “one-way” fee was nearly more than the cost of the 2 days hire! And in my case that’s for a location still in the suburbs of the same city.
Company C MIGHT have got the booking if they had including trading hours information on their website.
But they didn’t. This basic but essential customer information was omitted. I was still determined though (although forcing customers to seek other ways of finding out what is basic information should not be assumed).
So I tracked down a phone number direct to that branch. Called it, but it just rang out.
No answering machine message announcing their office hours, no redirection of the clearly after hours call to an open branch, nothing.
How many other sales do they lose this way?
All that money spent getting the attention of prospective customers, all lost.
This transaction was all about convenience, not price. But basic information that should be online was missing, and meant the loss of a potential booking.
Get some “fresh eyes” on your sales process to see what obvious factors you might be overlooking.
Yes, we can definitely all be guilty of this — I’m no exception. But it’s often external “fresh eyes” that really see the gaps.
A sale lost, just by not remembering the basics.