Woodford Car Hire, the country’s largest independent car rental company, has been on a mission to improve vehicle hire and to put a stop to taking customers for granted. After launching a revolutionary, new WhatsApp chatbot and booking line, they’ve managed to take the customer experience to the next level.
If you’ve been to any of Woodford Car Hire’s newly-revamped branches or received any of their emailers or social media communication, you’re likely to have seen the words “Better, Every Day”.
The phrase represents both a campaign and a promise to the customer that Woodford is committed to improving, day-by-day, in all aspects of the business with one common goal in mind – to treat renters in South Africa better.
Communication is key
Last month, Woodford Car Hire launched an industry-first WhatsApp chat bot that allowed customers to make and modify bookings in just a few ‘clicks’ at any time of the day, without having to leave the platform.
The development of the chat bot was inspired by a vision to make car hire more accessible to South Africans. Woodford had already committed to opening branches in places where people are and where they work and play (the latest of which opens in the Cape Town CBD in less than a month), and was further interrogating where else renters could be reached to make the process more convenient.
The WhatsApp chatbot was a natural solution, but it also revealed how important keeping lines of communication open is to customers.
Renters want to find you, but they also want to know that you’re there when they need you. WhatsApp allowed for this direct line of communication, and Woodford has taken it one step further.
The company has invested considerably in its systems to ensure that no query goes unanswered and no complaint goes unheard. With new phone line management and an aggregator that pools all incoming messages to be responded to by a central customer services department, Woodford has promised that communication channels never break down.
Internally, Woodford staff have been trained to ask themselves if they’re being “Better, Every Day” in dealing with queries and in their service to customers.
Taking suggestions and complaints seriously has not only kept customers happy, it’s also been a means of inspiring Woodford to be “Better, Every Day”. Knowing the pet peeves of renters allows Woodford to become proactive in its efforts.
A common gripe amongst customers surrounds waiting – waiting on the phone, waiting in queues, or waiting for their vehicles. Renters want to be on the road as quickly as possible, with as little hassle as possible.
Apart from the smooth communication that Woodford’s systems allow, the branch upgrades were designed to account for a smooth flow upon collection as well.
From entrance to parking lot, the idea is to ensure that the journey begins seamlessly. The new branches are more open and have been developed to ensure that queues are kept to an absolute minimum, especially during busy periods.
The introduction of online check-ins, along with the presence of an express speed-line for corporate customers, helps move things along.
Woodford has considered the collection process as the first part of a smooth journey on the road.
The next level
Whilst none of these interventions are groundbreaking in isolation, the changes speak to an overall approach that takes car rental to the next level, representing what Woodford believes is a gradual and daily journey that makes car hire better in every way, every day.
As Group Managing Director, Essa Suleman says: “There’s no end to our mission of improving for our customers. We are going to make small changes, every day, and while we’re not always going to get it 100% right, we are going to keep going. This is how every single member of our team feels and what we hold close to our hearts.”
“Better, Every Day” continues to be the guiding principle that commits Woodford to providing customers with an improved experience, and there are many more exciting initiatives still to come in the coming months.
Discover how Woodford can be better for you by booking your next rental with them: www.woodford.co.za