We love finding more and more innovative uses of mobile marketing across various industries. The car rental industry is yet another one that can provide more value to its customers with the use of mobile. And with customer service being a top challenge for the car rental industry, the more opportunities you take to give your customers what they want, the more they’ll love you.
Whether it’s SMS/MMS, chatbots, or mobile wallet, there are plenty of ways to connect, and it’s not just for big players like Hertz or Enterprise; car-sharing services like Zipcar can also benefit.
1. Send Reminders and Offers Via SMS
Rather than have to dig out an email confirmation of a car rental reservation, a consumer would love to receive that reminder via text, where it’s easy to access on her phone. The day before a reservation, you can send a reminder, along with a link to the confirmation page that she can show when she picks up the car.
SMS is also great for sending special offers. Send a coupon code or link to mobile webpage with a discount already applied so that your subscribers can quickly redeem the offer straight from their phones.
2. Use Chatbots to Help Customers Book Via Mobile
While many brands use existing messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger for their chatbots, you can also use SMS/MMS quite effectively with chatbots. Because the process of booking a car is fairly straightforward and doesn’t typically require a customer service agent to assist, you can set up a chatbot that allows customers to book a car rental directly from their text.
They’ll receive prompts to respond to, such as the dates they want the rental, their zip code, and what type of car they want, which the chatbot inputs to find the best price and closest pickup location. All of this is done directly via text; no website needed.
As Rich Communication Suite (RCS) becomes more mainstream, there will be more innovative ways to connect with customers and help them with common car rental transactions in the near future, and providing customers with the ability to perform these basic functions via text may reduce your spend on customer service.
3. Send Reservation Confirmation via Mobile Wallet
Once a customer has booked a car rental, she can opt to receive the confirmation through her mobile wallet, where it’s easy to find when she needs it. There’s plenty of opportunity to provide additional value once you’re in her wallet; you could include a link to local attractions in case she’s visiting the city where she’s booking her car. You could provide the local forecast. You could even provide coupons to local restaurants.
If she doesn’t prepay for her reservation, she can also use her mobile wallet to pay for her rental, as well as redeem loyalty points with your brand.
And the great news is: once you have a relationship with a customer via mobile wallet, you can nurture that connection until she opts out of your offers. So after her initial rental from you, you can continue to send her promotions and coupons via push notifications that are ready and waiting for her in her mobile wallet.
4. Streamline the Pickup Process
After a long flight, the last thing a traveler wants to do is stand in line to get the keys to her rental. Using mobile, she can scan her QR code at an automated kiosk to check in and get the location of her rental in the garage. The same process can be used to return the vehicle.
These are just a few ways that mobile is improving the car rental industry.